- 4 lamb shanks (about 1kg)
- 1/2 cup (75g) plain flour
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 medium (240g) carrots, chopped
- 3 (300g) celery sticks, chopped
- 2 medium (300g) brown onions, chopped
- 4 clove garlic, chopped
- 1/4 cup (70g) tomato paste
- 1 1/2 cup (375ml) red wine
- 1 1/2 cup (375ml) veal or beef stock
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
- 2 bay leaves
- 4 sheets frozen shortcrust pastry, partially thawed
- 3 sheets butter puff pastry
- 1 egg, beaten lightly
- 1Toss the lamb in the flour seasoned with salt and pepper. Shake away the excess flour; reserve remaining flour. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large frying pan over a medium-high heat. Add lamb, cook until browned all over. Transfer lamb to a slow cooker.
- 2Heat the remaining oil in the same pan over medium heat. Add the carrot, celery, onion and garlic; cook, stirring, for about 5 minutes or until the onion is soft but not browned. Add tomato paste; cook, stirring, for a further 1 minute.
- 3Stir in wine; bring to the boil. Blend reserved flour with a little of the stock in a small bowl until smooth. Add flour mixture, remaining stock and herbs to pan; bring to the boil. Add to slow cooker. Make sure all the meat is submerged in the liquid – any meat poking out the top will be tough and dry.
- 4Put the lid on and cook on low for 6-8 hours (or high for 3-4 hours). The meat will be tender and falling off the bone.
- 5Remove the lamb and vegetables from the sauce with a slotted spoon; cover to keep warm. Discard the bay leaves. Pour the sauce into a medium saucepan. Boil, stirring, for about 15 minutes or until the sauce is thickened.
- 6Using two forks, shred the lamb and remove and discard the bones. Add the lamb and vegetables to the pan with the thickened sauce. The mixture should be thick and rich-flavoured, and not too wet. Season to taste; cool.
- 7Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan-forced). Divide pastry into 8 pieces. Roll each piece on lightly floured surface until large enough to line 8 individual metal pie dishes. Ease the pastry into dishes; trim edges, leaving a small overhang of pastry. Or, cut the shortcrust pastry sheets in half diagonally and line 8 individual metal pie dishes with the pastry. Trim the edges, leaving a small overhang of pastry.
- 8Line the pastry with baking paper and fill with pastry weights or rice. Place pie dishes on an oven tray. Bake for about 15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove the paper and weights. Cool on a wire rack. Increase the oven temperature to 220°C (200°C fan-forced).
- 9Divide the lamb mixture between pastry cases. Cut rounds from puff pastry to fit over the tops of the pies. Brush the edges of the pie cases with a little egg and place the puff pastry on top; use a fork to seal the edges. If you like, use some of the pastry scraps to make lamb shapes to go on top.
- 10Brush the pie tops with egg; bake for about 25 minutes or until puffed and golden.
You can make the filling the day before. If you don't have a slow cooker, cook the lamb, in a covered ovenproof dish, in a 180°C (160°C fan-forced) oven for about 2 hours, or until the lamb is tender. You may not need to reduce the sauce if you cook it in the oven. Suitable to freeze. Not suitable to microwave.
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