Lamb shanks pie

Lamb shanks pie

By
From
Home Comforts
Serves
4
Photographer
Yuki Sigura

When I was younger and worked in London, we used to buy lamb shanks for 15p each. But, thanks to us chefs using them more, the price has gone up. They are still cheap given the amount of meat on them, but they need to be well cooked so it falls off the bone. They can also be bought in most supermarkets nowadays, which is an added bonus.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
4 lamb shanks
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon rapeseed oil
2 onions, roughly chopped
4 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tablespoons plain flour, plus more to dust
250ml white wine
750ml chicken stock
600g potatoes, peeled and cut into 2.5cm chunks
3 large carrots, peeled and cut into 2.5cm chunks
4 celery sticks, cut into 2.5cm chunks
2 bay leaves
2 sprigs rosemary
4 sprigs thyme
400g can of haricot beans, drained
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
400g rough puff pastry, (see note)
300g peas

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C.
  2. Season the lamb shanks with salt and pepper. Heat a large casserole dish until hot, add the rapeseed oil and the lamb shanks and seal, turning, until golden brown on all sides. Remove and set aside, then add the onions. Cook for two or three minutes until softened, then add the garlic and cook for another minute. Add the flour, stir well and cook out for another minute before adding the white wine, stock, potatoes, carrots, celery, bay leaves, rosemary and thyme to the casserole. Bring to a simmer.
  3. Stir in the beans, then return the lamb shanks to the pan and return to a gentle simmer. Cover and place in the oven for two hours, or simmer over a low heat on the hob if you prefer, until the lamb shanks are tender.
  4. Remove from the oven. The lamb should be totally tender, but not quite falling off the bone. Place them upright in a baking dish with the vegetables around them, then set aside to cool completely. The lamb must be cold before you put the pastry on.
  5. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  6. Brush the sides of a pie dish with egg wash, inside and out. Roll the pastry out on a floured surface to 5cm bigger than the pie dish and 5mm thick.
  7. Lay the sheet of pastry over the lamb shanks. Make four small slits with a sharp knife where the bones are and press gently down so that the bones stick out through the pastry. Crimp the pastry around the rim of the dish; this will help it stay attached and not slide off the dish. Brush with the egg and season with a little salt, then place in the oven and bake for 45–60 minutes until the pastry is golden brown and cooked through and the filling hot.
  8. Bring a pan of salted water to the boil, add the peas and cook for three or four minutes until tender. Drain and serve with the pie.

Note

  • The key is make sure the shanks are cooked well and cooled before making the pie, that way the meat will just fall apart.

Note

  • For the pastry, place 250 g flour in a mound on a clean work surface and make a well in the centre. Place 250 g very cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes, and salt in the well and work them together with the fingertips of one hand, gradually drawing the flour into the centre with the other hand. When the cubes of butter have become small pieces and the dough is grainy, gradually add 125 ml of ice-cold water and mix until it is all incorporated. But don’t overwork the dough; the butter should give a marbled effect to the pastry and not be mixed in fully.

    Roll the mixture out on a lightly floured surface into a 2.5 cm-thick rectangle, wrap in cling film and refrigerate for 20 minutes. Flour the work surface and roll out the pastry into a 40 x 20 cm rectangle. Fold one short side over by one-third, then the other short side on top of it, as though you were folding a business letter. Turn 90°. Roll the block of pastry into a 40 x 20 cm rectangle as before and fold it into three again. These are the first two turns. Repeat twice more to make four turns in total. Wrap the pastry in cling film and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before using.
Tags:
James Martin
Saturday Kitchen
comfort food
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