Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Treading water

The new year has begun.

Our World Tour of NZ 2013 is over (pics and stories still to come).

The kids are back at school.

Some at the same school but in different classes, some at a new school with new everything & shiny shiny shoes.

I feel like the new kid too.

So much to take in.

So many corridors to get lost in.

So many important papers for the dog to eat.

So many names to forget.

So very many things.......

I never really expected to get busier as the kids got older.

I missed that memo obviously.

I barely feel as if I have my head above water.

Imagine what it is like for my kids?!

They are ever so good at managing change.

Once again we can learn so very much from them if we stop, watch & listen.

I'm treading water.

Breathing in.

Breathing out.

Over the years I have put way too much into my body and not done anywhere near enough output to balance it.
I am all about health and not about weight. The body image thing has never been a problem for me.
Like lots of people though my health has become a priority.
I want to be around. I LOVE being around!
There is so much goodness and fun to be had!

I am trying really hard to educate myself more on how it all works and still be able to eat all the things I LOVE. Which is pretty much everything!
SO the other day when my eldest asked for a Lamb & Rosemary pie my mind just went into meltdown about how calorie heavy pastry is....and also how DELICIOUS!!!!!
I made it my mission to deliver a Low Calorie option packed with flavour.
I am all for food tasting as good as it possibly can.
I had heard about an idea of replacing pastry with a basic bread dough and wanted to see if it would be any good.
I had made a batch of my Pizza dough (recipe here) and had refrigerated the leftover to arrest the rising & I had a lamb shoulder needing to be cooked (this recipe would also be a great way to use leftover lamb shoulder from my slow cooked souvlaki recipe).
I cooked the shoulder the day before and refrigerated it till the next day (I could also easily remove the fat solids from the stock for extra lean-ness)
SO here is the result. A super delicious, crusty pie of the super tasty variety.
Low in fat without being low on flavour. It has about a THIRD the fat of a regular pie.
I will be using this method again and try with different fillings.


  • 1 lamb shoulder
  • 5 sprigs rosemary
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 4 carrots, chopped into cubes
  • 3 large potatoes, chopped into cubes
  • 1 large onion
  • basic pizza dough (recipe here)
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 2 cups stock
  • 2 tablespoons plain flour
  • 1 egg (for egg wash)
  • S & P
  • oil for brushing

Heat oven to 150C.

Place the Lamb shoulder into a roasting dish and top with a couple of garlic cloves (crushed, a couple of rosemary sprigs & some S & P. No need to add any oil.  Cover tightly with foil and bake at 150C for 3-4 hours.

Remove from oven & set aside. (I did this step the day before and refrigerated it.  This allowed me to remove the fat solids and to use the stock from the pan for the gravy).

Shred the meat off the bone & keep the cooking liquid.

Turn oven temp up to 180C.

Bruch a pie dish with a little oil. Roll out pizza dough so it is big enough to cover your pie dish (I left a little extra for shrinkage) Roll to about 1/2 cm thickness. Make sure you leave enough dough to make a top!

Place carefully into pie dish and blind bake (this means cooking the pastry with no filling in).  I pricked the bottom with a fork and placed dried beans in to prevent from rising. This step makes the super crispy base that we all LOVE!

Place in oven for about 30 minutes or until lightly brown.

Remove and allow to cool while you make the filling.

Brush a non stick pan with oil & gently fry the onion, garlic, potatoes & carrot till soft.

Add the lamb, the remaining rosemary sprigs (take the leaves off the stalk and chop roughly) and the wine and turn up the heat a little.

Cook through for 5 minutes or so, to allow the alcohol to burn off.

Now add the water and seasoning and sprinkle the flour over the top. Stir well to incorporate the flour. Cook for another 5 minutes to allow the flour to cook properly and thicken the gravy.

Add the filling to the pie dish and cover with remaining dough. Cut a little steam hole in the top and brush with egg wash and place back into oven at 180C for about 20 minutes or till top is golden brown.

Remove and serve immediately.  I used a bread knife to cut through the super crispy crust.

Loving the sounds of Tracey Thorn at the moment......this song is gorgeous.


  1. Wow! Loving the pizza crust as a pie pastry! Even I can do that! Stay calm Mama x

  2. Adore Tracey Thorn. She is so ACE. I love how she just looks the way she looks. No faffing, no trickery, no injectables. Just gorgeous and natural and expressive. Her voice has always enchanted me.
    That pastry idea is the bomb! I will try it for my leftoever roast lamb pie next time.
    Sorry things are so fast-peddly at the moment. Life's a real bugger sometimes. When you just want to sit and breathe it throws stuff at you and makes you have to decide whether to sink or swim. Mostly, I find, I just manage to keep my nostrils above the water line, until a shallow bit turns up, where I can stand up and look around and truly appreciate the good things.
    If you see a break anywhere in the near, blurry, crazy future...we must make a date, for a giggle and a sip or six. X

  3. What a fantastic recipe, looks delicious. Love Tracey Thorn

  4. I'm really intrigued to try this Ruth! I love. I love pizza so surely I must love this too?!

    I'm like you too. Over the last few years I've become all about the health & not at all about the looks. I had a little health scare & it was a huge kick up the pants. A few weeks back I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes so again it has meant a diet re-shuffle & it's something I am going to have keep doing if I don't want to end up having diabetes full time. I want to be around for a long time so any little changes that can help are good in my books :)

  5. This idea is fabulous!I'm on a bit of a mission to be healthier this year too...

    Thanks Ruth!

    {would love to catch up for coffee when things settle down.}

    xo jody

  6. I've been paying a little more attention to eating/drinking healthier, lately, too, and feel more renewed for it. Your lamb pie looks lovely!

  7. Have you read Sarah Wilson's blog? And David Gillespie's book? (Don't freak out, there are plenty of yummy sweet treats/alterations you can still make). It's just that I would looove it if you took that journey because you would come up with so many fabulous fructose friendly recipes. (selfish much?!!!) And also, our family started this year and so far are loving the way we feel and the health benefits. Each to their own of course. Love your work. x

  8. This looks delicious - even more so coz I reckon it's Anna's lamb that you used to make it. Do you think that the reason it is low fat is because of the change in "pastry" or a combination of things? I'm also making changes is year...... Your blog is going to be even more of a source of inspiration and recipes. We've started slowly changing...... A year of #realfood (which will of course transform into a life time of real food)


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