Lamb cobbler with cider

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  • British lamb with apple and cider is a West Country classic. Here it is topped with a scone-dough cobbler

    Serves 4
    600g minced or finely diced lean lamb 6 rashers streaky bacon, chopped 2 dessert apples, cored, in segments 2 medium onions, in segments 1 sprig rosemary plus sprigs to garnish 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce 2 tbsp ketchup or tomato relish 440ml dry or medium-dry cider 2 tsp vegetable-stock granules

    For the cobbler topping
    300g self-raising flour 2 tsp baking powder 1⁄2 tsp salt 75g chilled butter, coarsely grated 180ml milk, plus extra to glaze

    Step 1) Brown the diced lamb with the bacon, using no oil, in a large, shallow, flame-proof casserole over a high heat; stir often for around 6 minutes till lightly browned.

    Step 2) Add the apple and onions. De-stalk the rosemary and scissor-snip on to the lamb. Stir in the Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, cider and stock granules. Cover, reduce heat to very low and simmer for 20 minutes.

    Step 3) Meanwhile, prepare the topping. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl, stir in the butter and toss to mix. Stir in the milk, using a knife. Roll into a ball and pat out on to a lightly floured surface until 1cm thick. Do not use a rolling pin.

    Step 4) Pre-heat the oven to 230°C, Gas Mark 8. Using a 4.5cm pastry cutter, cut out rounds from the cobbler dough; you should get around 32. Put to one side.

    Step 5) Leave the lamb in the casserole or transfer it to an oven-proof serving dish, then arrange the cobbler rounds on top in neat, overlapping rows. Brush with some milk and bake for 10-12 minutes towards the top of the oven; reduce the heat to 180°C, Gas Mark 4 and cook for 10 minutes more. Serve from the dish, decorated with rosemary sprigs, if liked.

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