A taste of home, this roast lamb and rosemary pie is made from leftover roast lamb and gravy encased in my grandmother’s crispy, flaky perfect pastry recipe.
A little family history
It’s 1942. The world is at war.
A young handsome Canadian chap with sticky-out ears and a great big cheeky smile has been posted to a military base on the south coast of England.
There he falls in love with a beautiful young English woman who looks just like Queen Elizabeth. She is driving a bakery van. She returns his love and when the war finishes they get married and he takes her back home to Canada.
These were my maternal grandparents. I never knew my grandmother as she sadly passed away long before I was born, but I was named Elizabeth because my grandmother looked so much like the Queen.
When I was a child my mother used to make meat pies out of leftover roast beef and my grandmother’s pie crust recipe, written in her notebook as ‘Mum’s Pie Crust’. She had inherited my grandmother’s electric meat grinder and my mother would grind up cold, leftover roast beef along with a carrot and onion.
Any leftover gravy (always made with gravy granules!) would get poured into the resulting minced meat and spooned into a deep pie dish lined with pastry. She would decorate the top of the pie with leftover scraps of pastry; there were always leaves.
Sometimes excess pastry would get made into little sausage rolls, and oh my, the combination of this lard-filled pastry crust encasing the minced meat mixture…. pure childhood heaven.
If we were really lucky we’d get a slice of this pie, cold, in our packed lunches and it made for the best packed lunches ever.
When I immigrated back across the pond in 1999 (21 years ago this week!) I brought with me a handwritten copy of my grandmother’s pie crust recipe.
So this is my version of my maternal family pie recipe – made with locally sourced lamb, flavoured with homemade lamb stock (see recipe notes) and encased in my grandmother’s flaky pastry recipe. It’s a perfect recipe to share with you this International Women’s Week.
- 750 grams shortcrust pastry (shop-bought or homemade – see notes)
- 600 grams leftover roast lamb
- 1 small onion
- 1 carrot
- 1 tbsp rosemary, chopped
- 300 ml leftover gravy
- salt & pepper, to taste
- egg wash or milk, to glaze
- Chop your leftover, cold roast lamb into small 5 mm dice.
- Add the finely chopped onion, carrot and rosemary.
- Stir in the leftover lamb gravy and season to taste.
- Line a pie plate with shortcrust pastry, and add the filling.
- Top with more pastry, crimping the edges to seal.
- Decorate as desired, brush with milk or an egg wash and bake for 30 minutes at 220 C/200 C fan.
Tips for making roast lamb and rosemary pie
- use leftover roast lamb for this recipe, ideally, if it’s been chilling overnight in the fridge
- you can either finely chop the lamb, carrot and onion or run them through a meat grinder
- use any leftover pastry/filling to make sausage rolls
- use homemade lamb gravy to bind the ingredients together for the best flavour (see recipe, below)
How to make lamb stock for the best homemade lamb gravy
- Preheat oven to 220 C/ 200 C fan and place lamb bones in a large roasting tin along with 1 unpeeled quartered onion, 1 halved carrot, 1 celery stick and a handful of unpeeled garlic cloves
- drizzle with a little olive oil and sprinkle with dried rosemary
- roast in the oven for 45 minutes
- transfer all the contents of the roasting tin to a large stockpot and cover with water
- add a few parsley stems, bay leaves and around 10 peppercorns
- bring to a simmer, and gently simmer for four hours until the liquid is dark and reduced
- strain, reserving the liquid
Roast Lamb and Rosemary Pie Recipe
My grandmother's pastry recipe
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How to make my grandmother's pastry recipe
- Measure the flour, brown sugar, baking soda and salt into a large bowl.
- Rub in the lard with your fingertips until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs.
- Add the liquid ingredients to the dry and combine well.
- Turn out onto a floured surface and knead briefly, until smooth. You might need to add a little more flour, or a few drops more of water to make a soft, yet firm, dough.
- Cut the dough in half and form into discs.
- Wrap each disc in cling film and chill until needed.
To make the roast lamb & rosemary pie filling
- Finely chop the lamb and add to a mixing bowl.
- Add the onion, carrot and chopped rosemary.
- Pour in the gravy and stir to combine thoroughly.
- Season well to taste.
- Preheat oven to 220 C/ 200 C fan.
- Roll out one disc of pastry on a floured surface to a thickness of 1/4 inch.
- Line the base of a deep 9-inch pie plate with the pastry and use the tines of a fork to poke holes in the dough.
- Add the pie filling, smoothing over the top with a spoon.
- Roll out the second disc of pastry and use to top the pie, sealing the edges with a little water.
- Decorate as desired, brush with an egg wash or a little milk and bake in the centre of the oven for 30 minutes.
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