Ras el Hanout recipe

Moroccan lamb and apricot pie 

This recipe is from bloggers Rosemary and Pork Belly (www.rosemaryandporkbelly.co.uk) who have used it to create a fusion dish – combining a Moroccan influenced tagine with a great British pie! This dish does take a little planning and preparation as the meat needs to be marinated for several hours – overnight if possible.

This recipe makes 8 individual pies (about 5 inches across) and can be served hot as a main meal or cold – perfect for picnics

 

Ingredients

Filling

  • 1kg diced lamb shoulder
  • 4 heaped teaspoons Pinch Organic Ras el Hanout
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 onions
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 60g sultanas or raisins
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 400ml lamb stock 
  • 2 tablespoons of tomato puree
  • 350g apricots

Pastry

  • 950g flour – half strong and half plain
  • 150g butter
  • 200g lard
  • 250ml boiling water
  • 2 teaspoons salt (optional and not necessary if you used salted butter)
     

Method

Filling

Toss the diced lamb in the olive oil and half the ras el hanout and leave for at least 4 hours – overnight is best
Put a knob of butter in a deep, heavy-based casserole and add the seasoned meat in small batches. Remove when it is browned nicely on all sides.
Peel and roughly chop the onions, then peel and finely slice the garlic. Add to the pan with the remaining spices and allow to soften and colour lightly. Stir regularly over a moderate heat so that the spices flavour the onions but do not burn.
Add the sultanas, honey, stock, tomato puree and apricots and then return the meat to the pan. Bring to the boil, season with salt and black pepper, then cover with a lid and place in the oven.
Cook for about one and a half hours at gas mark 3 until meat is tender. Set aside to cool. Overnight in the fridge allows the flavours to develop fully.

Pastry

Rub the butter into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs.
Warm the lard in a large saucepan until it melts – do not overheat. Remove the pan from the heat and gently pour in the boiling water, add salt if you wish, then pour the mixture over the flour and mix quickly to form a dough. Use a palette knife until the mixture has cooled enough to work it with your hands, then continue to knead it until it is evenly mixed. Shape into a ball, wrap in film and leave to cool.
Flour a work surface and roll the dough out until it is ¾ cm thick, fold it in on itself in thirds then roll and fold again. Repeat the “roll and fold” one more time then leave the dough to rest for about 20 minutes.
Roll the pastry out into a circle then use a pie shaper, bowl, jar or anything that you want to make the pie base. If you want one big pie you can use a pie dish.
Fill the pie bases with sufficient mixture to almost reach the top. Brush the edges with beaten egg,  roll out more pastry and cover. Flute the edges and brush beaten egg over top and sides.
Bake in the oven at gas mark 6 for about 30 minutes until golden brown.

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