Pulled Lamb Shoulder & Rosemary Pies
My sister Ali and I threw my Mum a surprise morning tea for her birthday! We made a whole feast of scrumptious eats. There was an undeniable favourite amongst the guests - my mini pulled lamb shoulder pies. They were such a hit that I thought I’d share the recipe with you! Add whichever flavours you like best with lamb. I chose to make a classic lamb and rosemary pie and serve it with my mum’s homemade chutney. You can’t go wrong with that! Of course you can make your own pastry, but I reckon that store bought is a pretty great time saver.
This recipe was first published online here at ripitup.com.au.
Cook time: Lamb 2 – 3 hours; Pies 20 – 30mins
Prep time: Lamb 20 – 30 minutes; Pies, 15 – 30 minutes
Slow braised lamb
1.5 kg lamb shoulder or braising cuts
2 small brown onions, finely diced
4 garlic cloves, sliced
1 carrot, diced
1 celery stalk, sliced
2 sprigs of rosemary, plus 8 sprigs for garnish
4 bay leaves
½ red wine
Good slurp of balsamic or red wine vinegar
1 can chopped tomatoes
250ml of stock or water
Salt and pepper
12 shortcrust pastry sheets
8 puff pastry sheets
1 egg, for egg wash
Splash of milk, for egg wash
Spray oil or butter for greasing trays
Muffin tins, any size
Chutney or tomato sauce
1 Preheat your oven to about 160 degrees.
2 Cut your lamb into manageable sized pieces, about the size of large potatoes. Remove any hard sinew, leaving the fat as it’ll render and add flavour to the sauce. Rub lamb with olive oil, season with cracked black pepper and a generous amount of salt flakes.
4 Heat a heavy based saucepan and saute the onion, garlic, celery and carrot in a little olive oil on medium heat until soft and translucent. Remove and place into large oven proof dish.
5 Bump the heat up to high and begin browning the lamb. Only place two or three pieces in the pan at a time to ensure the meat doesn’t stew. This will also allow the meat to get a nice amount of caramelisation on it. Remove lamb and place in tray.
6 Once all the lamb has been browned, deglaze the pan with wine and vinegar and allow to reduce by a third. Add the chopped tomatoes and stock and let the sauce bubble away for a few minutes. Add the rosemary sprigs and bay leaves then pour over the lamb.
7 Cover the tray with aluminum foil and place in the oven to braise for 2-3 hours, or until the lamb is tender and pulls apart easily with a fork.
8 Once the lamb is cooked, remove from the oven and allow to cool in its own juices. This helps to keep the lamb moist. Once completely cooled, remove the lamb pieces and shred. Strain the sauce discarding the solids and placing the reserved liquid into bowl with the shredded lamb.
9 Heat oven to 200-220°c.
10 Prepare an egg wash by breaking the egg into a glass with the milk and mixing with a fork until the egg has been broken up.
11 Grease your muffin tins. Use cutters (or a glass or saucer as a guide) to cut rounds of short crust pastry large enough to fit as the base of the pie. Gently push the rounds into the muffin moulds. Use your fingers to smooth out the edges to get an even thickness. If you have any tears, use some pastry off cuts and smoosh some into the tear to seal it.
12 Fill pastry with lamb – you want to fill up to the top of the tin, but be careful not to overfill. Lay a smaller round of puff pastry on top, and fold overhanging shortcrust around edges to enclose, use your fingers to crimp together open gaps.
13 Brush pies with egg wash. Cut a little slice into the top of each pie and poke through a small sprig of rosemary. Bake until golden, which is usually about for 15-30 minutes depending on pie size and oven.
14 Once cooked, leave in pan for a few minutes before carefully lifting out. You might need to do a few batches depending on how many muffin tins you have. I like to place the warm tins into the fridge to help them get ice cold again ready for the next batch. While your first batch is cooking get your pastry cut out ready for the next lot!
You may need a few more pastry sheets depending on the size your moulds. If you end up with a bit of leftover meat, try turning it into a shepherd’s pie or even stir through pasta sauce for a lamb ragu. Always buy local meat and the best quality that you can afford. Also, if you don’t have muffin tins you can purchase pie casings from the supermarket, or make bigger pies using any ovenproof dish you have at home!