Prep 20 mins
Cook 6 hrs
When bidding weddings were held on the Gower peninsula, this pie was specially prepared for the wedding feast held at the bride’s home. The pie was served cold with beer. A bidder was appointed by the bride’s family to invite the guests and, during the feast, to record the sum of money paid by each guest for a small piece of pie. The young couple were partly dependent on this gift money to set up their home. Included is a wonderful all purpose strong stock that will keep for up to a week if refrigerated and brought to a boil every two days. Alternatively, it may be packed in freezer containers, tightly covered and stored in the freezer for up to six months.
FOR THE PIE SHELL
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 10 tablespoons lard (slowly melted in water)
- 2 tablespoons water
FOR THE FILLING
- 1⁄2 lb boneless mutton, cooked and diced
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon mixed herbs
- 1 cup lamb stock, about
- 6 lbs lamb bones, including the shank and neck
- 5 quarts water, about
- 1 bouquet garni, including leek and celery
- 1 garlic, bulb unpeeled
- 2 medium onions, each stuck with
- 1 whole clove
- 4 carrots
- FOR THE MEAT STOCK: Place a trivet or a rack in the bottom of a large stockpot to prevent the ingredients from sticking. Fit all of the meat , bones into the pot, add cold water to cover by about 2 inches. Bring slowly to a boil, skimming off the scum that rises. Keep skimming, occasionally adding a glass of cold water, until no more scum rises. Do not stir, lest you cloud the stock.
- Add the bouquet garni, leeks, celery, garlic, onions and carrots, and skim once more as the liquid returns to a boil. Reduce the heat to very low, cover the pot with the lid ajar, and simmer for five hours (6 hours for beef).
- If the meat is to be eaten, remove the meat after 1 1/2 hours.
- Ladle the stock into a colander lined with dampened muslin or cheesecloth and placed over a large bowl. Let the strained stock cool completely, then remove the last traces of fat from the surface. If the stock has been refrigerated to cool, lift off the solidified fat.
- You can use a combination of meats, 2 lb. meaty beef shank, 2 lb. meaty veal shank and 2 lb. chicken backs, necks, feet and wing tips.
- You can use this method for beef (using oxtail, beef shank or beef chuck), veal, and chicken.
- For chicken use 5 lbs of chicken carcasses, necks, feet, wings, gizzards and hearts, simmer for two hours.
- FOR THE PIE SHELL: Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl. In a small pan, melt the lard slowly in the water, bring to a boil and immediately pour the lard mixture into the flour. Work the lard into the flour and knead well to form a soft dough. Turn out the dough onto a floured board and roll it out until it is fairly thin. Grease a 7-inch pie dish and line it with 2/3 of the dough.
- Fill the pie shell with the mutton and onion, add the herbs and enough stock to thoroughly moisten the ingredients. Cover with the rest of the dough, pressing the edges of both layers together to seal them. Cut a slit in the center and bake in a preheated 375°F oven for about one hour, or until the pastry is golden.
- Welsh Fare S. Minwell Tibbott.