Individual Lamb Pies
With single-serving pies, everyone gets plenty of crust. These lamb pies, an interesting alternative to the familiar English shepherd's pie, are heady with ginger, thyme, and cloves, with a pleasing touch of richness from red wine and sweetness from prunes.
- Servings: 4
Photography: Dana Gallagher
Source: Martha Stewart Living, October 2005
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 pound lamb stew meat, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
- Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 2 celery stalks, cut into 1/4-inch dice
- 4 ounces white button mushrooms, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
- 1 piece (1 inch) peeled fresh ginger minced (about 1 tablespoon)
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, coarsely chopped
- Pinch of ground cloves
- 1 cup homemade or low-sodium store-bought lamb or beef stock
- 1/2 cup dry red wine
- 4 ounces pitted prunes, halved
- Short Pastry Crust
- All-purpose flour, for work surface
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream
- 1 large egg yolk
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a medium-heavy pot over medium-high heat. Season lamb with salt and pepper. Cook lamb until browned on all sides, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl. Add remaining tablespoon oil to the pot. Add onion, celery, and mushrooms; cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened, about 6 minutes. Stir in ginger, thyme, cloves, lamb, stock, wine, and 1/2 cup water. Bring to a simmer; cover, and reduce heat to medium-low. Gently simmer until lamb is tender, about 2 hours. Stir in prunes. Season with salt and pepper. Let cool completely.
Divide dough in half. Wrap half in plastic; refrigerate until ready to use. Roll out other dough half on a lightly floured surface to a 1/4-inch thickness. Cut out four 6-inch rounds. Transfer 1 round to each of four 5-inch pie plates. Divide stew among pies. Roll out remaining dough a 1/4-inch thickness. Cut out four 7-inch rounds. Randomly punch out circles from rounds with a 1/2 inch round pastry tip (such as Ateco #806). Cover each pie with a round. Tuck edges under; press gently to seal. Refrigerate until cold, about 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Whisk cream and egg yolk in a small bowl. Brush crusts with egg wash. Bake pies on a rimmed baking sheet until crusts are golden brown and juices are bubbling, about 30 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly, about 15 minutes.