I turned 35 on Saturday. My husband and I celebrated by watching a sci fi movie at the cinema and getting a bit tipsy on house red wine (it’s THAT kind of cinema, an arty subtitled films one serving wine in plastic glasses rather than vats of sugary cola) then going for Italian food at our favourite restaurant where the owner kisses your face and comments on how skinny you’re looking even when you’re not. Women love him not surprisingly. We were home by 11pm, which for us is quite a crazy one.
Now something happened on Saturday night. Call it January madness, call it the red wine talking, but well, we talked about what would happen if we had another baby. Now hold on. I know, I know! Lawrence is only 7 months old and frankly we are on our knees with sleep deprivation (not from him mind, that prize goes to poorly Son Number 2) so a sicky tired to your bones pregnancy and indeed a newborn are really not advised. Plus we have no room for another baby. Poor Lawrence already sleeps in the same room as all my things to sell on eBay and the roof box. Not for him a nursery decorated with teddy bears and a wooden train spelling his name, oh no.
Luckily the red wine that resulted in a silly conversation about 4th babies was also responsible for us falling asleep as soon as our heads hit the pillow.
Onto the recipe. This is perfect end of January fodder. It’s easy to make, the majority of the work happens in the oven without any need for prodding or poking AND it tastes perfectly moreish in a wonderful wintery way. Before you ask, yes you can use beef mince if lamb offends you. If you do this, I would advise leaving out the mint and subbing the peas for some sliced par boiled carrots or some quartered mushrooms. I would also consider sprinkling the potatoes with cheese if you go down the beef route. The cheese feels a bit much with the lamb in my humble opinion, but it’s your pie and you should do what you like).
Lamb, pea and mint pie with an easy sliced potato topping
Serves 4 – 6
- 2 medium onions, peeled and finely chopped
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- ½ tsp salt
- 500g minced lamb
- 3 tbsp plain flour
- 1 lamb stock cube
- 1 tsp dried mint/1 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
- 1 tsp dried thyme/1 tablespoon fresh thyme
- ½ tsp black pepper
- ¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- 350g frozen peas
- 900g potatoes, very thinly sliced, skin on (about 3 large potatoes)
- Extra salt and pepper to taste, a drizzle of olive oil
1) Preheat the oven to 200C/gas mark 7. Fill and boil the kettle.
2) Heat the oil in a large frying pan on a medium heat for a minute. Add the onions and the salt, soften for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3) Toss the minced lamb in the flour, coating evenly. Add to the pan of onions and brown for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
4) Place the stock cube, mint, thyme, black pepper and nutmeg into a jug and add 400mls boiling water. Stir and pour into the frying pan. Simmer for 10-15 minutes, allowing the sauce to thicken a little.
5) Place the peas into a casserole dish. In a bowl, toss the sliced potatoes in a little salt and pepper and a drizzle of olive oil.
6) Pour the lamb filling into the casserole dish and stir. Layer the top with the sliced potato. Cover with a lid/foil and bake in the oven for about 50 minutes, removing the lid/foil for the last 20 minutes.
NB: Freeze after stage 5, defrost in the fridge and bake as per instructions.