In celebration of British Pie Week (7th – 13th March 2016), I am posting a recipe for a lovely „Braised Hogget Pie“. Another keeper of a recipe from James Martin. The recipe calls for a shoulder of a hogget that has been de-boned. After the meat is seared in a hot pan, it is braised, shredded, and then finally made into a lovely pie.
„Hogget“ is the name given to a young sheep that is between one and two years of age, and it has a much deeper and more pronounced flavor than young lamb. It lends itself well to this kind of braising or slow cooking to make it nice and tender. However, if you are unable to find hogget at your favorite butcher shop, you can always try this dish with lamb shoulder instead. I did too. This recipe works brilliantly with lamb shoulder.
Lamb is the simplest of the red meats and the most versatile. If you make this recipe with lamb shoulder, you will notice that it is a superb roasting joint that is surprisingly inexpensive and packed with lots of flavor. It can be bought on or off the bone and as a whole shoulder, will lend enough meat for 4 to 6 hungry eaters. As a rule of thumb, the color and flavor of the meat will vary depending on where the sheep were raised.
In this recipe the two-hour slow braise allows the generous layers of fat to melt away, leaving tender meat that can easily be shredded, much like pulled-pork, only far superior in taste.
Braised Hogget Pie
(Inspired by James Martin: More Home Comforts (page 49)
- 1.5kg (3lb 5oz) boneless shoulder of hogget (or use lamb shoulder instead)
- 6 banana shallots, roughly sliced
- 2 tbsp tomato purée
- 4 garlic cloves, crushed
- 4 carrots, cubed
- 2 celery stalks, sliced
- 1 small bunch fresh thyme, leaves only
- 750 ml bottle of a high-quality red wine
- 500 ml (18fl oz) lamb stock (preferably homemade or use a high-quality store-bought one)
- 1 kg (2lb 4oz) potatoes, peeled and thickly sliced
- 50 grams (2oz) butter
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 200° Celsius (375°Fahrenheit).
- Season the meat all over with plenty of salt and pepper.
- Heat a large, heavy-based casserole over a medium heat. When the pan is hot, add the seasoned meat and fry for a couple of minutes on all sides, until browned all over. Remove from the pan and set aside.
- Add the shallots and tomato purée to the casserole and fry in the lamb juices for 2 to 3 minutes, until softened, stirring well.
- Add the garlic, carrots and celery and continue to fry for 3 to 4 minutes, until softened, stirring well.
- Add the thyme leaves and red wine and bring the mixture to the boil.
- Return the meat to the pan, pour over the lamb stock, then return the mixture to the boil.
- Transfer the casserole to the oven and cook for a good 2 hours (no need for basting during the braising time, just put it in the oven and leave it).
- After 2 hours, lift the meat out of the casserole and set aside on a board to cool slightly.
- Taste the sauce and add more salt and pepper if needed.
- Tear the meat into strips and return them to the casserole, mixing them into the sauce.
- Layer the sliced potatoes over the top of the casserole and generously dot with butter.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Return the casserole to the oven for a further 30 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender and golden-brown and the casserole is bubbling.
This hearty lamb hotpot topped with sliced potatoes is a delicious dish to share with family or friends.
And „when food looks that good, you just know that it is going to taste great!“