I cooked a huge leg of lamb for us last Sunday. It was massive at 2.5kg and £15 which is a hell of a lot of meat for only 2 people, but I bought it because Tesco were selling legs of lamb at £6/kg so I thought I might as well get a big one because it will keep us fed for ages. I've put a big chunk of the cooked meat in the freezer and we've been living off various lamb dishes for the past week and will continue to do so for another week. Then I'll be able to defrost the saved lamb in a few weeks and we'll have more lamby creations. I don't cook a roast dinner very often as it makes so much mess with all the different pans needed for all the veggies. But when I do I usually buy a big piece of meat and get the most out of it. When we get down to a few scraps left on the bone, I'll be making a big pot of stew that usually lasts for a couple of days.
After already cooking a curry and a risotto with the leftover lamb I was planning on making a shepherds pie but my boyfriend requested a pie with pastry, I didn't fancy making shortcrust pastry so I was flicking through some books for inspiration. I found a courgette and chickpea filo pie recipe in Nigella Lawson's Domestic Goddess book that I've always thought sounded good but never actually made. I used this as a very rough guideline for the amount of pastry to use and the baking time and came up with this pie filled with lamb, spinach and black eye beans.
Ingredients - serves 5-6
2 tbsp sunflower oil
1 onion, finely sliced
1 heaped tsp cumin seeds
400g tin black eye beans
260g pack fresh spinach
400g tin chopped tomatoes
300g cooked leftover roast lamb, diced
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
12 sheets filo pastry
oilve oil for brushing
Preheat the oven to 200C and start preparing the filling. Heat the oil in a large pan over a medium heat and gently fry the onions for 5 minutes until they are softened. Add the cumin seeds and fry for another 2 minutes until they begin to smell wonderfully aromatic. Drain the black eye beans and add to the pan, give them a quick stir and then add the tomatoes. Bring everything to the boil and then add the spinach and put a lid on the pan and leave for 5 minutes to allow the spinach to wilt down. Stir the wilted spinach through and add the lamb along with salt and pepper to taste. Reduce the heat slightly and cook on a fast simmer, stirring occaisonally, for 5 minutes to evaporate off some of the excess liquid. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.
Grease a 23cm non stick springform cake tin with olive oil and begin lining it with the filo pastry. Brush each layer of pastry with olive oil and use to line the tin leaving some pastry overhanging the edges. Take care not to poke holes in the pastry, I discovered that this is very easy to do! Use 9 sheets of pastry to line the tin, overlapping the layers slightly. Spoon in the filling and fold in the overhanging pastry. Scrunch up the remaining 3 sheets of pastry to create a topping for the pie and brush the whole thing with oil. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes until the pastry is golden and the filling is piping hot.
I served this quite simply with some steamed greens and as I made a big pie, the leftover pie was reheated and served with honey and mustard roasted carrots and parsnips. It's a lot easier most of the time to make a big quantity of food and reheat the leftovers rather than just cooking 2 portions. It also means that the next day you can be lazy and not cook which is a bonus.