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Recipes

Alida Ryder’s slow-cooked lamb, rosemary and roasted garlic pie

Tender, succulent lamb in a rich sauce flavoured with rosemary and sweet roasted garlic. Is there anything better? Well, yes. "Top that with a layer of crisp, buttery puff pastry and you have pie perfection," says cookbook author, recipe developer and food stylist Alida Ryder of Simply Delicious.

Serves: 4

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 3 hours and 30 minutes

Ingredients

1 finely chopped red onion
2 finely chopped carrots
1 kg boneless cubes leg of lamb
2 teaspoons all-purpose NoMU rub
250 ml red wine
500 ml lamb stock
5 sprigs of rosemary
1 bulb garlic
salt and pepper
1 roll ready-made puff pastry
1 beaten free-range egg

Method

Alida used boneless leg of lamb cubes, but you can most certainly use a whole leg or shoulder of lamb and cook it until it falls apart. It will certainly be cheaper to do it that way if you’re making a big pie and the flavour will be slightly richer because you’ll be cooking the meat on the bone.

Many people complain that they simply don’t have time to cook pies, stews and curries during the week as these are all dishes which require long cooking, and if you don’t have a pressure cooker, it can be quite a hassle. Alida’s solution is to cook your stew, curry or pie filling the night before.

“Everyone knows that slow-cooked dishes taste better when left overnight so by cooking it the night before you are assured a delicious meal the next day plus, the flavours will be so much better. Of course, if you have a slow-cooker you can just pop all the ingredients into it in the morning and have the same result when you get back home at night. Whichever way you decide to do it, do give this pie a go,” says Alida. “It is absolutely moreish and equally suitable for a casual weeknight meal or to impress dinner guests.”

Pre-heat the oven to 160°c. In a medium, oven-proof pot, sauté the onion and carrot in a little olive oil until soft and translucent. Add the lamb and allow to brown before adding the all-purpose rub, red wine, stock and four sprigs of rosemary.

Cover the pot and place in the oven. Allow to braise for 2-3 hours until the lamb is tender and succulent.

Wrap the garlic bulb in foil and place alongside the lamb in the oven. Allow the garlic to roast for 60-90mins until sweet and soft then remove from the oven and squeeze the juicy flesh from the papery skins.

When the lamb is cooked, remove from the oven and transfer to a suitable pie dish. Top with the roasted garlic and add another sprig of fresh rosemary. Raise the temperature of the oven to 200°c. Cover the lamb with the puff pastry (cut to size) and crimp edges. Cut a slit into the pastry to allow steam to escape and brush the pastry with the beaten egg.

Place the pie into the oven and allow to bake until the pastry is golden brown and crisp (approximately 30 minutes). Remove from the oven and serve immediately.

Recipe developed for NoMU by Alida Ryder of Simply Delicious.

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