This version is based on a recipe from The Pleasures of the Table: Rediscovering Theodora Fitzgibbon.
These hand-sized pies are traditional in the city of Dingle and around Country Kerry.
- 900 g (2 lb) self-raising flour
- 1 heaped tsp salt
- 225 g (8 oz) butter
- 110 g (4 oz) lard or mutton dripping
- pinch thyme
- 900 g (2 lb) lean mutton (see Note)
- salt and pepper
- 1 small onion, grated or finely chopped
- 2 tsp fresh mint, chopped (or 1 tsp dried)
- milk to glaze
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Depending on how tender the mutton is, you may need to allow an extra 30 minutes for boiling the meat.
1. To make the pastry, sit the flour into a bowl and mix in the salt. Rub in the fats and gradually add about a cup of water, mixing well, until the dough is firm but not dry. Roll into a ball and chill.
2. Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4.
3. Trim the meat of fat and gristle, and if you can tell that it is tender, use it raw, but if you are in any doubt, boil it in water to cover for half an hour, together with any bones you have trimmed off. Cut the meat into very small pieces, season well with salt and pepper and mix with the onion and herbs.
4. Roll out more than half the pastry on a lightly floured surface and cut into 12 circles about 10 cm (4 in) across. Roll out the remaining pastry and cut into 12 slightly smaller circles. Dive the meat mixture between the smaller circles, dampen the outer edges, then lay a larger circle on top of each. Press down and crimp with the prongs of a dampened fork. Make a small slit in the top of each to let the steam out and brush with a little milk. Put onto a greased baking sheet and bake at for 15 minutes. Lower the heat to 160°C/325°F/gas mark 3 and cook for a further 45 minutes if you used raw meat; reduce the cooking time by 20 minutes if the meat was cooked.
• These are also a great way to use up leftover cooked meat, such as roast lamb or beef.