These excellent little spiced pies are useful at Christmas because they can be made ahead and frozen. They are then ready if you have friends round at short notice over the busy Christmas period.
Peel the garlic and chop finely. Cut the chestnuts into pieces. Put the tomatoes into a bowl, pour boiling water over them and leave for 2 minutes, then drain, peel and cut into small pieces. Put the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat, add the garlic and spices and stir for half a minute. Then add the chopped tomatoes and stir around for 2 minutes. Turn up the heat, add the minced lamb and stir for 8-10 minutes, until the meat is browned and the juices have evaporated. Then stir in the chestnuts and remove from the heat. Cut the anchovies into small pieces and stir into the mixture. Check for seasoning and add salt to taste and more cayenne pepper if wanted. Leave to cool.
Turn the pies out on to a wire rack and leave until cold, then pack carefully in a plastic container and freeze. When you want to eat them, thaw for an hour or two in the fridge, then put on a baking tray and reheat in a moderate oven for about 15 minutes.
© 1997 Josceline Dimbleby. All rights reserved.