Makes 4 pies
• Prep time: 15 minutes
• Cooking time: 6-8 hours
• ½ cup plain flour
• ¼ tsp salt
• ¼ tsp ground white pepper
• 4 frenched lamb shanks
• 3 tbs oil
• 2 carrots, diced
• 3 celery sticks, diced
• 2 onions, diced
• 4 cloves garlic, chopped
• ¼ cup tomato paste
• 1 ½ cups red wine
• 1 ½ cups veal or beef stock
• 1 teaspoon thyme leaves
• 2 bay leaves
• 1 or 2 sheets puff pastry (depending on the size of the ramekins or pie dishes)
• 1 egg, lightly beaten
1. Combine flour, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Coat the lamb shanks in the flour. Be careful to shake off the excess flour, otherwise it will burn in the pan.
2. In a large fry pan, heat 1 tablespoon oil over a medium-high heat. Brown the lamb shanks until golden, and transfer to the bowl of a slow cooker.
3. Lower the heat in the fry pan to medium. With the last tbs oil, add the carrot, celery, onion and garlic. Saute for 3-4 minutes or until the onion is translucent but not brown.
4. Add tomato paste to the vegetables and cook for a further minute.
5. Into the pan, add wine, stock, thyme and bay leaves. Add any of the leftover flour from coating the lamb.
6. Place the vegetable mixture into the slow cooker. Make sure all the meat is submerged in the liquid – any meat poking out the top will be tough and dry.
7. Put the lid on and cook on the low setting for 6-8 hours. After this length of time the meat will literally be falling off the bone. Remove from the sauce with a slotted spoon and keep under foil. Pour the sauce into a pot and place on a medium-high heat on the stove top and boil until the sauce is as thick as you like it. Be careful to keep stirring so nothing burns.
8. Using two forks, shred the lamb. Be careful to remove any small bones. Put the meat into the pot with the thickened gravy. The mixture should be thick and rich-flavoured, and not too wet. Allow it to cool before assembling the pies.
9. Preheat oven to 220°C (200°C fan forced)
10. Place the meat into four ramekins. Brush the edges with a little beaten egg and place partially thawed pastry on top, pressing gently around the edges. Cut a vent in the centre of the pastry, and brush the top with egg. Place the ramekins onto a tray and bake for 20-25 minutes or until pastry is puffed up and golden.
Serves 4 • Prep time: 10 minutes + marinating time • Cooking time: 15-20 minutes
Serves 6-8 • Prep time: 5 minutes • Cooking time: 1.5 hours
Serves 6 (as accompaniment) • Prep time: 3 minutes • Cooking time: 1 hour
Serves 4 • Prep time: 10 minutes • Cooking time: 1 hour