In Lancashire, when I were a lad, we had this at school. English cookery may be laughed at throughout the world, but this ranks alongside egg and bacon buttys on fried bread as one of the world's culinary masterpieces. Pupils would queue all lunchtime to have this, even though we knew that Nora, the chief 'cook' used to put her false teeth into anything she cooked for good luck. There is an Indian variation, based on 'qeema with peas' - if you like spicy food this will make your toes curl up.

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Ingredients

12
Original recipe yields 12 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified

Scones:

Filling:

Directions

  • To make scone topping: Combine flour, baking powder, 1/4 cup Parmesan, and salt in a large bowl. Mix well. Cut in butter until mixture is crumbly. Add milk and stir just until dough forms a ball.

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  • Turn dough onto a floured surface and knead a couple of times. until smooth. Pat out dough to about a 3/4-inch thickness and cut out 4-inch circles. Gather the dough scraps, press them together, and repeat. You should get about 12 rounds total. Place circles on a lightly floured plate or baking sheet and refrigerate.

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9x11-inch baking dish.

  • To make filling: Heat the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in the onion; cook and stir until the onion has softened and turned translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, for 2 more minutes, taking care not to burn garlic. If using garam masala and curry paste, add them now (see Cook's Notes).

  • Add lamb, Worcestershire sauce, brandy, port, and salt and pepper. Cook and stir until lamb is browned and cooked through, stirring frequently. Add peas to skillet and stir.

  • Pour in 1 cup water or red wine and bring to a boil. Whisk in 1/4 cup flour. Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until sauce thickens.

  • Spread lamb mixture into prepared casserole dish. Cover with circles of scone dough, letting circles just meet at the edges but leaving room for steam to escape. Brush dough with milk, then sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

  • Bake in preheated oven until scones are golden brown and filling is bubbly, about 25 to 30 minutes.

Cook's Notes:

For the Indian version, which I call "Qeema Cobbler," add 1 teaspoon garam masala and 1 tablespoon curry powder to the meat mixture.

For a different variation, use red wine instead of water to make the sauce.

Nutrition Facts

459 calories; 27.2 g total fat; 80 mg cholesterol; 718 mg sodium. 32 g carbohydrates; 19.5 g protein; Full Nutrition

Reviews (6)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 4 stars
08/29/2003
I thought this was pretty good but the rest of my family was not crazy about it. Probably won't be making again. Read More
(7)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 3 stars
02/20/2004
I had high hopes for this recipe but I'm sorry I can't recommend it. One disclaimer: I had to stop halfway through and resume cooking the next day as I did not have many of the ingredients that I thought I did. Instead of scones I used refrigerated biscuits for the topping and they were really good with the Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top. But the lamb filling was lacking something and tasted very gamey. Also after baking it turned out very greasy. Both of these are possibly due to the quality of the ground lamb. Even so I would probably not make this again as much of it seemed off. I'd sooner make a standard shepherd's pie maybe with that biscuit topping. Read More
(3)
7 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 4
  • 4 star values: 1
  • 3 star values: 2
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 4 stars
08/29/2003
I thought this was pretty good but the rest of my family was not crazy about it. Probably won't be making again. Read More
(7)
Rating: 4 stars
08/29/2003
I thought this was pretty good but the rest of my family was not crazy about it. Probably won't be making again. Read More
(7)
Rating: 5 stars
11/19/2003
Made just the lamb filling (steps 4 and 5) without the curry but with a pinch of mint. Served with spaghetti and brown butter. Delicious! Read More
(5)
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Rating: 3 stars
02/20/2004
I had high hopes for this recipe but I'm sorry I can't recommend it. One disclaimer: I had to stop halfway through and resume cooking the next day as I did not have many of the ingredients that I thought I did. Instead of scones I used refrigerated biscuits for the topping and they were really good with the Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top. But the lamb filling was lacking something and tasted very gamey. Also after baking it turned out very greasy. Both of these are possibly due to the quality of the ground lamb. Even so I would probably not make this again as much of it seemed off. I'd sooner make a standard shepherd's pie maybe with that biscuit topping. Read More
(3)
Rating: 5 stars
02/19/2013
My review ifs for the topping and presentation only. I will edit the review when I make the stew. That said I loved the scone the parmesan gives a slightly sharp flavor. I think I may add an herb next time maybe some marjoram or basil. This really helps stretch a skimpy serving. Thank you. Read More
(1)
Rating: 3 stars
10/03/2006
My wife and I tried this recipe last night and there seems to be something wrong with the scone topping directions. Since it's just she and I we cut the recipe in half. After adding the specified amount of butter the mixture was not even close to crumbly. We added what amounted to an additional 2-3 tablespoons to get the mixture right. Also my wife needed to add extra milk because the dough was just too dry. When it came time for us to cut the dough there was no way we could make the amount of scones specified with a thickness of 1 inch. We had to roll out the dough about 1/4 inch thick to make six or seven 4 inch circles. (Remember we cut everything in half.) In the end the meal was tasty but left us questioning the recipe. Read More
(1)
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Rating: 5 stars
02/05/2014
Made this tonight. It was delicious. To cut the fat I dry fried the lamb then added the onion cooking a few minutes to soften then poured off the fat before adding the garlic and other ingredients. I added the peas frozen. (We get them in bags in the UK and the peas have been frozen individually so they pour.) Like other reviewers I couldn't get the number of scones at the stated thickness and needed to add a little more milk to make the dough workable. Fewer scones meant bigger gaps but there were still enough to go round. I also substituted cheddar cheese because my husband doesn't like Parmesan. We really enjoyed this as a nice alternative to Shepherds Pie. Will make again. Read More