This pie owes its heritage to the isolated and rural Italian island of Sardinia where simple, homely dishes are often cooked. You can also make smaller, individual pies and bake them for about 50 minutes instead. The hot-water pastry is lovely and flavoursome and will lift your pie to great heights. If you can’t find duck or goose fat, use 100 g lard with the butter, instead, and the result is nearly as good.
- 750 g lamb shoulder, cut into 1 cm cubes
- 12 sundried tomatoes, thinly sliced
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 small bunch flat-leaf parsley, chopped
- 5 garlic cloves, crushed
- 10 saffron threads
- 750 g potatoes, sliced 5 mm-thick
- 1 egg, whisked with ⅛ tsp salt and 1 tsp of water
- 50 g lard
- 50 g goose or duck fat (see Note)
- 100 g butter, softened
- 600 g (3¾ cups) plain flour, sifted
- 2 eggs, beaten
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.
Chilling time overnight
Resting time 30 minutes
You will need a 6 cm-deep, 23 cm round pie pan.
Combine lamb, sundried tomato, oil, parsley, garlic and saffron in a bowl and refrigerate overnight.
The next day, make the pastry. Place lard, goose fat, butter and 250 ml (1 cup) water in a medium saucepan over medium heat and cook for 2 minutes or until fats have melted. Remove from heat.
Place flour and 1½ teaspoonsn of salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre and break in eggs, stirring to combine; don’t be too fussy about it. Recreate the well and pour in warm fat mixture and stir to combine, then knead until a smooth dough forms. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 180°C. Place lamb mixture and potato in a bowl with 1 tablespoon of salt and mix to combine. Season with pepper. Roll out ¾ of the pastry to fit a 6 cm-deep, 23 cm round pie pan, making sure it overhangs by about 2 cm. Fill with lamb and potato mixture, pressing into the corners and base of the tin for a compact filling. Roll out remaining pastry to make a lid and squeeze edges together tightly to seal. Roll squeezed edges over so it curls inside the pan, working in circular motion to form a good solid rim of pastry. Cut a small slit in the top, then brush all over with egg mixture.
Bake in the centre of the oven for 30 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 160°C and bake for a further 1 hour or until pastry is golden and filling is bubbling slightly. Remove from oven and rest for an hour before serving; take care when slicing as cooking juices will spill out from pastry.
• Goose or duck fat is available in cans from select butchers and delis.
Photography Alan Benson. Food preparation Jesse Eynon. Styling Michelle Crawford.
As seen in Feast magazine, November 2014, Issue 37.