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Herdwick Lamb, Damson and Juniper pie

By Caroline Watson

Recipe Stats

meat piePrep time: 30 mins
Cook time: 2 hrs 40 mins
Serves: 6

A traditional British recipe for a hearty lamb pie from Caroline Watson


For the shortcrust pastry
500g (2 cups) plain flour
230g (1 cup) salted butter
1 tsp dry mustard
beaten eggs, to glaze

For the filling
1-2 tbsp oil
1kg (2-1/4 lbs) Herdwick hogget or other boneless lamb shoulder, cubed
4 onions, chopped
1 swede, chopped
600ml (2-1/3 cups) local stout or ale
100g (1/2 cup) black pudding, chopped
200g (1 cup) damsons, stoned
1 tsp juniper berries, ground
1 small jar damson jam
1/2 tsp dried garlic
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp Hawkshead relish or Worcestershire sauce


1. For the pastry: sift the flour into a mixing bowl and rub in the butter with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the dry mustard and just enough cold water to bring the mixture together into a soft dough. Turn this on to a lightly floured board and knead it lightly until smooth, then form it into a ball. Wrap it in cling film and put it in the fridge while you make the filling.

2. For the filling: Preheat the oven to 170C/gas 3. Heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium-high heat. Brown the lamb in batches and transfer it to a large flameproof casserole. Add the onion and swede to the frying pan and cook until softened and turning golden, then stir them into the lamb. Add all the remaining filling ingredients to the casserole and top it up with as much water as needed to cover. Cover with a lid and put in the oven for 2 hours (or simmer over a low heat) until the meat is tender. Remove the casserole from the oven or hob and allow it to cool.

3. An hour before you want to serve, preheat the oven to 170C/gas 3 (338F). Take the dough out of the fridge, allow it to warm up a little and then roll it out on a lightly floured board. Use two-thirds to line a large pie dish and fill this with the lamb mixture. Cover the lamb with the remaining dough and crimp the edge to seal. Brush the beaten egg over the top to glaze. Cut a small hole in the top to allow the steam to escape during baking. Put the pie dish on a baking sheet and bake for 40 minutes, or until the pastry is golden.

Heritage Meats specializes in Herdwick lamb, hogget, mutton and galloway beef, all reared free range on the lake district fells. Sold fresh, direct from the farm.

Editor’s Note

Substitutions and Supplies

Some of the ingredients in this recipe have unusual names or may not be readily available in your area, so I’ve compiled some definitions, substitutions and links for where you can purchase them from Amazon.

Swede – also known as a yellow turnip, Swedish turnip or Russion turnip. In the US, is is commonly referred to as a rutabaga.

Black Pudding – a type of blood sausage commonly eaten in Great Britain, Ireland and parts of Europe

Damson – A type of plum with a higher sugar content and astringency than norma plums. You can use a prune plum instead.

Juniper Berries – If you can’t find these locally (they are uncommon in American cooking) and don’t want to order online, here are some substituion ideas:

1 tsp. ground juniper berries = 8 whole berries
1 sprig of rosemary = four berries
1 crushed bay leaf = six berries


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