Published 11 December 2020
By James Ferguson
What do you eat when you get home after service? Or this year, it might be during furlough? James Ferguson is the chef patron of The Kinneuchar Inn, in East Neuk – a 17th century pub and restaurant – who along with partner Alethea Palmer, formerly worked at Rochelle Canteen. He serves a brilliant menu using local Scottish produce, of which pies are a regular fixture. Here he suggests a hearty pie for eating off duty.
This pie is a really good dish for cold winters nights and is a classic family dish in Yorkshire where I’m from. One of my first food memories is of my grandmother on my mum’s side cooking this for my brother and me on a Friday when she was tasked with looking after us. The pastry was always thick enough to soak up the essential juices and it was always served with mushy peas and brown sauce, very Northern!
Mutton has become a sadly under used meat in Britain. Up here in Fife we are spoilt with the quality of the local mutton and with a couple of years feeding on the lush East Neuk pastures the flavour far surpasses that of the younger lambs.
2kg boneless mutton shoulder or neck (cut in to around 2cm pieces)
4 medium size king Edward potatoes (peeled and cut in to 2cm chunks)
2 turnips (peeled, 1cm chunks)
2 large onions (sliced thinly)
3 peeled cloves of garlic
3 bay leaves
1 small bunch of thyme
2 glasses red wine
2l stock (preferably lamb)
Salt and pepper
500g self-raising flour
300g mutton or beef suet
150ml cold water
150ml cold milk
1 whole, beaten egg
Salt and black pepper
2 beaten eggs (for egg wash)
In a heavy based casserole pot, large enough to fit all the ingredients, colour off the mutton in batches until golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add the sliced onion to the fat which the mutton has created, and sweat on a medium heat until soft and sweet but not coloured. Pop in the garlic, give it a moment to get to know the onions and then add the potatoes and turnips, cook for a further 5 minutes.
Put the mutton back in with the vegetables along with the herbs and the red wine. Reduce the wine by half and then add the stock. Bring to a simmer, season and then cover the pot. Place in an oven set on 140c for approx. 2 hours until the mutton is tender. Allow to cool completely. (This could all be done a day before.)
To make the pastry, tip the self-raising flour and suet into a large bowl and season. Beat together the water, milk and egg. Make a well in the flour mixture and pour in the liquids. At first mix with a wooden spoon and then pull together with your hands to form a dough (trying not to work the pastry too much in the process). Wrap with cling film and place in the fridge for at least half an hour.
To make the pie, cut the pastry into 2 pieces (one just a tad bigger than the other). Roll the larger piece out and use it to line a 28cm, deep pie dish with a little overhang. Spoon the mutton mixture in the lined dish so that the filling comes up to the top. Now roll the rest of the pastry out so that it is about 1cm thick (it wants to be both a pie top and a dumpling) and wide enough to cover your pie with an inch to spare. Egg wash the lip of your pastry and lay the lid on to the top of the pie, making sure it is completely sealed all around. Put in the fridge and allow to rest for 45 minutes.
Trim off the excess pastry (do some fancy crimping if you like?) and egg wash the top. Bake in the oven at 180c for approximately 1hr until golden brown and piping hot. Get the Daddies sauce out!
The Kinneuchar Inn
9-11 Main Street