This was all that I salvaged from the show this morning – we all stood around the plate at the studio and stabbed at it with forks at 8:30 am.
Alright, so it’s not really a *pie*. But it was baked in a pie plate and is technically topped with pastry, so I call it fair game to celebrate Pi day. Plus it’s unbelievably delicious, and outside my regular wheelhouse – normally I would have celebrated by clearing the last of the rhubarb out of my freezer, but David put in a subtle request yesterday for CBC this morning, and so I went ahead and made it. Which is why I have these photos taken on my phone in the dark of late last night and early this morning – not ideal, but you get the gist. I wanted you to see what the stewy part looked like, and the crumpled phyllo on top.
It’s pretty straightforward, as far as braises go – the original instructs tossing the meat in flour, but I prefer to brown the meat itself, and get some good colour on it before shaking some flour overtop to thicken the stewy sauce. Beyond the spices – I had ras el hanout, but either ran out or couldn’t find it, and didn’t miss it at all – and I left out the cloves because I’m not a fan, and the saffron because I don’t expect anyone to have it in their kitchen. In went a tin of tomatoes, two lemon halves, squeezed and zested and tossed in whole, along with a cinnamon stick and some honey and a pour of pomegranate molasses, and oh, was it delicious. I made it last night and topped it with scrunched-up buttered sheets of phyllo this morning for the show, and although I tend to glaze over when I see crumpled phyllo-topped things, it was perfect – crunchy and buttery and light, giving you the sensation of eating pastry without being heavy. A shortcrust lid on this lamb stew might have put it over the top, but a few sheets of phyllo was brilliant.
He sent a link to BBC Good Food, and although it’s a recipe I’m not sure I would have chosen myself, it’s one I’ve made a mental note to remember next time friends are coming over and I’m not sure what to make. (It looks burned in places, but it’s not – it’s me being hooked on the chrome filter on my phone, which tends to oversaturate everything.)
Also! I added some lentils to the pot before sliding it into the oven. Lentils are amazing at absorbing the flavours of whatever they happen to be hanging out with – if you were to add split red lentils, they could go in dry, but my green ones had been simmered until they were just tender. They disappeared right into the stew, and no one had a clue they were there. The BBC suggests scattering the finished pie with sliced almonds and pomegranate arils, but I found it perfectly gorgeous as is.