Samosa pie, picnic standby

My childhood involved many a picnic enjoyed amid stretches of pine trees in fields, parks, beside rivers, beside the car. A crazily patterned travel rug, strewn with an array of treats, and the sound of questionable radio programmes like Round the Horne or Two Way Family Favourites playing music softly in the background. I can remember watching my mother alternate between mouthfuls of freshly made tongue bap with mustard and Marks and Spencers cheese sandwich crackers. Two hard boiled eggs, some home made fruit cake and cheddar for my father. Her offer of refreshment was lashings of corona ginger beer or her home made lemonade
To finish we would have a banana and a Blue Riband chocolate bar.
Move on over half a century and my choice of spread for a picnic could not be further detached. An all-time favourite samosa crossed with my favourite picnic item, a Melton Mowbray pork pie. With an aromatic meaty filling and a crisp shell made with hot water crust pastry. This is easy peasy picnic pie perfection,and delicious too. 

Samosa pie
serves 8

5 tbsp olive oil
3 small onions, finely chopped
1½ tsp salt
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tbsp garlic
1 tbsp cumin seeds
2 tsp dried red chilli flakes
500g/1lb 2oz left over cooked lamb, diced
500g/1lb 2oz potatoes, peeled and cut into small cubes
2 small carrots finely diced
200g/7oz frozen peas
2 tbsp cornflour
a large handful fresh coriander, finely chopped

For the hot water pastry

    265g/9½oz plain flour
    55g/2oz strong bread flour, plus extra for dusting
    ½ tsp salt
    1 tsp ground turmeric
    135ml/4½fl oz boiling water
    65g/2¼oz pork fat
    1 free-range egg, beaten, for glazing

  • For the filling, heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the onions and salt and cook until soft and translucent. This will take about 5 minutes.
    Add the ground ginger, garlic granules, cumin seeds and chilli flakes and cook for a few minutes. 
    Stir in the carrots and potatoes, then reduce the heat to low–medium, cover the pan and steam-cook for 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft.mix in the chopped lamb. 
    Add the frozen peas and cook them through.
    Stir in the cornflour – this will help to thicken any juices left at the bottom of the pan. Take off the heat and stir in the chopped coriander. Set aside to cool completely - the filling needs to be totally cold.

    Preheat the oven to 200C/180C Fan/Gas 6. Have ready a 20cm/8in round loose-bottomed cake tin.
    For the hot water pastry, put the two flours into a bowl with the salt and turmeric. Mix well, then make a well in the centre.
    Put the water and fat into a pan and heat until the fat has melted. Pour into the well in the flour, then mix, using a palette knife. As soon as the dough is cool enough to handle, get your hands in and bring it all together.
    Lightly dust a work surface. Set aside one-third of the dough for the top, and roll out the other two-thirds to fit the base and sides of the cake tin, with some overhang. Line the inside of the tin with the pastry, making sure to leave the extra hanging over the edge.
    Fill the pastry with the samosa filling.
    Roll out the rest of the pastry to make the top. Brush the inner ring of the pastry where the top of the filling ends and put the pastry lid on top, making sure to push it down so that the top meets the filling well. Press the edges, making sure they are sealed. Cut off the overhanging pastry and fold the remaining cut edge back into the tin. Crimp the edges to seal the pie.
    Brush with beaten egg and pierce a hole in the centre so the steam can escape, then bake for 1 hour.
    Leave to cool completely in the tin, then remove and cut into slices.


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