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Italian Lamb and Sausage Pie

Lamb and Sausage Pie

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Makes 1 pie, serves 10 to 12.
By Dennis W. Viau; inspired by a recipe seen in a food magazine.

Lamb and Sausage Pie is probably the most delicious savory pie I make. I like meat pies, especially when they can be made with a fancy but easy pastry shell. They look beautiful and taste delicious. This pie is also appropriate for summer fare, as it tastes as good at room temperature as it does warm from the oven.

Ingredients:

For the filling:
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 ounces (113g) sweet chorizo (buy the good stuff)
1 pound (454g) trimmed lean lamb; cut into ½-inch (13mm) pieces
Salt and pepper
2 medium-sized sweet onions; chopped
2 cloves garlic; minced or crushed with a garlic press
¼ teaspoon ground rosemary
½ cup (118ml) dry white wine
¼ ounce (7g) fresh basil leaves (stems removed); coarsely chopped
2 ounces (57g) prosciutto; diced
4 ounces (113g) linguiça; diced
2 eggs
For the pastry shell:
1 16-ounce (454g) package phyllo pastry sheets; thawed
½ cup (113g) butter; melted

Directions:

To prepare the filling:
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Sauté the chorizo 2 minutes and then transfer to a bowl, reserving the oil in the pan. Sprinkle the lamb with salt and pepper. Sauté until lightly browned on all sides, about 4 minutes. Transfer to the bowl. Sauté the onions and garlic about 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook the onions until tender, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. Return the lamb and chorizo to the skillet. Add the wine and rosemary. Simmer until nearly all the liquid is evaporated. Add the prosciutto and linguiça. Stir and sauté another 2 minutes. Let cool. Beat one egg and add to the cooled filling mixture. Blend well.

To prepare the top and bottom crust:
Working with half the phyllo sheets, place one sheet on a work surface and brush lightly with melted butter. Arrange a second sheet on top, at a different angle, and brush with butter. Continue until all the sheets are used from half the package. If you are using a 9-inch (24cm) springform pan your bottom crust should measure about 15 inches (38cm) in diameter.

Use the same method to make the top crust, but wait until it is needed (or make in advance, trim, and wrap in plastic until needed). Trim to fit inside the filled pie.

To assemble pie:
Heat oven to 375°F (190°C).

Carefully arrange the bottom pastry shell in a springform pan, distributing the excess around the sides. Add the cooled filling and arrange evenly. Set the top crust in place. Beat the remaining egg with 1 to 2 teaspoons of water to make an egg wash. Brush around the edges with a coating of egg wash and fold down the sides to seal. Brush the entire top surface with egg wash.

Bake 35 to 40 minutes, until the top is golden brown. Let cool 15 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

If the filling is prepared correctly, there should be little to no liquid in the bottom of the pie shell. One way to avoid too much liquid is to dust the lamb with a little flour or bread crumbs before browning.