Reestit Mutton Pie recipe
This recipe combines the famous and very special reestit mutton with a crisp, classic, homemade flaky pastry.
You can, of course, use bought pastry, but do try this recipe for flaky pastry which makes a large batch that can be halved and frozen for another time, or maybe used for a tray of lovely sausage rolls.
Reestit Mutton can be bought in good stockists around Shetland. Alternatively, it can be bought online and sent to you by mail order.
This recipe is from Marian’s new book Food Made in Shetland, published in 2022 by 60 North Publishing. Marian’s books are on sale in shops around Shetland and can also be purchased on board MV Hjaltland and MV Hrossey!
Makes 4 individual hearty pies
- 400g plain flour
- 150g butter – at room temperature
- 150g lard – at room temperature
- 150-175ml cold water
- Good pinch of salt
- Lemon juice – a good squeeze (the lemon juice helps the gluten to stretch which gives good flaky layers)
- 350g carrots – cleaned and diced
- 350g neeps – peeled and diced
- 150g taaties – peeled and diced
- 2 large onions – roughly chopped
- Freshly ground black pepper
- A small bunch parsley – roughly chopped
- 250g cooked reestit mutton – cut into pieces
- Sieve the flour and salt into a mixing bowl. Mix the lard and butter together in a separate bowl. Rub in one quarter of the butter and lard mixture to the flour and salt, until it is incorporated evenly.
- Add the water and lemon juice and mix with a palette knife carefully, until an elastic but not sticky dough is formed. This will need a little judgement so don’t add all the water at first. Knead very lightly.
- Roll out to make a large rectangle with good square corners. Use a little flour, as necessary.
- Cover the top two-thirds of the pastry with the second quarter of the lard and butter mixture – evenly in small dots.
- Fold into three by bringing the lower third (which has no lard and butter mixture) up and the top third down.
- You can now see how the pastry will become beautifully layered.
- Press the pastry firmly with the rolling pin, both at the side edges and across the length. This will help to distribute air.
- Give the pastry a quarter turn clockwise. Chill for at least half an hour.
- Roll out, then repeat twice more so that all the lard and butter mixture is used up.
- Do a final extra roll-and-fold, refrigerate again, then it is ready to use.
- Prepare filling by cooking the vegetables in some reestit mutton stock for approximately 5 minutes. Then add the reestit mutton and a good handful of chopped parsley.
- If you can, use a pie dish with a lip (a china pie dish is good and the traditional Falcon enamel dishes are easily available and are excellent).
- Light the oven to 220°C – good and hot.
- Roll out half the above quantity of pastry and use the pie dish to mark out and cut the lid to the correct size.
- From the trimmings, cut a half-inch wide strip, moisten the lip dish with water and lay this round the dish. Make some pastry leaves or other decoration with the rest of the scraps – they are too good to waste.
- Add the vegetables and mutton and use enough brö (stock) to keep the filling moist.
- Carefully lift on the lid and use water to press it firmly on to the prepared edge. Flake up the edges using a sharp knife and make an attractive fluted edge with your thumb.
- Add the pastry decorations and make a hole in the middle to help steam escape.
- Beat a small egg and brush all over the top (but not the fluted sides as you want them to rise).
- Place near the top of the oven on a baking sheet and bake initially for 20 minutes to get the top of the pastry a good golden brown.
- Reduce the heat to 150°C and cook for a further 45-55 minutes. Lay a sheet of baking paper on top if it is browning too much.
- Enjoy this fine pie with some lightly cooked Shetland kale or another green vegetable.
- A glass of beer from the Lerwick Brewery would also go very well indeed.
Reestit Mutton can be ordered from the following outlets:
Marian Armitage is an award-winning author, who loves being in Shetland, cooking and eating local food – especially with her grandchildren. To read more Shetland recipes from Marian Armitage, please visit http://www.marianarmitage.co.uk/