Hamilton’s Lamb Pie

This recipe is a modern tribute to older styled nose to tail eating that was once the norm of country life a few hundred years ago. Taking inspiration from antique recipes such as the Welsh Sheeps Head Pie, Mrs Beetons Lambs Brains and a few other variations I have perused and read.
The property I have in North Central Victoria can be traced back to the original squatting by William Hamilton in the 1830s. The Hamiltons made a large impact on the area running a mob estimated to vary between 8,000 and 15,000 merino sheep.
Thus the recipe pays tribute to a colonial heritage both in interpretation and name.

The making of a pie
Ingredients:
Pie:
  • 300g Lamb mince
  • 300g cubed lamb
  • Lambs Brain sauce* (see below)
  • 1/2 cup plain flour, seasoned w/ salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 large leeks, sliced
  • 2 large carrot, finely chopped
  • 2 medium potatoes, diced
  • teaspoon of paprika
  • 2 cups stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 sheets puff pastry
  • 1 egg yolk, lightly beaten (to glaze pastry)
Lambs Brain Sauce:
  • 3 lambs’ brains
  • 2 slices of bacon
  • 2 small onions, sliced
  • 1 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 clove
  • 1 bayleaf
  • salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 allspice berries
  • 1 small bunch of parsley
  • stock or weak broth
  • 2 field mushrooms
  • 150ml port wine
  • lemon juice
  • Fish sauce/anchovy sauce
Directions:
Lambs Brain Sauce:
  • Soak the brains in cold salted water for 60 minutes, and remove the membrane that covers them.
  • Fry the onions in a little butter until nicely browned (about 10 minutes) then place in a pan with the mushrooms, Port wine bayleaf, clove, allspice and a little lamb stock
  • Add the seasonings, herbs and spices, bring to a simmer and cook gently for 10 minutes, stirring constantly.
  • In the meantime, cook the brains in lamb stock on medium heat for about 15 minutes,
  • Remove brains with a spider and plunge in cold water to prevent any further cooking., chop into small pieces and set aside
  • Remove the sauce from the heat and pass through a fine-meshed sieve.
  • Melt butter in the pan, brown some bacon pieces – slowly adding the sieved sauce mix and then flour to produce a thick but not pasty sauce.
  • Stir in the chopped brains, parsley, lemon juice and anchovy sauce.
  • If the mixture is too thin, add a little more flour and if it is too thick, add milk to thin it.
Pie:
  • Toss lamb cubes in paprika and seasoned flour and brown in batches over medium heat.
  • Remove meat from pan and set aside.
  • Fry onion, garlic and leek for 5 minutes.
  • Add the mince and brown.
  • Add the cubed meat, carrot, potato, stock and bay leaf, and bring to the boil.
  • Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Uncover and simmer for another 30 minutes or until the liquid has reduced and thickened.
  • Remove bay leaf and stir in the lambs brain sauce gently
  • Set aside to cool.
  • Preheat oven to 200°C.
  • Grease an 18 cm pie dish, pour meat mixture in and top with pastry.
  • Brush pastry with beaten egg
  • Bake for 45 minutes at 180°C

Preparation of the filling

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