If you’ve diligently read my About page like a good little follower, you’ll know that I’m in a book club. Specifically, it is a book club comprised of boss babes, called “The Unputdownable Book Club” or UBC as we call it, not be confused with the higher ed institution on the West Coast.
Our book club has been around longer than book clubs have been en vogue amongst the millennial set. Our group of bibliophiles has been reading everything from frothy chick-lit (see: Fifty Shades of Grey) to award-winning literature to my ill-fated foray into graphic novels (5 out of 5 book clubbers would not recommend Alison Bechdel’s Are You My Mother?) for more than five years now.
The UBC boasts upwards of twenty members at any given time (we have had membership recruitment freezes in the past to try to keep the group to a manageable size) and we meet on the first Sunday of every month to discuss our latest pick over a delicious potluck. There is no overarching coordination of the potluck contributions, sometimes we have 7 quinoa salads and others we have 4 plates of cookies, there’s almost always a cheese tray, but otherwise, it’s a total crapshoot.
Hearty mains tend to be in short supply so anyone showing up with a lasagna, pasta bake or a pot pie is usually well-liked, at least until they air their controversial takes on the latest book.
Although I missed book club this past Sunday, in favour of spending the day at Le Nordik, this curried lamb pot pie would probably be a popular contribution to the potluck situation. The part that makes this recipe particularly well-suited to potlucks is that it yields two whole pies, meaning you’ll have one to take to the party and another to keep for yourself.
Since I live alone, and didn’t go to book club on Sunday, I have eaten this pot pie for every meal since Sunday night. Somehow it’s been delicious every time but I’m ready for a change, this is why I’m not an advocate of #mealprep Sundays that result in identical meals breakfast/lunch/dinner Monday through Friday.
I love this recipe because it’s an inspired twist on the classic pot pie and has a whole lot of flavour. Lamb is a welcome substitute to the proteins you’d typically find in a pot pie and marinating it in curry paste for up to 24 hours really kicks it up a notch (to borrow a phrase from Emeril). This is the perfect recipe for these final throes of winter we’re experiencing.
If you’re feeling ambitious, you can always make your own pie dough, just make sure you prepare enough for 4 shells. Two shells for the filling and two to create the decorative topping.
Tonight might call for pizza delivery and red wine – two other popular guest stars at book club!
This recipe is perfect for a potluck or if you're feeding a crowd because it makes two pies.
- 2 lbs boneless lamb shoulder
- 3 tbsp mild curry paste
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 onions thinly sliced
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
- 3 cups beef stock
- 2 red peppers chopped
- 1 jalapeño or other hot pepper seeded and minced
- 1 lb Yukon Gold potatoes (about 4) peeled and cubed
- ⅔ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 boxes frozen deep dish pie shells, thawed
Trim visible fat from lamb and cut into 1-inch (2.5-cm) cubes and place in large bowl. Add curry paste and stir well to coat lamb pieces. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours.
Heat oil in large shallow saucepan over medium-high heat. Brown lamb in batches. Remove to plate. Add onions, garlic, ginger and ½ cup of the stock to saucepan and cook, stirring for about 5 minutes or until softened. Add red and hot peppers and cook for 2 minutes.
Return lamb to saucepan with remaining beef stock and potatoes. Bring to boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for about 30 minutes or until lamb and potatoes are tender.
Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).
Whisk together flour and 1 cup water until smooth. Drizzle into lamb mixture and bring to a simmer and cook, stirring for about 5 minutes or until thickened. Let cool, stirring occasionally.
Place 2 of the thawed pie shells on baking sheet. Divide lamb and potato mixture among 2 of the pie shells.
Pull out remaining thawed pie shells and using a 3-inch round cookie cutter cut out 7 pieces of pastry. Place all over the lamb mixture and bake on bottom rack of oven for about 30 minutes or until pastry is golden brown.
Recipe from: Richards, Emily. "Curried Lamb and Potato Pot Pie." Food & Drink. Holiday 2009.