Gloucestershire "Squab" Pie

This month I have chosen this hearty dish, also known as a Gloucestershire Squab Pie that is traditionally served on farms in the Cheltenham, Cirencester and Gloucester areas. It has a wonderful combination of Lamb and Apple made savoury with the addition of onions and a potato and swede mash. It was usually eaten in the farm after a hard day working on the fields or looking after the cattle – it is certainly warm and filling, with earthy flavours and years of tradition behind it, being a common dish in Gloucestershire for well over one hundred years.

Ingredients - serves 6 (or 4 hungry farmers)

1kg lean lamb steak 2 tsp of rosemary, chopped finely
25g plain flour ½ tsp grated nutmeg
500g onions, peeled and thinly sliced 300ml beef stock
500g Bramleys peeled, cored and thinly sliced 500g potatoes, peeled and diced
500g swede, peeled and diced 60g butter
1 tsp sea salt 3 tbsp milk
1 tsp ground black pepper 3 tbsp of vegetable oil


  1. Cut up the lamb steak into chunks (approx 2.5cm) and coat in the flour.
  2. In a hot frying pan melt a little of the butter and the vegetable oil and brown the lamb pieces. Do it in batches to make sure the lamb fries and browns evenly.
  3. Using the same frying pan brown the chopped onion and put to one side.
  4. When browned set aside and allow to cool.
  5. Using two saucepans, bring salted water up to the boil. Add the apple slices to one pan and boil for 5 minutes. Add the potato and swede to the other and boil for 10 minutes.
  6. Drain these separately.
  7. Using a potato masher mash the parboiled potato and swede together with a little butter and a little milk.
  8. Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/Gas Mark 5.
  9. Grease a medium sized oven proof dish with a little butter and place into it layers of lamb, onion and apple. Sprinkle each layer with a pinch of chopped rosemary, grated nutmeg, sea salt and black pepper.
  10. Pour the beef stock over the layers and then top off the pie dish with the mashed potato and swede mixture. Use a fork to rough up the top of the mashed swede and potato, then dot the top with little pieces of butter, sprinkle over a little sea salt, ground black pepper, and chopped rosemary.
  11. Cover the pie with some foil. Put the oven dish on an oven tray and bake in the oven for 1 hour. After 1 hour take the foil cover off the Gloucestershire Pie and bake for a further ten minutes in a hotter oven at 220°C/425°F/Gas Mark 7 to brown off the top.

Serve with seasonal vegetables.


lamb cuts

root vegetables