mum’s lamb curry pies

When I was growing up roast lamb was one of the traditional New Zealand dinners Mum made – and she still does a good one. Often she would cook a big leg and there would be lamby leftovers to use in sandwiches with soft white bread and a good tomato relish (yum), or if there was enough she would turn the lamb into dinner number two as a ‘curry’. I use the term curry very loosely indeed, as it was  the 1970s and it was a creation which I suspect bears little resemblance to anything you would ever find in India. It’s another of those things like Coronation Chicken that is more like an Englishman’s version of a curry. Any old hoo, it is not authentic, but it is ridiculously tasty. It is not however particularly attractive on its own, but bung it in a pie, et voila, pastry enhanced perfection with a good dollop of chutney on the side. (PS – if you’ve just arrived for the first time via Food 52 – welcome! I hope you have a good poke around the blog, there are over 150 recipes here for you to explore…and do feel free to leave a comment or come over and say ‘hi at my Facebook page, I’d love to hear from you! )

You will need at least 5 cups of left-over roast lamb for this recipe

2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 stick celery, finely sliced
1 tbsp curry powder
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 large green apple, peeled and cubed
2 tbsp tomato paste
2/3 cup tomato or mango chutney
½ cup cream
½ cup sultanas

750g puff pastry
1 egg, whisked with 1 tbsp milk
2 tbsp sesame seeds

Shred lamb and put to one side. Heat oil in a large heavy based casserole dish and cook onion, celery, curry powder, sea salt and pepper together over a medium heat for 12-15 minutes until the onion is softened but not coloured. Add apple, tomato paste, chutney, cream, sultanas and lamb and continue to cook, stirring occasionally for a further fifteen minutes until it is all heated through and blended and you are using all your will power not to eat it out of the pot. Put in the fridge to cool while you prepare the tin/s. You will need around  750g of ready rolled puff pastry sheets. Using either 6 individual cm pie tins, or one large  cm tin (or a combination of whatever you fancy) spray each of the tins with a little rice bran oil then line with pastry, squishing edges and overlaps together, and making sure there is a little overhang around the top edges. Spoon cooled mix into the tins, brush the edges with whisked egg, then cut out and top with pastry lids – with an equal extra bit to match up with the overhang (obviously putting the tins on the pastry and cutting around the outside with a little extra room is the best way to do this).  Squish overhang edges together, trim neatly(ish) and press with the tines of a fork or your thumb. Decorate as you wish (go wild, this is the fun bit) then refrigerate while oven pre-heats to 180˚C ( 370˚F ). When ready, cook for 35 minutes for smaller pies and 45 minutes for large. Serve with potato mash, a simple green salad and a big dollop of good quality chutney. Perfect for Sunday night in, or watching your favourite sport (so cliched for a Kiwi but for me it’s always rugby) or the season finale of Project Runway – go Sean Kelly! Serves 6


  1. I just pressure-cooked 5 lb. of lamb neck bones and pulled about 2 lb. of meat from them. I was having a hard time deciding what to make with it — until now! This looks and sounds amazing! (Can't seem to get my Google account to work so sorry for the anonymous post. My name is Karen Chrestay).

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