Lamb Paprika Pie with Potato Pastry

Pies always impress and excite. They offer an element of surprise, rather like opening a present. This potato pastry is a good way to use up leftover mashed potato, and it is also delicious.

Ingredients

  • 675 g/ lb lamb fillets
  • 1 large red pepper
  • 175 g/6 oz chestnut mushrooms
  • 2 large cloves garlic
  • 15 g/½ oz butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 rounded tablespoons plain flour
  • 300 ml/½ pint milk
  • 300 ml/½ pint soured cream
  • 2 rounded teaspoons whole grain mustard
  • 1 rounded teaspoon caster sugar
  • 3-4 pinches cayenne pepper
  • salt

For the pastry

  • 100 g/4 oz plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • good pinch of salt
  • 100 g/4 oz cold butter
  • 175 g/6 oz cold mashed potato
  • a little milk for brushing

Method

Preheat the oven to 150°C/300°F/gas mark 2. Slice the lamb fillets across at 1.25 cm/½ in intervals. Halve the pepper, discard the seeds and stem and chop the flesh very small. Halve the mushrooms. Peel the garlic and chop finely.

Melt the butter and oil in a heatproof casserole over a medium heat. Add the paprika and stir for 1 minute, then add the chopped pepper, garlic, mushrooms and lamb. Using a wooden spoon, stir to coat them with oil, then remove from the heat and stir in the flour. Gradually add the milk and soured cream, then stir in the mustard and sugar. Add a sprinkling of salt and stir until smooth. Put the casserole back on top of the stove and bring to the boil, stirring all the time as the liquid thickens. When bubbling, cover and transfer to the centre of the oven. Cook for 1½ hours or until the lamb is tender, then add cayenne pepper to taste and more salt if necessary. Turn the mixture into a pie plate, deep flan dish or gratin dish, filling it almost to the top, and leave until cold.

Meanwhile, make the pastry. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Cut the butter into small pieces and rub it into the flour until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Work in the mashed potato by hand and knead slightly until you have a smooth dough. Form it into a ball, wrap in cling film and leave in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/gas mark 5. Roll out the pastry on a floured board into a piece large enough to cover the dish of lamb. Moisten the edges of the dish. Roll the pastry back over the rolling pin and out again on to the dish. Trim the edges and make indentations round them with the back of the knife. Roll the trimmings out to make decorations for the top of the pie. Brush the pastry with milk and cook in the centre of the oven for 25-35 minutes, until golden brown.