Recipe: Michael Van de Elzen’s Mini Lamb Puff Pies

Go ahead and double the recipe — these bite-sized morsels are guaranteed to be a hit. 

Words and recipe: Michael Van de Elzen

Although the official start of summer is December, November has always signalled the start of the silly season to me – everything always starts getting crazy busy in November! Lots of work and social events start popping up on the calendar, but work hasn’t quite eased up yet – I’m sure you know what I’m talking about!

With that in mind, this recipe is a fantastic one to have in your repertoire. It is so versatile! It works well as a canape if you’re hosting friends, families or colleagues; as a starter for a dinner party; or will be sure to win fan favourite at a potluck. You can double, triple or quadruple the recipe based on your requirements.

This year on the farm we had a few lambs, which was very exciting! It’s quite special being on a farm in spring, we always count our blessings that we made the move to Muriwai!

We’re flat tack in the Good From Scratch Cookery School, with bookings every weekend through to Christmas. We’re really looking forward to welcoming people in and sharing some fantastic summer fare with them.

Mini Lamb Puff Pies

Makes 8


2 sheets puff pastry
400g lamb shoulder chops
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
6 field mushrooms, peeled
1 punnet cherry tomatoes
2 tbsp olive oil
2 large parsnips, peeled and roughly chopped
150ml milk
250ml water
2 eggs, beaten
3 tbsp finely grated fresh parmesan + 1 tbsp to garnish)
black pepper

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Preheat oven to 180*C. Drizzle the mushrooms and cherry tomatoes with olive oil and season. Roast in the hot oven for about 20 minutes, or until the tomatoes are starting to burst.

Meanwhile, cut out 8 circles in the puff pastry using a cup or pastry cutter (about 8-10cm diameter). Now using the bottom of a smaller cup or similar, press the inside of the circles down so each one has a deeper center and raised rim. Prick the middle of the circles with a fork.

Season the lamb chops with salt and pepper and sauté in a hot frying pan until tender (about 10 minutes). Pull the meat off the bone and roughly chop. In a large bowl, mix the lamb with the Dijon mustard.

Place the parsnip, milk and water in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Cook until the parsnip is tender, then drain, season and mash until smooth. Chop the roasted mushrooms and mix with the lamb and tomatoes. Fill the pastry cases with the lamb mix, then spoon some of the parsnip puree on top of each. Brush the outside rim of the cases and the top of the parsnip with eggwash and sprinkle a little parmesan over each pie.

Cook for 12 minutes, remove from oven and grate a little extra parmesan over each pie to serve.

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