Mediaeval Lamb and Pear Pie

This historic dish was better known as ‘Kat Pie’ and was a favourite of visitors to Templeton Fair in Pembrokeshire. A confection of minced lamb or mutton mixed with currants and brown sugar, it is thought to have been a leading influence in the development of the modern mince pie.


Serves: 4
Cooking time: 40 minutes


  • 90g currants
  • 60g unsalted butter
  • 240g leek or onion, sliced
  • ½ tsp. thyme, chopped
  • ½ tsp. rosemary, chopped
  • 450g minced lamb
  • 50ml Alan Coxon’s Mediaeval Ale-Gar©®
  • 30g brown sugar, or 30g candied or dried pears, finely chopped
  • 25g flour
  • 2 pears, cored and chopped
  • 1tsp tomato purée
  • 350g jus roll puff pastry
  • 1 egg wash, made up of 1 egg yolk with 1 tbsp. milk
  • 1 pinch salt and fresh ground black pepper


  1. Soak the currants in the red wine and Ale-Gar©® for 3-4 hours.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas 4.
  3. Melt the butter in a heavy-based pan.
  4. Add the sliced leeks, then cover the pan and cook gently for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Add the thyme, rosemary, minced lamb and sugar, then stir well.
  6. Cover and cook for 20-30 minutes.
  7. Add the flour and stir well, cooking for 2 minutes.
  8. Add the soaked currants, with the wine and the chopped pears, then the tomato puree. Mix well, turn off the heat and leave to cool.
  9. Meanwhile, roll out the pastry, and use around 2/3 of it to line a lightly greased 30cm flan ring.
  10. Roll out the pastry lid from the remaining pastry and set aside.
  11. Brush the rim of the pastry case with a little egg wash made with the egg yolk and milk.
  12. Fill the lined flan ring with the mincemeat mixture, level and cover with the pastry lid, sticking the sides and lid together.
  13. Crimp the sides, brush with egg wash and make a decorative pattern on the lid.
  14. Bake the pie for 22-25 minutes until golden.
  15. Remove, then leave to cool slightly before cutting and serving. Serve with cooked vegetables and mustard mash.