This delicious meat pie is a speciality of Corfu. Traditionally it is only made in the Carnival period (Apokries) leading up to Clean Monday, which is the beginning of Lent. We are in that period now - Clean Monday is next Monday 7th - so, true to tradition, we made the pie. At the bottom of the post you can see the proud cook (none other than my mother-in-law!) holding the pie just after it was taken out of the oven.
For the Pastry
500g all purpose flour
1 free range egg
120ml extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp vinegar
1 level tsp salt
Tepid water – enough to make a pliable dough
For the Filling
1½ kg leg of lamb cut into small pieces (bitefuls)
400g Carolina rice
9 free range eggs
580g condensed milk
200ml extra virgin oil
1 tbsp flour
1 clove garlic finely chopped
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp ground cloves
Salt and pepper to taste
5 free range eggs for the eggwash
Put the egg in a mixing bowl and beat for 1 minute.
Add the oil and vinegar.
Mix the salt into the flour and add to the liquid in the bowl.
Adding enough water, make a pliable dough.
Cover in clingfilm and set aside to rest for 1 hour.
Put the water in a pan and bring to the boil.
Add the rice and boil for 1 minute.
Remove from the heat and stir in the oil and milk.
In a mixing bowl beat the 9 eggs for 2-3 minutes.
Put the meat in a large mixing bowl and add the rice mixture.
Add the beaten eggs to this mixture.
Add the flour, garlic, cinnamon, cloves, salt and pepper, mix well and set aside.
Butter an oven dish 40cm diameter and set aside.
Take the dough and with a rolling pin open it out on a flour-dusted surface.
The pastry should be large enough to cover the base and sides of the oven dish plus another 15cm approx. extra around the edge.
With the help of the rolling pin, place the pastry in the oven dish so that it fits tightly along the base and sides – this is important as there should be no bubbles left.
Add the filling.
Fold the edge of the pastry inwards over the filling, making sure that no liquid gets in between the pastry and the inside of the oven dish.
Lightly spread the liquid from the filling evenly over the top with your fingers, again making sure none goes down between the pastry and the dish.
Place in a preheated oven at 180 degrees Celsius for 1 hour.
Beat the remaining 5 eggs well and spread over the whole pie when you remove it from the oven.
Put the pie back into the oven for another 5-10 minutes approx.
Eat and Enjoy!