This week's cold snap was a welcome relief on the farm, 52mm of rain after weeks of strong NW winds - but it's got me thinking of autumnal comfort food in the kitchen.
These lamb shank pot pies are deliciously meaty, perfect for Sunday lunch or dinner any night. The recipe is no fuss and it's easy to make a big batch and freeze them with the pastry unbaked to pull out and finish in the oven for a quick mid-week dinner.
You can top with either pastry or mashed potato for a gluten free alternative.
The Recipe - (serves 4, makes 4 x 1.5c individual pies or 1 large):
1 Onion - finely diced
2 Carrots - finely diced
4 cloves garlic - crushed
Handful of Rosemary - torn
2T sweet chilli sauce
1/2 cup red wine
2 cups Beef Stock
2T Worcester Sauce
1-2T Arrowroot Powder (cornflour will do in a pinch)
2 Lamb Shanks
In a pan or Casserole dish that can go on the stove top, saute the onion, carrot, rosemary and garlic in a little oil until the onion is transparent and vegetables just cooked.
Remove from the heat and add the shanks and all of the liquid/sauces. Cover and bake at 180 degrees C for 2-3 hours until the meat is falling from the bone, if the shanks aren't completely covered by the liquid make sure you turn them once or twice while cooking.
Once the shanks are cooked, let them cool a little then remove the bones and using 2 forks or tongs, shred the meat to bite sized pieces. It should be so tender that this takes no effort at all.
Return the meat and sauce to the stove top and bring to the boil. Mix the arrowroot with a little water to make a smooth paste and add to the meat mixture to thicken. Boil for 10-15 minutes or until thick.
Taste and season with care, beef stock can be quite salty.
Spoon into your dish/dishes, roll pastry over the top and pierce several times to let the steam escape. Bake for a further 15-20 minutes until the pastry is golden brown.
TIP - if you're using quite fatty shanks its a good idea to cook the shanks the day before, refrigerate overnight then skim the fat off before you make the pies