You may remember a few weeks ago, I ventured into unknown territory and made puff pastry. It was an eye-opener to how time consuming it is but the outcome was well worth it. Not to mention how scrumptious the beef, fennel & fig sausage rolls were! I was clever enough to make a large portion and therefore froze a batch of puff pastry for another time. Today was that other time! Lamb & mint pies were on the agenda and I could not wait to get my teeth into this prize!
I was surprised how pliable the dough was, even after being in the freezer for close to a month. I wondered if I should have rolled it out into a flat sheet, just like you find it in the shops, but I am happy to say it was no effort to roll out the dough to the size I was after.
The last few weeks, I have been trying a few different recipes, using ingredients I don’t have a lot of familiarity with, and it’s been a bit of a hit and miss kind of experience. But today I decided I would make a dish that required ingredients I am familiar with.
Cooking the mince was pretty straight forward; just like you would do for spaghetti bolognese really, but I added a few extra herbs and spices and let it gently simmer for over an hour – best way to get those flavours bursting through, I believe!
I found the dough easy to handle and the trick to it was to roll it out quickly while it was cold. At one stage, I needed to put a portion of the dough back in the fridge, but that was all good and I was able to use all the dough.
I allowed the filling to cool before scooping it into the cases using a ladle, adding a little extra chopped fresh mint and we were on our way! Lids on, sealed with a little egg and pinching the two layers together was perfectly finished off with a sprinkle of sesame seeds.
These were super easy to make and with only 20-30 minutes of baking in a moderate oven, dinner was looking fantabulously good!
I really enjoyed making something that would be considered “an old-fashioned favourite” and I can see why – full of flavour, relatively easy and it’s good for you!
I think I will get “an old-fashioned favourite” theme happening over the next few weeks and dust off my golden oldie recipe books and bring some favourites to the table!
“Food is memories”… The One-Hundred Foot Journey movie reminded me the other day – and I remember the raspberry coconut slice my children’s grandma used to make, the rice pudding my mum would place before us often on a cold winter’s morning and the vanilla matchsticks we would eat at school!
So I invite you to come on this journey with me – let’s make some memories and re-create a few of these oldies with a new twist.
But first, here is the recipe for my lamb & mint pies.
LAMB & MINT PIES
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 leek, finely sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ teaspoon minced chilli
1 teaspoon za’atar (middle eastern spice mix)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
1 tablespoon honey
700g lamb mince
1 can (400g) Roma tomatoes
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 cup red wine
½ cup chopped fresh mint, plus extra
salt & pepper, to taste
1 batch puff pastry (800g) – bought or homemade ahead of time
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
- Heat oil in large saucepan. Add leek, garlic and chilli. Saute for a few minutes. Add za’atar, spices and honey. Stir to coat leek.
- Add mince to the leek mixture and brown lightly. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, red wine and season. Bring to boil. Turn heat to low and simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Cool.
- Roll out pastry to 4mm thick. Measure out to fit a pie tin (9cm base x 12cm top). Cut out 6 pies bases and 6 pie lids. Spoon in the filling, sprinkle a little extra mint and cover with lid, pinching edges together. Brush with egg and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Make a couple of small slits on top to allow steam to escape during cooking process. Bake in oven (180*C) for 25-30 minutes or until golden.