Makes 6 servings
What's a crofter? A Scottish farmer who works the land for a laird (titled gentry) or who may own his own croft (small farm). This humble recipe is popular in the Highlands where lamb is preferred to beef. The trick here is to cook the lamb until tender without burning the pie crust—something practiced cooks know how to do. Note: In Scotland, the crust would be made from scratch and shortened with lard or suet. To short-cut prep time, I've substituted a prepared unroll-and-bake pie crust (you'll find it at your supermarket near the refrigerated biscuits).
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
2. Toss lamb with flour in an ungreased round 3·quart casserole or souffle dish, then arrange in a single layer. Sprinkle with some of the parsley, salt, thyme, and pepper. Layer potatoes, then onions on top, sprinkling with remaining parsley, salt, thyme, and pepper as you layer. Pour hot broth evenly over all.
3. Ease pie crust into place, centering over ingredients. Roll overhang underneath onto rim that has been moistened with cold water and crimp, making a fluted edge. With a sharp knife, cut several decorative steam vents near center of crust.
4. Set casserole on a rimmed baking sheet, slide into lower third of oven, and bake 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F, place a sheet of foil over the crust, and bake until lamb is fork-tender—1 to 1-1/4 hours longer. To test, poke metal skewer through a steam vent; it should pierce meat easily.
5. Serve at table, making sure each person gets plenty of meat, potatoes, pie crust, and gravy.
This page created May 2011
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