In the days before Razkook and Azkook were tamed by the scrumptious shortbread of a feisty Scottish granny, they had quite a few run-ins with wannabe princes attempting to prove their honor and save various princesses from dragon hostagedom. If the princes had actually done their homework, they would have discovered that, in fact, there were no princess hostages as the dragons were quite prompt in eating all and any human prey—princess or otherwise—they captured while it was still fresh. The dragons considered prompt consumption necessary to both deter would-be rescuers and ensure optimal nutrient delivery (fyi, according to my conversations with Razkook and Azkook, human meat tends to degrade if not eaten immediately, although that didn’t prevent them from laying up a solid store of frozen limbs and people jerky for the long Scottish winters – better stale than nonexistent, as the saying went).
But I’m getting off track here. This story relates to one particular prince – a Prince Magorn, who was 1) actually a prince and 2) curious to see the dragons not so much because he wanted to rescue an imaginary princess and thereby prove his courageousness, but because he was actually a fan of all things dark and gothic and from a young age had been obsessed with dragon lore. So, one day, bedecked in swords and jewels from the castle, he set out on his Shetland pony for the northern cliff of the mountain where Razkook and Azkook lived.
Upon arrival at the lair, he was met with a warm welcome – literally, the dragons breathed fire in his face. But instead of rearing up on his steed and brandishing his sword as the other princes had been wont to do, Magorn merely patted his Shetland pony on the head, sent it back down the mountain, and said, with a great degree of admiration, “Gee, I always wondered if you guys actually breathed fire. It’s SO COOL that you do!”
Both dragons blushed. Azkook snorted out some soot and turned an even deeper crimson.
“Do you really think it’s cool?” asked Razkook, glaring at Azkook for his etiquette transgression. “Most humans we run into act like it’s this crazy, horrible thing.”
“Of course it’s cool!” exclaimed the Prince. “I used to be impressed by fire eaters at carnivals…but that’s NOTHING compared to actually breathing fire! Plus, I have to tell you, as much as I abhor violence and like creation and all that, my destructive side really thrills to see vast amounts of the countryside lit up when you guys are out doing your business.”
“Right?!” said Azkook. “Plus it’s good for forest regrowth. Most people don’t know that.”
“Even better!” exclaimed Magorn. “It honestly seems like a vastly underappreciated talent to me.”
“You’re very kind,” said Razkook. “It’s a shame that we have to eat you.”
Magorn shrugged. “I’d love to hang out with you both a bit longer before you do, and hear some stories of the old dragons.”
The dragons’ beady eyes lit up. “You like our legends?”
“Love ‘em,” said Magorn. “So much better than human ones. Juicy and magic-filled.”
“We’d love to tell them to you. We so rarely get an audience. But if we keep you alive, that still doesn’t solve what to do about lunch.”
Magorn snapped his fingers. “I know. I have some lamb pies in my bag. Why don’t you give them a try? They’re quite good and filling.” Actually Magorn had come prepared with about 550 lamb pies in his bag, which he’d estimated, with the help of the castle cooking company, would be enough to satisfy two hungry dragons.
Azkook’s eyes lit up. “I love lamb. And pie.”
“Well, there you go,” said the Prince. “Have at them.”
The dragons snapped up the lamb pies, and the Prince settled down, ready to hear some good dragon yarns right from the source. And so he did, for a solid couple hours, until the dragons’ satiety began to wear off. At that point the Prince decided it would be best to sneak off while the dragons were slumbering, seeing as how he didn’t really care to be eaten. He was back in a couple weeks with another 550 pies and soon became a regular visitor to the dragons’ lair – their only human contact who lived to tell the tale, directly to your humble narrator, as it turns out. 😉
- ~1 lb lamb shoulder or leg, chopped in bite-sized pieces
- ~1 lb lamb kidneys, chopped in bite-sized pieces
- 1 onion, minced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tb olive oil, duck fat, or lard
- 2 tb each of chopped rosemary, sage, & parsley (or any combo thereof)
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tb fresh lemon juice or apple cider vinegar
- 1.75 c cassava flour
- ½ c tigernut flour
- ½ - 1 tsp sea salt (adjust according to preference)
- ¾ c cold leaf lard
- ½-3/4 c ice-cold water, added in tablespoons (8-12 tb total)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- For crust: mix flours and salt, and then cut in cold lard with a pastry cutter or fork.
- Add water a tablespoon at a time until the mixture adheres and can be shaped into a ball. Flatten into a disc, cover in wrap and refrigerate (or stick in freezer if the dough seems very squishy) while you prepare the filling.
- For filling: saute garlic and onion in olive oil for a couple minutes - then add meat and brown for a few minutes (don't overcook) until mostly cooked through.
- Add herbs, salt, and ACV and turn off heat.
- Assembly: Roll out dough between two pieces of (tapioca) floured parchment paper, to about 2mm thickness. Cut out larger circles for the pie bottoms (I used a 6-inch circular tupperware lid) and smaller circles for the tops.
- Press the bottoms into a muffin tin - they should overflow around the top, as the crust tends to shrink when baking.
- Fill each pie with about 1-2 tb of filling. Place lid on top and crimp/seal edges. Apply optional coconut milk (AIP) or egg (P) wash on the top, along with optional leaf decorations from any extra dough.
- Bake at 375 for 20-30 minutes, or until brown on top (no need to blind bake these, they'll develop a nice firm crust as long as the filling is not too wet).
- Curl up in a cozy corner somewhere and eat while reading stories about dragons, Vikings, Robinhood, or any variety of other hearty, rustic tale (these were all idea candidates for this post, btw...dragons won).
This post has been shared on Phoenix Helix’s Paleo AIP Roundtable.