Lamb, Chickpea & Eggplant Pie

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • Makes

    6

Appears in

Bourke Street Bakery

By Paul Allam and David McGuinness

Published 2009

  • About

Mince pies are always a bit sloppy and this minced lamb pie is no exception. The degree of eating difficulty may be high, but the flavour makes it well worthwhile! You can also use lamb shoulder to make a chunkier pie or omit the pastry and make a delicious casserole instead.

Ingredients

  • 75 g ( oz/ cup) chickpeas
  • 500 ml (17 fl oz/2 cups) water
  • 300 g (10½ oz) eggplants (aubergines)
  • 70 ml ( fl oz) extra virgin olive oil
  • 60 g ( oz) brown onions, finely chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 600 g (1 lb 5 oz) minced (ground) lamb
  • 150 g ( oz) plain yoghurt
  • finely grated zest of 2 lemons
  • 5 g ( oz/1 teaspoon) salt
  • g ( oz/½ teaspoon) white pepper
  • 4 g ( oz/1 teaspoon) potato flour
  • 1 large handful coriander leaves
  • 1 quantity savoury shortcrust pastry
  • ½ quantity puff pastry
  • egg wash, for brushing

Method

Put the chickpeas in a bowl and cover with water. Leave them to soak overnight, then drain well.

Place the drained chickpeas in a saucepan over high heat and add the water. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer until just tender. Remove from the heat and allow to cool in the water. Drain well.

Cut the eggplants in half and place on a baking tray lined with baking paper, cut side down. Drizzle over half of the olive oil and cook in the oven for 20–30 minutes, or until softened. Allow to cool a little, then use a spoon to scoop out the flesh and discard the skin. Set aside.

Heat the remaining oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 5 minutes, or until softened. Add the cumin seeds and cook for 2–3 minutes, stirring well. Add the lamb and cook for 5 minutes, stirring to break up any large lumps of meat. Add the yoghurt, lemon zest, salt and pepper.

Pour enough water into the pan to cover the lamb. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 2 hours, skimming the scum from the surface and stirring every 30 minutes, until the lamb is tender.

Add the cooked chickpeas and eggplant to the lamb mixture and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring to combine, until all the flavours are incorporated. Strain off the liquid into another saucepan, reserving the mince mixture in a large container. Continue to cook the liquid over high heat until reduced by one-third. Remove from the heat. Mix together the potato flour and 2 teaspoons water and add to the cooking liquid, then add this to the lamb mixture and stir well. Stir through the coriander and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Allow to cool.

Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F/Gas 6). Roll out the savoury pastry following the instructions and use it to line the base and sides of six 12.5 cm ( inch) pie tins. Roll out the puff pastry following the instructions and cut out six circles with a 13.5 cm ( inch) diameter to make the pie lids.

Spoon the mixture into the pastry-lined pie tins, filling them to the brim. To attach the puff pastry lids, brush the rim of the pastry base and lid with a little egg wash and lay the lid over the base. Pinch gently between your thumb and index finger to make a good seal around the circumference edge. Brush the top of the pie lid with egg wash and make a small hole in the middle to allow steam to escape. Reduce the oven temperature to 180°C (350°F/Gas 4) and bake the pies for 30–35 minutes, or until golden brown on top. Remove the pies from the tins and leave to cool for a few minutes before serving.