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Gloucestershire Squab Pie

You'd be forgiven for thinking this dish might contain young pigeons, otherwise known as squabs, but this pie has always been made with lamb. If you can buy it locally in the Cotswolds the flavour will be delicious set off by the sharp apple and spices.

ingredients

serves 4
225 g (8 oz) plain flour
salt and pepper
50 g (2 oz) butter
50 g (2 oz) lard
700 g (1 1/2 lb) lamb neck fillets, sliced into 12 pieces
1 large cooking apple, peeled, cored and sliced
450 g (1 lb) onions, skinned and thinly sliced
1.25 ml (1/4 tsp) ground allspice
1.25 ml {1/4 tsp) grated nutmeg
150 ml (1/4 pint) lamb or beef stock
fresh milk, to glaze

method

1. Put the flour and a pinch of salt in a bowl. Rub in the butter and lard until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add enough cold water and mix in to form a firm dough. Knead lightly until smooth, then chill until required.

2. Place half the lamb in the base of a 900 ml (1 1/2 pint) pie dish. Arrange half the apple slices and half the onion slices over the top. Sprinkle over the allspice and nutmeg and season to taste. Repeat the layers, then pour over the stock.

3. Roll out the pastry to fit the dish and use to cover the pie, moistening the edges so the pastry is well sealed. Use any pastry trimming to decorate.

4. Brush the pastry with milk and bake at 200°C (400°F) mark 6 for 20 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 180°C (350°F) mark 4 and cook for a further 1 hour 15 minutes. Cover the pastry if it shows signs of becoming too brown. Serve hot.

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