This recipe is from Canteen: Great British Food, which is published by Ebury Press, £16.99 Hb. To win one, go HERE.
The rich filling for this pie was inspired by our favourite East End Indian restaurants. It’s made with mutton, which has an undeserved image today of being old knackered meat. This just isn’t true. It is very tasty, and works really well with the spices.
2 tbsp sunflower oil
1 medium onion, cut in 1cm dice
150g carrots, cut in 1cm dice
100g fennel, cut in 1cm dice
2 tsp curry powder
1 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground coriander
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1kg boned leg of mutton, cut in 2–3cm dice
400g can chopped tomatoes
250ml meat stock (p202)
1 heaped tbsp tomato purée
150g peeled and diced potatoes
700g puff pastry
1 egg, beaten
1/ Heat up the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pan and sweat the onion, carrots and fennel for about 15 minutes or until soft but not brown.
2/ Add all the spices and the garlic. Stir well. Cook for 5 minutes.
3/ Add the mutton together with the tomatoes, treacle, stock, tomato purée and some salt. Bring to the boil, then cover and simmer gently for 2–3 hours, stirring occasionally.
4/ Add the potatoes and cook for a further 30 minutes or until the meat is tender but not falling apart. Remove from the heat and allow to cool completely.
5/ Preheat the oven to 170°C. Butter the inside of a 28–30cm oval pie dish that is at least 8cm deep.
6/ Roll out the pastry on a well-floured board to a thickness of 3mm. Cut out an oval piece of pastry to line the dish. The pastry needs to be long and wide enough to cover the bottom and sides of the dish, with some extra for overhang. Place in the dish, leaving the edges hanging over the sides. Brush the overhang with a little beaten egg.
7/ Fill with the cold pie filling. Cut a piece of pastry for the lid – this should be slightly larger than the dish – and lay it over the filling. Dip your fingers in flour and pinch the edges of the lid to the edges of the pastry lining the dish, to seal them together. Trim off excess pastry with a knife.
8/ Cut three or four 1-cm slits in the lid, to allow steam to escape during baking. Brush the lid with beaten egg to glaze. Bake for 35–40 minutes until the pastry is golden brown and the filling is bubbling around the edges and through the slits in the lid. Serve hot.
Notes: If you like your food quite spicy, use a hot curry powder, or add more curry powder to taste. As with all of the pie fillings, this is delicious simply eaten on its own as a stew. We serve our pies with mash, gravy and greens, but they’re just as good with boiled potatoes and other vegetables or with salad.