Nothing beats the ultimate in comfort food like a homemade Lamb Shank pie. This recipe is a combination of a traditional favourite wrapped in the best homemade pastry recipe that I grabbed from a Beef and Guinness Pie recipe created by Campion & Curtis in the Kitchen. (Base lamb shank recipe adapted from Jamie Oliver “The Naked Chef”)

Best served with creamy horseradish mash; some steamed greens on the side and nice glass of red.

Makes 6 -7 individual Pies (Approx. 12cm diameter)

4          Lamb Shanks

Sea Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1          Teaspoon coriander seeds

1          small dried red chilli (or 2 teaspoons chopped fresh chilli)

1          tablespoon fresh rosemary

1          teaspoon dried marjoram or oregano

1          tablespoon flour

1          tablespoon olive oil

1          clove garlic, finely chopped

1          large carrot, quartered and finely sliced

6          sticks of celery, quartered and finely chopped

2          medium/large onions, quartered and finely chopped

2          tablespoons balsamic vinegar

170 ml             dry white wine

100 ml             red wine

6          anchovy fillets

2 x  400g tins of tomatoes (crushed)

1          handful of fresh basil, marjoram or flat-leaf parsley – rough chopped

1          tablespoon salt

10 swiss brown mushrooms

100ml beef stock

Pastry:

150g    butter

450g    self-raising flour

Egg wash

225ml  cold water

Gremolata:

½ cup of chopped continental parsley

Grated zest of 1 lemon

3 chopped anchovies (optional)

Sea salt & black pepper

½ teaspoon crushed garlic

Season the lamb with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Smash up the coriander seeds and dried chilli and mix with the chopped rosemary and dried marjoram. Roll the lamb in this mixture pressing it in well. Dust the lamb with the flour.

Heat a thick-bottomed casserole pan, add the oil, brown the meat on all sides and then remove from the pan. Add garlic, carrot, celery, onions and a pinch of salt and sweat them until softened. Add the balsamic vinegar and allow to reduce to a syrup. Pour in the white wine and allow to simmer for 2 minutes. Add the anchovies and then add the tinned tomatoes, kept whole. Shake the pan and return the lamb to it Bring to the boil, put on lid and simmer in the oven at 180c for 1 ½ hours, then remove the lid and cook for a further ½ hour. Skim off any fat and season to taste.

Remove the lamb shanks from the pan and commence stripping the meat from the bone (if all has been done right this should be quite an easy process albeit hot on the hands). Make sure that the cooked meat is in the ideal bite size portions for the perfect pie filling.

Return the meat to the main dish adding the mushrooms and 100ml of stock and again reduce the mixture ready for filling. Once filling has cooled, combine the ingredients for the gremolata in a bowl, and then fold through mixture. 

Meanwhile; to create the pastry:- combine water, butter and salt in a saucepan and place over a medium heat until butter melts. Remove from heat, add flour and stir to combine quickly. Tip dough on to a floured board and knead quickly until smooth. Divide dough in to eight balls (lids and bases of the pies), using a pie dish template (something round and firm) create the bases and lids ready for the mixture to be added (careful not overfull pies).  Add the mixture sealing the pies with the pastry lids and brushing with the egg wash. Place in a 180c oven for 15-20 mins or until golden brown.  Let pies cool in tins before turning out.

Hope you like it Larry..

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