THIS FAMOUS pie, whose spices bring to mind the meat pies of Arab and Sephardic traditions, is unique to Cephalonia and very different from the pies baked in other parts of Greece. Marinated finely chopped lamb and pork, tomato, rice and cheese are mixed together, seasoned with cinnamon, allspice, orange zest and all sorts of fresh and dried herbs and cooked slowly in the oven between two layers of rich phyllo pastry. My version is loosely based on a recipe I got from Gerasimos Konstantatos, a friend from Cephalonia. It was passed down from his mother, and he assures me it is the best he has ever tasted on the island or in the homes of his relatives in Athens.
This is an ideal party dish, since it can be made ahead and it serves a large group. It can easily be halved, but since the preparation involves quite a bit of time, I suggest you bake a large pie anyway, then freeze half of it as soon as it cools.
In a medium bowl, combine the lamb,
In a large, deep skillet with a lid, heat the remaining
Add the cheese, stock, parsley, dill, orange zest, cinnamon and salt to taste to the lamb mixture. Add the eggs and mix well.
Briefly knead 2 sheets of the puff pastry together, then roll out on a lightly floured surface. Line a 12-x-18-inch baking dish with the pastry, trimming it to a 1-inch overhang. Add the filling and smooth with a spatula. Stretch the remaining sheet of puff pastry to cover the filling.
Fold the overhanging bottom pastry up over the top crust and pinch the edges together to seal, crimping them to make a neat cord around the edge of the pan (see illustrations). Flatten the cord with the tines of a fork to prevent it from sticking up, or it will burn during baking. Brush the top generously with the milk.
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