Recipe, Text and photo by Claire Davies, The Greedy Wordsmith.
This recipe was inspired by Mr Edward Kidder, an 18th century ‘pastry-maker’ working from Cheapside in London. In contrast to the rustic and stomach lining qualities of the Cornish pasty adopted by Victorian miners, Kidders are lled with ner cuts of meat and highly decorated before baking. Images of animals and natural fauna were often used as a nod to the ingredients that lay inside or in recognition of the seasonality. Pasties became a popular wedding gift in the 18th century so the wheaten pastry still needed to be robust and able to withstand weeks of travelling, sometimes overseas.
The use of powerful spices such as clove, nutmeg and mace in red meat dishes can be traced directly back to the medieval era, with chefs often adding dried fruits and honey into the mix. The trend for sweetening meat dishes had begun to fade by the time Edward Kidder created his ‘receipt’ for lamb pasty, but there was still a taste for heavy spicing. I had to reduce the measurements by around two thirds to create a dish more suited to modern taste buds and allow the delicious flavour of the lamb to shine through. I encourage you to play around with the seasoning and find a level that you are happy with. The next step was to create a more interesting texture with the addition of some seasonal vegetables.
Again you don’t have to stick with my recipe; swede or potato would make excellent winter additions, swap the onion for sliced leek or try fresh green peas for the summer.