“Lamb pies can be found all over Greece. Many use minced or leftover roast lamb that’s simmered with herbs and spices, then layered with wilted greens and grated feta or hard cheese. This Cretan version has a lovely, yeasty dough crust. ”
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By Andy Harris
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Dissolve the yeast in 225ml of warm water and set aside for 5 minutes.
Combine the flour and 1 teaspoon of sea salt and make a well in the centre. Add the yeast mix and 2 tablespoons of oil. Beat and pour in the eggs, and stir with a wooden spoon until a dough forms.
Knead the dough on a lightly flour-dusted surface for 10 minutes, adding extra flour to the dough if it’s too sticky.
Lightly grease the bowl with oil, then return the dough to the bowl. Cover with a cloth and leave in a warm place for 1 hour, or until the dough has doubled in size.
To make the lamb and cheese filling, peel and thinly slice the onion. Peel and finely chop the garlic, then trim and chop the spring onions. Cut the lamb into cubes.
Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large pan, add the onion, garlic and spring onions and sauté for 5 minutes, or until softened. Remove from the pan.
Season the lamb and brown in the pan over a medium heat – you may need to do this in batches.
Stir in the cinnamon, then return the onion mixture to the pan. Add the white wine and 100ml of water, and stir to pick up the crispy bits on the base. Simmer for 30 minutes, with a lid on for the first 5 minutes.
Beat 1 egg in a bowl, then grate in the cheeses. Cook the spinach or chard in a large pan of boiling water, then drain and leave to cool.
Preheat the oven to 180ºC/gas 4. Lightly grease a 23cm springform tart tin with a little oil.
Divide the dough in half. Lightly flour a work surface and roll the first piece of dough into a circle, about 35cm wide.
Carefully place it into the tin, lightly pressing into the base and sides, leaving about 3cm of pastry hanging over the rim.
Spread half the lamb mixture over the base, followed by half the cheese mixture. Chop the cooled greens, then scatter half on top. Repeat with remaining ingredients.
Roll out the second piece of dough and place over the filling.
Trim the edges, but leave about 4cm of overhang, then roll it up and crimp the edges.
Make a hole in the centre of the pastry lid. Beat the remaining egg and brush over the pie, then bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or till golden.
Remove from the oven and let cool slightly. Serve with a mixed green salad.