This is not your usual meat pie. It is rich, sweet and spicy, and looks impressive yet rustic when served whole at the table. Take it on a picnic or serve warm with a salad of mixed bitter leaves.
(p 174, The Ottolenghi cookbook)
500g shortcrust pastry
vegetable oil for brushing the tin
50g pine nuts
400g minced beef
400g sausage meat
3 tbsp tomato purée
2 tsp sugar
2 tsp salt
1 tsp coarsely ground
1 tbsp dried mint
2 tsp ground allspice (pimento)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp sweet paprika
½ tsp cayenne pepper or dried chilli flakes
2 onions, thinly sliced
7 free-range eggs
2 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
- Lightly oil a 22-24cm loose-bottomed tart tin. Roll out the pastry 2-3mm thick and line the base neatly, allowing the pastry to spill over the edge by at least 2cm. This excess will be trimmed later. Score the base with a fork in a few places. Rest the tart case in the fridge for at least half an hour.
- Heat the oven to 170ºC/ Gas Mark 3. Cut a circle of greaseproof paper greater in diameter than the base plus the sides of the tart case. Tuck it inside the tart case and fill up with dried beans or rice. Bake the case blind for 35 minutes, take the beans out (keep for similar use in the future) and cook for further 5-10 minutes, until light golden and thoroughly cooked. Remove from the oven and leave to cool.
- Alongside the baking case you can also toast the pine nuts. Scatter them on a separate tray and leave in the oven for 8 minutes or until they go golden.
- To make the filling, heat up half the olive oil in a large heavy saucepan. Add the beef, break it down with a fork and cook it on a high flame for a few minutes to get some colour. Add the pork meat, mix well with your fork and keep on cooking on medium heat for 15 minutes or until golden. Stir in the tomato purée and sugar and cook for another 3 minutes. Add salt, pepper, mint and all the spices. Cook for a further 10 minutes over low heat.
- In the meantime, fry the onions in a separate pan with the remaining olive oil until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Drain out most of the oil and add the onion to the cooked meat. Also add the pine nuts and taste for salt and pepper.
- Heat the oven to 190ºC/Gas mark 5. To assemble the tart, spoon half of the hot meat mix into the pastry case. Make some shallow holes in the mixture, break 3 eggs, one by on, and pour them into the holes. Using a wooden spoon, stir the eggs gently in the meat – just enough to disperse them a little, while keeping areas with more egg and maintaining some distinction between white and yolk. Spoon the rest of the meat on top, create some gaps and holes in it and break in the rest of the eggs dispersing them as before.
- Put the pie in the oven for about 15 minutes or until the eggs are set. If the top begins to darken cover it with foil for the remaining cooking period.
- Once ready, remove from the oven, break off the excess pastry with your hands and take the pie out of its tine. Serve hot or warm, garnished with parsley.