Spring lamb and pea pastie

August 12, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
Spring lamb and pea pastie -- an impressive appetizer! Learn how to make this delicious dish from Chef Michael Dotson of Martins West.

Spring Lamb and Pea Pastie
Makes 12-14 appetizer size portions


Lay out 2 racks of lamb riblets on sheet pan; brush both sides with 2 cloves crushed garlic, 2 t. tamarind paste and 3 T olive oil.

Mix, 2 T salt, 1 t. pepper, 1 T ground coriander, 1 t. allspice, 1 t. rubbed dry oregano and massage into lamb; let sit over night or at least 8 hours.

Lay in roasting pan add; 3 cups of veal stock, ½ cup minced onion, 2 T tomato paste, ¼ cup of HP sauce, to cover ribs by half.

Seal with foil to braise in 300-degree oven until tender and stock glazes the ribs; about 3-4 hours.

When cool enough to handle, pull meat from bones and shred. Skim fat from any remaining juices, reduce and add to meat.

For filling add to braised lamb 2 cups of shucked and english peas; mixing well.

For Pastry Dough:

  • 35 ounces unbleached flour
  • 12 ounces pork lard
  • 2 T grey salt
  • 1 T finely chopped rosemary
  • 6 ounces very cold water - more if needed
  • 1 egg lightly beaten

Cut lard into flour & salt until it resembles bread crumbs; working quickly as to not melt fat.

With a cold spoon stir water into flour until it comes together, if it seems a bit dry add more cold water.

Wrap in plastic wrap and rest at least 30 minutes.

Roll dough into 6 inch rounds and place about 3 ounces of meat mixture in center of pastry circle.

Moisten edges with egg, fold over creating half moons and pinch edges closed.

If not baking straight away refrigerate or freeze if using at a later date.

Before baking brush with egg wash and poke vent holes with a fork and bake in a preheated 425 degree oven until brown and toasty.

Note: dough makes more than is needed for recipe but rounds can be cut and stored in well wrapped in the freezer for up to a month.

About Michael Dotson, Executive Chef and Proprietor, Martins West Pub
An unwavering reverence for the freshest seasonal ingredients has been the common thread through Michael Dotson's career as an Executive Chef. Dotson credits his apprenticeship with Master Chef Norbert Schultz at Brigitte's in Santa Barbara, CA from 1991 to 1993 for laying the groundwork for his farm-to-table approach to cooking. While working with Shultz, Dotson connected directly with the purveyors of his ingredients for the first time.

"My passionate desire to buy locally goes back to the very early days of my career, when I would buy wild mushrooms from mountain biking foragers for Brigitte's," says Dotson. "I was blown away by the incomparable quality of the product. This experience helped me realize what a difference local, fresh ingredients make."

In 1996, Dotson carried this appreciation for quality sources directly to his job as Executive Chef at PlumpJack Café in Squaw Valley, Lake Tahoe, CA. Here Dotson walked the line between rustic and sophisticated styles earning his cuisine three stars from the San Francisco Chronicle. In his 1999 review of PlumpJack Café, Michael Bauer labeled Dotson "one of the Bay Area's brightest stars."

During his time with PlumpJack, Dotson was able to take a seminal two-month sabbatical at several highly regarded restaurants in Italy and France, many of them with Michelin stars. In Europe, Dotson was hit by the largess of the outdoor markets, even in the most provincial towns. At Au Crocodile, the Michelin three star restaurant at which he apprenticed in Strasbourg, France; Dotson still reflects with wonder on the volume of farmers that would appear - wielding everything from a dozen fresh rabbits to pounds of parsnips - at the restaurant's tiny back kitchen door each day. These experiences continue to have a great impact on the direction of Dotson's cooking in the U.S.

Dotson eventually moved on to wine country where he worked as Executive Chef at Heirloom Restaurant until 2000 and as Chef and Proprietor of Heirloom Catering and Consulting until 2001. Throughout this period, Dotson's cooking earned him national recognition in publications such as Wine Spectator and Food & Wine.

Dotson then returned to San Francisco to work at Kokkari before taking his talent to the Executive Chef position at Evvia Estiatorio in Palo Alto, CA in 2001. Here he enjoyed four years executing one of the best dining experiences in the South Bay and led the restaurant to a three star review in San Francisco magazine. At Evvia, Dotson also met Martins West future business partners Moira Beveridge and Derek Smith.

Seeking to experience the unique energy of a New York kitchen, Dotson consulted for a year at Ammos and Kellari Taverna in Manhattan, yet he began to miss the abundant farmers markets of the Bay Area after about a year. In 2007, He accepted his next position as Executive Chef at Sens restaurant in San Francisco. At Sens, Michael cooked the Mediterranean genre of cuisine he loves most, but he was compelled to move even further forward to start a venture of his own.

At Martins West, Dotson carries the spark of passion that first ignited his culinary career along with over 20 years of experience in the industry into a refined yet casual dining concept with impeccable food that's accessible to everyone. With the restaurant as his platform, Dotson is excited to delve further into the study of gastronomy, the relationship between culture and food.


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