Pie. Pie. Pie. Is there much else better in this world than pie? Nope. Perfecting pie, or at least the consumption of pie throughout winter is what it’s all about #lifegoals.
Life requires a tremendous amount of pie. Pie like this Moroccan number that has slow cooked goodness oozing from its pores, encased in a hug of buttery light pastry that hopefully finds its way to your belly via a dinner table surrounded by your best of mixed tape of family and friends. And preferably wine.
A perfect life.
¼ cup olive oil
4 lamb shanks, frenched
2 brown onions, peeled, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 x 330ml bottle of golden ale style beer (I used James Squire Chancer)
1 cup veal stock
1 celery stalks, peeled, chopped
1 cup pitted dates
1 x 400g tin chickpeas, rinsed thoroughly
2 x 400g tinned cherry tomatoes
1 tbsp ras el hanout spice blend
1 tsp dried mint
1 x sheet Careme puff pastry or other excellent quality puff pastry
Preheat the oven to 180C
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over high heat. Cook the shanks, turning often until well browned all over. Remove and set aside. Add the onion and garlic to the pan and cook for 3 minutes or until soft. Return the shanks to the pan with the beer and stock.
Cover and simmer for 1 1/2 hours. Add the celery, dates, chickpeas, tomatoes and spices and simmer, covered for 45 minutes until the shanks are tender and the liquid has reduced. If not continue cooking until thick. If unsure just think – is this going to make it a sloppy pie? – no one likes a sloppy pie. Shred the meat into the sauce, stirring to combine and reserve the shank bones. Pour the mixture into a pie dish. Stick a few of the bones in the centre of the mixture – these will pop through the pastry creating the perfect vent for steam. Fit the pastry over the dishes, cutting a hole for the shank bones. Bake for 20 minutes or until puffed and golden.
Image credit: Katrina Meynick