Mutton Pie à la Reform

This pie was served at the Reform Club in the middle of the nineteenth century. The recipe was probably devised by the great chef Alexis Soyer, at the request of one of the members. The pie must be made in two stages and takes at least one hour to prepare, apart from the pastry, but it is a most impressive and worthwhile dish for a special occasion. Nothing should be offered with it except a green salad served on a separate plate to each guest.

Ingredients

  • 12 lamb chops, boned
  • ¼ lb (120 g) home-cooked ham, chopped
  • ¼ lb (120 g) mushrooms, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 7 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¾ lb (360 g) rough puff or flaky pastry

The Sauce

  • 1 onion stuck with 6 cloves
  • cups (6 dl) stock (a stock cube will do)
  • 1 tablespoon (15 g) flour
  • 2 tablespoons (30 g) butter
  • cup (1.5 dl) red wine
  • 3 teaspoons red-currant jelly

Method

First make the sauce. Put the onion in the stock and boil until the liquid is reduced by about one-third. Remove the onion and thicken the stock using the flour and butter to make a brown roux. Add the red wine and stir in the red-currant jelly. Keep hot.

Remove the centre round of meat (the eye) from each lamb chop. Cut the rest of the meat finely and mix with the ham, mushrooms, dried herbs and seasonings.

Lay half of the meat rounds in a pie dish. Cover with half the ham mixture. Lay the remaining meat rounds on top and cover with the rest of the ham mixture. Pour over the hot sauce. Cover the dish with a piece of foil and allow to get almost completely cold before putting on the pastry. (By covering, none of the flavour and aroma are lost and the lamb is slightly impregnated by the hot sauce.)

Cover the pie with the pastry and bake in a very hot oven, 450°F (230°C, Gas Mark 8), for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350°F (180°C, Gas Mark 4), put the pie on a lower shelf and cook for a further 30 minutes, covering the pastry with foil to prevent over-browning, if necessary.

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