A classic dish with a twist!


  • pie filling
  • 300 g lamb shoulder or lamb neck (evenly diced 6-8mm sq skin, excess fat & sinew removed)
  • 300 g lamb breast (minced and skin, excess fat & sinew removed)
  • 100 g chicken livers (cleaned & chopped)
  • 2 tblsp rape seed oil
  • 25 g plain flour
  • 300 g spanish onions (chopped)
  • 100 g carrots (peeled & diced 5mm)
  • 100 g butternut squash (or other variety of squash, peeled & diced 8mm)
  • 2 cloves of garlic (peeled & chopped)
  • 1 tsp ginger (grated or finely chopped)
  • 50 g tomato purée concentrate
  • 400-500 ml vegetable stock or water
  • 1.5 tsp salt to taste
  • 2 tsp black mustard seeds, 1tsp ginger powder, 1tsp cumin, 1 tsp turmeric, 3 cloves ground, 1tsp ground cassia (or cinnamon)
  • 0.5 tsp sugar
  • dash best red wine vinegar (to help balance and layer-up the flavours)
  • unctuous mash for the topping or ‘mash cap’
  • 750 g maris peer/golden wonder (boiled, skin -on in plenty of sea salt)
  • 150 g unsalted butter (diced & chilled)
  • 150-200ml milk full fat milk just under boiling infused with 15-20g green saffron garam masala spices – important don’t boil


  • Prepare all ingredients, as shown above.
  • Take a large, thick-bottomed casserole, heat it gently, add the rape seed oil, then the mince and sauté until it’s nicely brown & caramelised.
  • Remove the mince with a slotted spoon and put aside.
  • Repeat with the diced lamb and when it’s done remove the meat and again put aside.
  • Lower the heat under the casserole dish, add the chicken livers, onions, carrots, garlic, ginger and squash, stir and gently sweat for 10mins, trying to avoid browning the vegetables.
  • Add the fresh spice and blend, stir and continue to cook for 2 minutes.
  • Then, add the plain flour, tomato purée and, with a spatula or wooden spoon stir, gently stir, making sure it doesn’t all stick to bottom of pan.
  • Mix all the ingredients well, add the both types of browned lamb, pour in just enough stock to cover all the ingredients, place a lid on and cook at the barest simmer for around 45mins to an hour.
  • (NB: You may need to top up the sauce with stock or water as required.)
  • After the hour’s cooking, the sauce or ‘ragout’ should have taken-on a lovely gloss and the liquor will be slightly thickened, unctuous and coat the back of a spoon well. If not, then reduce the mix a little more over a slightly higher heat, but don’t go too mad and dry the dish out completely!
  • Finally allow the sauce to cool completely. It’s best left for 1 or 2 days in the fridge or you can even freeze it if you decide to make a bigger batch.
  • Mash Method:
  • Gently boil the potatoes with a generous handful of salt until cooked.
  • Next, peel the potatoes and whilst still hot pass thru a potato press, ‘ricer’ or sieve, straight into a warm non-stick pan
  • Mix in the diced, cold butter then slowly pour in the hot milk in a continuous stream until all milk is absorbed. (I find a wooden spoon is best for this.)
  • Then, grab a whisk and beat it until smooth and light. Don’t over whisk or it will go gloopy!
  • Correct the seasoning, as you’d like.
  • Transfer your lamb ragout to your favourite pie dish, then immediately pipe or spoon the warm mash over it.
  • Dot the ‘mash cap’ with small, chilled butter cubes, pop into your oven and bake at 170°c until it just starts to bubble and the juices spill up and over the sides.
  • (Serve with autumnal greens, mashed or roast squash. Try with a grilled slice of crusty country baguette infused with butter, garlic & a sprinkling of Green Saffron’s Garam Masala to really get those taste buds tingling.)

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