Lamb shank pies
Serves 6 | prep 1 hr | total time
- 6 lamb hind shanks, each weighing about 400g
- 50g plain flour
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 medium onions, finely chopped
- 4 fat garlic cloves, crushed
- 2 sprigs of rosemary, leaves only
- 2 large sprigs of thyme, leaves only
- 2 fresh bay leaves
- 2 tbsp tomato purée
- 300ml red wine
- 1 x 450g tub fresh beef stock
- 1 x 450g tub fresh chicken stock
- 1 tbsp redcurrant jelly
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and finely chopped
- 2 sticks celery, finely chopped
- 20g softened butter
- 750g chilled puff pastry
- 1 large egg, beaten, to glaze
Prepare to the end of step 6 up to 2 days ahead and chill. The cooked lamb shanks and sauce can also be frozen.
- Season the lamb shanks with salt and pepper. Set on a plate and dust them lightly with 25g flour, reserving the flour left behind on the plate. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large, deep, flameproof casserole in which the shanks will fit snugly, add 3 of the shanks and fry until nicely browned on all sides. Lift out onto a plate and repeat with the rest of the lamb shanks, then wipe out the casserole with kitchen paper.
- Add the rest of the oil and the onion to the casserole and fry until lightly browned – about 10 minutes. Add the garlic, herbs and tomato purée and fry for 1 minute more. Stir in any remaining flour from dusting, then add the wine and cook rapidly until it has reduced by half. Add both types of stock, the redcurrant jelly and some pepper. Bring to the boil, return the lamb shanks to the pan and reduce the heat to low, part-cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
- Stir in the carrots and celery and simmer, covered, for a further 1½ hours, turning the shanks occasionally, until they are tender.
- Lift the lamb shanks out of the sauce, set to one side and cover. Skim the excess fat from the surface of the sauce, remove and discard the bay leaves, increase the heat a little and simmer for another 30 minutes or so, until it is reduced and well-flavoured.
- Blend the softened butter with the remaining 25g flour, add to the sauce and simmer, stirring, for 2-3 minutes until nicely thickened. Adjust the seasoning.
- Spoon some of the sauce into the base of 6 x 500ml deep ovenproof dishes that will each hold a lamb shank snugly. Stand the lamb shanks upright on top and spoon the rest of the sauce around each one. Leave to cool.
- Divide the puff pastry into 6 evenly sized pieces and roll each piece out on a lightly floured surface into a lid slightly larger than the top of the pie dishes. Cut a small cross, slightly off centre, in each one. Brush the rim of each pie dish with beaten egg and carefully lift the lids over the pie dishes so that the lamb bones poke through the holes. Press the edges firmly onto the rim and the sides of the dishes. Wrap foil around the lamb shank bones so that they don't over-brown during cooking and chill the pies for 20 minutes. To transport, take the chilled, uncooked pies, in a large baking tray, ready to bake. If it's a long journey it's best to take the cooked lamb shanks in their sauce, then prepare and top with pastry lids at your destination.
- Preheat the oven to 200°C, fan 180°C, gas 6. Place the pie dishes onto a baking tray, brush the pastry with beaten egg and score a diamond pattern onto the top of each pie with the tip of a small, sharp knife. Bake for 30-35 minutes until the pastry is crisp and golden and the filling is bubbling hot. Allow an extra 10 minutes if cooking from chilled.