Lamb & Sweet Potato Pot Pie


1 pound lamb, cubed
2 celery stalks, sliced
1/2 large red onion, chopped
2 large sweet potatoes, parboiled, peeled and cubed
1 cup frozen peas
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds
1 bay leaf
3 tablespoons flour
3 ounces demi glace
1 cup red wine
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1/2 tablespoon black pepper
Olive oil

Crust (adapted from Simply Recipes)
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme, chopped
Zest of 1 orange, minced
Zest of 1 lemon, minced
3/4 cup butter, chilled and cubed
1/2 cup shortening
6-8 tablespoons ice water
1 1/2 tablespoons milk


1.  Start with crust.  Combine flour, sugar, rosemary, thyme and salt in a large bowl.  Add chilled butter and combine with a pastry blender.

2.  Add shortening and combine to cut into flour and butter mixture.  Mixture should resemble coarse cornmeal.

3.  Slowly add ice water by tablespoons.  Mix well after each addition until dough begins to stick together.

4.  Place dough on a flat surface and divide into 2 even pieces.  Roll into balls, dust lightly with flour and wrap in plastic.  Place in fridge for at least an hour.

5.  Toss lamb with salt, pepper, caraway seeds, garlic and flour.  Set aside.

6. As dough chills, swirl a bit of olive oil in the bottom of a very wide and deep pan. When sizzling, add lamb pieces and cook on medium heat until just browned.  Scoop onto a separate plate.

7. If necessary, swirl a bit more olive oil in the same pan.  Scrape up all the drippings on the pan, then slide onion and celery, cooking down until they soften and go translucent.

8.  Pour in wine and demi glace.  Stir well.  Add lamb back to the vegetables, followed by peas and bay leaf.   Cover, turn down to a simmer and cook about 15 minutes.

9.  Stir together water and cornstarch and pour into lamb and veggies.  Mix well.  Add sweet potatoes and cook another 5-7 minutes.  Remove from heat and cool completely.  Remove bay leaf.

10.  Once filling has cooled, take chilled dough and, on a floured surface, roll one ball for bottom crust layer.  Drop in 9-inch pie dish and trim edges.  Place in the fridge and roll second piece of dough for top.

11.  Remove bottom crust layer from fridge and pour in filling.  Top with second layer and trim edges if necessary.  Roll top crust edge over bottom crust.  Put back in the fridge or pop in freezer 2-4 minutes for a quick chill if dough feels at all soft.*

12.  Just before baking, brush milk over top crust. Bake in a preheated oven at 375 degrees for 45-50 minutes or until golden brown.

*Here’s where you can make this dish early. Let the filling cool completely in the fridge.  When cool, assemble pie with both layers and filling and chill until ready to bake.  As for the continuous chilling methods, this is the best way to keep a flakey crust.  Never, never, never bake soft, soggy dough.  Avoid a disaster and overchill if necessary!