- 1 lb ground lamb
- 1 small kabocha or buttercup squash
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt or to taste
- 2 Tablespoons quick harissa paste optional, 1 teaspoon ground cumin, 2 tablespoons tomato paste, and ½ teaspoon cayenne can be substituted
- 1 small white onion (4-5 oz) minced
- 1 large clove garlic minced or grated
- 2 tablespoons lamb fat
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme or another herb you like, such as mint
- 4 oz fresh chevre
Pasty dough (or your favorite pie dough)
- 2.5 cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup unsalted butter
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 Tablespoons cold water
- 2 large eggs beaten with a splash of cream for baking
- 1. In a food processor, combine the flour, butter, and salt. Pulse the mixture until it resembles coarse meal, then gradually pulse in the cold water until a dough forms and the mixture is nearly smooth. A little visible butter here and there is fine and will help make an airy, flaky dough. Wrap the dough in cling film until ready to use.
- 1. Preheat an oven to 350F. Using a heavy, large chef’s knife, cut the squash in half vertically, scoop out the seeds, then wrap in foil, putting the cut sides back together. Roast the squash for 30 minutes, remove, cool, then trim off the skin. To trim off the skin, I find it helpful to cut the halves into 1/8’s so they lay flat, then I trim the skin off with a paring knife.
- Weigh out 8 oz of cooked squash, reserving the rest for another purpose. Take 2 oz of squash and mash it into a paste with the back of a knife on a cutting board. Coarsely chop the remaining 6 oz of the squash.
- 1. Sweat the lamb in the fat until cooked, then add the onion and garlic and cook for 10 minutes more on medium heat, until the onion is translucent and cooked. Transfer the lamb-onion mixture to a mixing bowl, along with the harissa, salt, thyme the chopped and mashed squash, mix well, then crumble the chevre into the mixture and fold in. You are looking for small pockets of cheese here-it should not be evenly distributed.
- 1. Roll out the pie dough (working in batches if needed) to ¼ inch. Using a dessert plate or another round object with a diameter of 6-7 inches, cut out rounds of dough. We the edge of each dough round lightly with water, spoon on 4 oz of filling (½ cup) then fold the dough over to make small hand pies.
- Using a fork, crimp the edges of each pie, then poke the top of each pasty once to allow air to escape, brush each pasty with the egg wash and bake in a preheated 375F oven for 30 minutes or until browned. Allow the pies to cool for 5-10 minutes before serving.