I always associate pies with autumn/wintry meal. I think it's because of their cosiness. You have the lovely warm filling of root vegetable, the tender meat and the creamy sauce; and also the crunchy, flaky pastry crusts.
Yesterday when I decided this is what I'm gonna make for today's dinner, before I went to bed, I wished tomorrow to be rainy and damp, like the winter so that I can really enjoy my pie.
And guess what, when I woke up this morning, it was raining, cold and miserable, you know, the typical British weather. It's so weird. Have I suddenly possessed the power to control the weather? Maybe.
Jamie's recipe for this lamb shank pie is very straightforward. Start by browning the seasoned shanks in olive oil for a few minutes and then put them aside on a plate. Sauté some chopped carrots, onions, turnip, leek and celery until the veg has softened. Add flour, red wine, tomato purée, a small bunch of fresh rosemary and fresh thyme. Put the shanks back into the pan and push them down in the sauce so they are completely covered by the liquid. Bring to a boil and then cover with a lid and simmer for an hour and a half. When the time is up, you'll end up with a delicious sauce (give a little taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary) and meat that is so tender but still holding its shape.
If you have a high-sided earthenware dish where the shanks can fit snugly into, take them out of the pan and put them into your dish. I don't have one and the reason I waited this long to make this recipe is because I've been looking for this dish everywhere but I had no luck. The ones I found are either too big, too small or too expensive. At the end, I used my le creuset pot and it worked! waahayy!
Beat an egg with a splash of milk and brush around the rim of your dish. Cover the pie with strips of puff pastry. Don't worry if you can't make the perfect lattice, I can't. In fact, Jamie's instruction is to 'lay these strips randomly and erratically over the dish, criss-crossing and winding them around the shank bones'. And there's no need to trim the edges neatly. I also think with pies, the more homey they look, the better. Brush the pastry strips with the egg was and put in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes until the pastry is nicely golden. Easy as pie.
I had the pie with some peas, but broccoli, carrots or cabbage would also be lovely.
One last thing, I wish tomorrow will be nice and sunny, because I'm going to the beach.