Dingle Pie


This is a favourite recipe which was adapted by my mother-in-law, Myrtle Allen, from an old traditional recipe. It is wonderful served either hot or cold and makes marvellous picnic food. The secret is the cumin seed, a widely available spice which is particularly good with lamb.


  • 1 lb (450 g) boneless lamb or mutton (from the shoulder or leg; keep bones for stock)
  • 9 ozs (275 g/ cups) chopped onions
  • 9 ozs (275 g/ cups) chopped carrots
  • 1 good teasp. cumin seed
  • 10 fl ozs (300 ml/ cups) mutton or lamb stock
  • 2 tablesp. flour
  • salt and freshly ground pepper


  • lamb bones from the meat
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 onion
  • outside stalk of celery
  • a bouquet garni made up of a sprig of thyme, parsley stalks, a small bay leaf


  • 1 lb (450 g/ cups) flour
  • 9 ozs (275 g/ sticks) butter
  • 6 fl ozs (175 ml/¾ cup) water
  • a pinch of salt

Egg wash

  • 1 egg
  • a pinch of salt

2 tins 6 inches (15 cm) in diameter, 1½ inches (4 cm) high


If no stock is available, put the bones, carrots, onions, celery and bouquet garni into a saucepan. Cover with cold water and simmer for 3–4 hours to make a stock. Cut all the surplus fat away from the meat and then cut the meat into small, neat pieces about the size of a small sugar lump. Render down the scraps of fat in a hot, wide saucepan until the fat runs. Discard the pieces. Cut the vegetables into slightly smaller dice and toss them in the fat, leaving them to cook for 3–4 minutes. Remove the vegetables and toss the meat in the remaining fat over a high heat until the colour turns.

Heat the cumin seed in the oven for a few minutes and crush lightly. Stir the flour and cumin seed into the meat. Cook gently for 2 minutes and blend in the stock gradually. Bring to the boil, stirring occasionally. Add back the vegetables, season with salt and freshly ground pepper and leave to simmer in a covered pot. If using young lamb, 30 minutes will be sufficient; an older animal may take up to 1 hour.

Meanwhile, make the pastry. Sieve the flour and salt into a mixing bowl and make a well in the centre. Dice the butter, put it into a saucepan with water and bring to the boil. Pour the liquid all at once into the flour and mix together quickly; beat until smooth. At first the pastry will be too soft to handle but as it cools it may be rolled out ⅛–¼ inch (2.5–5 mm) thick, to fit the two tins. The pastry may be made into individual pies or one large pie. Keep back one-third of the pastry for lids.

Fill the pastry-lined tins with the meat mixture which should be almost, but not quite, cooked and cooled a little. Brush the edges of the pastry with the water and egg wash and put on the pastry lids, pinching them tightly together. Roll out the trimmings to make pastry leaves or twirls to decorate the tops of the pies; make a hole in the centre, egg-wash the lid and then egg-wash the decoration also.

Bake the pies for 40 minutes approx. at 200°C/400°F/regulo 6. Serve with a good Green Salad.