Australia day on January 26th just would not be complete without a good, Aussie meat pie! I have made them on the blog before and normally do so with beef mince (ground beef) for the filling. Over here you can readily get them in local high-street or gourmet, boutique bakeries in such in a plethora of flavours and meats so this year I decided to 'gourmet-it-up-a-bit' and try out a recipe for a pie using slow roasted lamb as I adore cooking lamb in this manner, and Aussie lamb is a quintessential Aussie Day staple which is advertised and promoted at length in Oz around this time of the year.
With this pie you can either make a large family pie, 6-8 individual pies (as in photo) or 2 trays (24) cupcake sized party pies, therefore I have not set a quantity amount for the pastry, you can judge this when you decide which size pie you would like to make. Normally when buying pre-rolled pastry it comes in packets of 5 or 10 sheets so you should have more than enough for any of these options with a 5 sheet pack of each.
Note also ~ the lamb takes 6 hours to roast, feel free to do this the day before as store the meat in a tupperware box among with the veggies and some of the juices from the pan, overnight in the fridge before making the pies the next day if you prefer.
2.5 kg leg of lamb
16 cloves garlic, peeled
2 sticks celery
1 brown onion, peeled + roughly shopped into small pieces
750ml dry white wine
500ml free-range chicken stock
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
Zest half lemon + squeeze lemon juice
1 tbsp good quality balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp ground mace
2 tsp cornflour mixed with a tablespoon cold water
Sesame seeds to garnish (optional)
Pre-rolled shortcrust pastry
Preheat oven to 180˚C/350˚F.
Peel and top/tail the carrot then cut into 1cm rounds ~ if the slices are large half them so they all
Slice leek and celery into .5cm slices and separate all the leek rings, add to the bottom of a large baking tray along with the carrot, onion, 8 whole garlic cloves and a few sprigs of rosemary, torn into small pieces/clumps. Add 500 ml (2 cups) white wine and 250 ml 1 cup water. Place a metal meat rack on top of the veggies and set aside.
Place lamb on a clean surface and using a small sharp knife, pierce 16 small deep slits into the meat, into which you add the remaining garlic cloves and a good few small sprigs of rosemary. Place lamb onto the meat rack in the tin and season with sea salt and lots of freshly ground black pepper. Finally drizzle meat with some olive oil. Place in the oven for cook for 20 minutes at 180˚C/350˚F before turning down to 150˚C/302˚F. Roast for 6 hours. After 4.5 hours, remove the roasting dish from the oven and remove all the veggies using a slotted spoon, place in a bowl and set aside. Return the lamb to the oven.
At the 6 hour mark, when the meat is ready, remove it from the roasting tin and allow to rest for 20 minutes before shredding with 2 forks. The meat will be very crumble and moist, super stringy and literally should fall away from the leg bone. Transfer all meat to a mixing bowl and discard the bone and any excess fatty bits.
Place the roasting tin along with all its juices on a trivet on the stove top and set it over medium heat.
Add the remaining white wine, chicken stock, Worcestershire sauce, lemon zest and juice, balsamic vinegar and ground mace. Stir and simmer over low-medium heat for 15-20 minutes to infuse flavours, stirring often to incorporate any bits left on the bottom of the pan during roasting. Add the cornflour paste, stir and simmer for a further 5 minutes until slightly thickened.
Add the meat and veggies to the sauce and stir to coat well. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Grease either your family-sized pie dish, individual tins or cupcake trays with butter, line with the shortcrust pastry then freeze for 30 minutes.
Remove from freezer, add the filling and top with puff pastry sealing the edges well. Brush with egg wash, sprinkle with sesame seeds (optional) and bake in the oven until pastry is golden brown on top and cooked through on the bottom.
Serve with gourmet tomato sauce/ketchup or tomato relish.
The pie/s will keep in an air-tight tupperware container for 2-3 days. If you want to freeze them you can do so, before cooking.