I first tasted hogget back in February at River Cottage when it was served as part of the Valentines Feast. It’s such a delicious meat, stronger tasting than lamb, but not as gristly as mutton. To explain: lamb is a sheep from birth to 1 year, hogget is from 1-2 years and Mutton is from 2 years or older.
I’ve been trying to get hold of hogget ever since and a smallholding friend came to the rescue. So with half a hogget in the freezer we’ve begun to work our way slowly through it.
One of the best way we’ve found for cooking lamb/hogget is to slow roast it so the meat is full of taste and falls apart. By doing this you don’t have to worry about the fattiness you sometimes get with lamb as it just renders off. Dinner Diary’s Slow Roast Shoulder of Lamb recipe is divine, so easy and also works perfectly with hogget.
With leftovers from Sunday’s slow roasted shoulder of hogget I decided to have a go at making Hogget & Mint Pasties. Now this is why I love roast dinners as it makes the next few days of meals easy. I made 4 pasties with this recipe. I could have frozen 2 of the pasties in their uncooked state, but Hubby requested if we could have them for Lunch today. They worked far better than I expected and will certainly be making them again even if they are a tad rustic looking. I think they would also work really well as mini pasties. Hubby helped quite a bit with the prep for these (spot the perfectly diced veg that could not have been done by me!) as I managed to slice my finger quite spectacularly a few days ago while making my lunch. Who knew a bread knife could hurt so much and cause the amount of blood it did. I’ve been banned from going near the Microplane, I’m too much of a risk.
This recipe is partially inspired by a recipe I had cut out of the newspaper and I imagine would work with a multitude of different meats and Sunday leftovers. The surprising ingredient in the pasties is a small amount of ketchup. This helps to thicken and sweeten the gravy. There is also a bit of a debate as to what type of pastry a pastie should be made with. I prefer puff pastry so have made it with that.
Hogget & Mint Pasties
Makes 4 large pasties
250g potato, 1cm cubes
1 carrot, 1cm cubes
6 shallots, finely sliced
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp chopped fresh mint
leftover roasted hogget, shredded (I used about 200g)
2 tbsp tomato ketchup
250ml lamb stock
500g block of ready made puff pasty
1 egg, beaten
1) In a saute pan gently fry the potato, carrot and shallots in the olive oil until softened.
2) Stir in the mint, hogget, ketchup and stock then simmer until the sauce has thickened and you are left with only a small amount of liquid. If the sauce is too thin it’ll make the pasties soggy. Put the filling to one side while you sort out the pastry.
3) Preheat the oven to 200oc. Roll out the pastry until it is 3mm – 5mm thick square. You can either cut around something like a plate or do what I did: Cut the pastry into quarters and freehand a kind of circle (or a rounded squircle if you want to be technical) in each quarter, by doing this I waste less pastry.
4) Brush the edges of the pastry circle with beaten egg then place 1/4 of the filling in the middle of the pastry. Bring up the edges and pinch them to make a pastie shape. Place on a lined baking tray and brush with beaten egg. Put 2 small cuts on each side of the pastry to help stop it going soggy. Bake for 20 min until the pastry is crisp and golden. Best served hot.