“Spicy Lamb Pie” and “Best-Ever Mash” from “The River Cottage Family Cookbook”

Maureen: What do you think of the pie? I have to say, using the offcuts to make stars that decorate the top look really nice.

Andrew (12): This is good. I would definitely have it again.

Nicholas (8): Yum. I like the crust better than the lamb, but it’s all good.

Maureen: It must have been so good because they made the lamb mince just for us at Dring’s.

Tim: This is good. It tastes like Nigella’s Keema in a pie.

Maureen: You’re right, it does. All I’d need to do is add some frozen peas, and we’d be there.

Tim: Is the bird new?

Maureen: Yes. Just got it today at Bert & Betty’s. You know I never turn down an opportunity to buy more kitchen kit. I was always skeptical about the need for a pie funnel, I mean my mother never uses one, but I think this actually did the job. It’s meant to steam out the pie so the crust doesn’t get soggy, and that seems to have worked. No soggy bottoms here!

Maureen: Now what do you think of the mash? Hugh calls it the “Best-Ever Mash.” Do you agree?

Nicholas: It’s OK, but it’s not the best ever.

Andrew: That’s right. It’s not the best ever. Dad makes the best ever.

Maureen: You’re right. He does. That’s why I married him, because he was so good at making mashed potatoes. These are pretty good, but the ones we had last night, with double cream, were even better. And they were made by Dad. Those mashed potatoes truly were The Best Ever. Sorry Hugh.

Tim: Does he say what makes these mashed potatoes the best ever?

Maureen: He says it’s essential to heat the milk.

Tim: Heating the milk is a faff, and unnecessary. I disagree.

Maureen: Well, we gave Hugh a chance.

Cook’s Notes: Hugh gave a really good explanation on how to make pastry, but in my experience, the amount of water he said to add wasn’t enough, as the dough still wasn’t coming together. I ended up adding almost twice what he recommended. But other than that, I’d highly recommend his directions on how to make pastry if you’re nervous about doing it. Or you could follow the Nigella method and do it in a food processor. Either way, making pastry isn’t nearly as scary as some people think that it is. 



“Spicy Lamb Pie” and “Best-Ever Mash” from “The River Cottage Family Cookbook”

4 thoughts on ““Spicy Lamb Pie” and “Best-Ever Mash” from “The River Cottage Family Cookbook”

  1. Stephanie says:

    It is a delicious pie – part of my 4 weekly rota menu that’s aiming to keep things tasty and easy (I’m trying to make things a little easier and rotate our food in a 4 weekly cycle in prep for baby no.2 arriving in April). Impressed that you’re a local couple of bloggers – have you been/seen Blackheath Cooks?

    1. Maureen Stapleton says:

      I could this becoming part of our regular rotation too.

      No, I haven’t been to Blackheath Cooks, but a friend of mine did one of their Indian meals classes and he loved it. I also know some children who have done the cooking club, and they really liked it too. I’ll have to make my way over there soon.

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