Get your pie on!
Karl Tessendorf cooks up an amazing Balsamic Lamb Pie. Fall-apart lamb, balsamic onions and crispy pastry… a match made in heaven.
When it comes to food everyone has their favourite. For me, ever since I can remember, it’s been pies. They are my absolute Achilles’ heel and for good reason. I mean who doesn’t like pastry? It’s the crispy, golden food of the gods, and when you pack it full of meat and gravy… come on. Speaking of Achilles, I’m pretty sure that had the Greeks had arrived at the gates of Troy with a boat load of pies instead of warriors, they would have had a much warmer reception.
The inspiration for this adventure comes from a trip to the Knysna Oyster Festival. After a conversation with a fellow pie enthusiast, I stopped at the Peregrine Farm Stall in Elgin on the way home. He told me that their springbok pie was his ultimate, so naturally I had to try one. I bought two just to be sure, along with two pepper steak pies – for further research purposes. I smashed one in the parking lot before leaving and I have to say, Peregrine makes a pie that I’d happily offer up to the gods.
So with a satisfied feeling in my belly and pie crumbs in my beard, I began planning my pie for Rumbling Ramblings. Originally I had another recipe in mind, which involved braaied peri-peri chicken, but after an epic dinner at a friend’s house everything changed. My friend Kate whipped up a simple red wine and balsamic braised lamb dish. As soon as I tasted it, I knew I had my pie filling. The lamb was fall-apart tender and the braising liquid had reduced to a dark, almost sticky consistency. It was sweet and tart at the same time, and because it’s made with lamb knuckle, you get to slurp the marrow out the bones.
I’ve used an easy-to-make hot water pastry because it gives a golden, buttery crust. There’s also no need to blind bake the pastry before filling, just remember to remove (and slurp) the bones before filling the pie. I’m a sucker for anything country, so I’ve used a round dish for added country charm. If you really want to evoke some children’s story book memories, you could leave it to cool by the windowsill, and let the scent of freshly baked pastry permeate the neighbourhood.
Thanks to my friend Kate for sharing the lamby goodness recipe, and to whoever invented pastry, you have my eternal gratitude.