Spiced lamb pie

Lamb is one of my favourite meats. I had a few apricots in the cupboard which I threw in. A twist on a tagine, I loved the crispy filo topping and the burst of the pomegranate seeds.


800g lamb shoulder, fat removed, diced

3 tbsp plain flour

1 large onion finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1 tbsp ras el hanout

2 tsp ground coriander

2 tsp ground cumin

good pinch of ground cloves

good pinch of saffron

1 cinnamon stick

400g can chopped tomatoes

1 lemon, zested and juiced

1 tbsp honey

4 tbsp pomegranate molasses

270g pack filo pastry (4-6 sheets)

60g butter, melted

50g flaked almonds

50g pomegranate


Heat the oil in a large flameproof casserole dish. Toss the lamb in the flour with some seasoning, then brown it in the dish. Do this in batches so you don’t overcrowd the dish (which will cause the meat to steam instead of fry). Take your time to build up a deep brown colour, which will add lots of meaty flavour to the stew. Set the meat aside on a plate as you go.

Add the remaining oil to the dish along with the onion and garlic. Cook for 5 mins until softened, then stir in the spices, tomatoes, lemon zest and juice, honey and molasses. Fill the tomato can halfway with water, swill around and add this too. Season well, bring to a simmer and cover with a lid. Reduce the heat and cook for 2 hrs 30 mins-3 hrs or until the meat is tender. Leave to cool.

Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Transfer the meat to a pie dish that’s about 25cm wide, or leave it in the casserole if it’s wide enough to fit the topping. Unwrap the filo and brush a sheet with butter, scrunch up and place on top of the pie. Continue with the remaining sheets until the tagine is covered. Drizzle any remaining butter over the top and scatter over the almonds, then bake for 45 mins or until the pastry is crisp and golden. Scatter over the pomegranate seeds just before serving.

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