This dish goes back to Guinness’ Irish roots. The Guinness gives a smooth richness to the pie filling and works together with the earthy flavour and texture of the mushrooms. The pie is served with a smoother version of the classic Irish potato dish, champ.
- 4 lamb shanks, frenched
- 2 garlic cloves
- 2 onions, diced
- 1 carrot, diced
- 1 rib celery, diced
- 1 sprig rosemary
- 4 sprigs thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 2 cups sliced mushrooms
- ½ cup tomato puree
- 440ml Guinness®
- 1L chicken stock
- ½ cup flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
- 1 tsp sea salt flakes
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp butter kneaded with 2 tbsp plain flour
- 4 sheets puff pastry
- 1 egg, beaten (for brushing)
- 500g potatoes
- 100g butter
- 1 cup cream
- 1 cup spring onions, chopped
- a little extra melted butter, to serve
- dressed watercress salad, to serve
Heat 1 tbsp oil a casserole dish and brown the lamb shanks well all over and remove to a bowl. Add the remaining oil and fry the onions, carrot and celery until softened and then add in the mushrooms, tomato puree, salt and herbs and fry for 1 more minute. Return the lamb shanks to the pot and add the Guinness and stock to completely cover the shanks. Bring to a simmer and them reduce the heat, cover the pot and simmer for 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally until the lamb is nearly falling from the bone.
Strain the lamb and vegetables from the sauce (removing bay leaves and herb twigs), return the sauce to the stove and reduce until quite thick. Whisk the butter and flour together with the reduced sauce over heat for 3-4 minutes. Return the lamb shanks to the sauce and refrigerate overnight.
To make the champ, peel the potatoes quarter them and cover with cold, salted water. Bring to the boil and simmer until tender. Drain the potatoes very well and mash or pass through a sieve until smooth. Whisk together the butter and cream over heat until emulsified and whip the emulsion into the potato. Stir through the spring onions and season to taste.
Preheat an oven to 200C (180C fan forced). Wrap one lamb shank in puff pastry and add 2-3 tbsp of the sauce mixture, gathering the pastry tightly around the bone. Brush with egg wash and bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.
Alternative: Preheat your oven to 200C (180C fan forced). Line a small individual pie tin with puff pastry, prick the base weight down with dry beans or pastry weights. Bake for 10 minutes until the pastry is firm. Strip the lamb meat from the bone and discard the bones. Return the lamb meat back to the sauce. Set aside. Remove the pastry weights and fill the pastry case with the lamb shank mixture. Top with a pastry lid. Brush with egg wash and bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.
Serve the pie with the champ and a dressed watercress salad. Make a little well in the centre of the champ and drizzle in a little melted butter.