Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Cookbook Challenge #4

Another cookbook post - I'm quite impressed that I've kept this up! This one is once again from the James Martin book...

Braised Lamb Shank Pies. Definitely a weekend meal, due to the hours of cooking time. Perhaps I should try some quicker meals, as the point of the challenge was partly to expand my repertoire of recipes so that boyfriend and I have a bit more variety *laughs* At least it fulfils the second part of the challenge - actually using the cookbooks I have lying around ;)

Here's a shot of the ingredients (something Mooncalf has done on her posts, which I've stolen because I like it *grins*).

Instead of making a large pie, I made a medium pie in a 2-person sized dish and 2 tiny pies in my adorable Le Creuset casserole-style pots. I like a fair amount of pastry and I figured smaller pies would increase the pastry to filling ratio ;)

Yes, that is a heart on the top - who said you had to have leaf shapes anyway?!

Please excuse the angled shots, I was feeling a little arty ;)

So, verdict... It was tasty, but there were a few things that I would change if I made it again...
  • I don't really think it was necessary to use lamb shanks, any braising lamb would do. It makes it sound fancy, and the flavour of the lamb is great by having the bones in, but not great enough to warrant the cost of shanks and the extra faffing around!
  • The redcurrant jelly gives the sauce a lovely taste, but I'd use less as it also makes it a little sweeter than I would like. 
  • I'd put the onions in later in the cooking process - having them in from the start means they soften so much that they're barely there by the end!
  • The sauce wasn't as rich as those I usually make for stews/pies, so I'd probably tweak the flavours and add some other bits to give it a little more depth.
So, although we both really enjoyed it, I'd make so many changes that it would be a fairly different recipe by the time I got through with it *laughs*


  1. It's not a proper homemade pie without artistic pastry shapes stuck on top! I used to do them with the spare pastry when I was a kid, and Mum would always put them on top of the pie before it went in the oven, or cook them separately for me to eat!

    I still do it now, when I make pies (see my old C is for Cooking post for a rather fetching T+J in a heart motif!)

  2. I love the heart on top of your pie. It says made with love for sure.
    I would think that most any thick stew leftover could be put into a crust and be tasty as can be without all the work of lamb shanks. Can you tell I'm a bit of a lazy cook:)

  3. It looks delicious. I am reading this at about lunch time which is a huge mistake as mow I am really hungry and could just eat a tasty pie!

  4. I'm so impressed. That pie looks wonderful and you sound so expert when you talk about tweaking the flavours. I consider it a bonus if I get through a meal without burning something.

  5. That looks so yummy! I don't eat much lamb, but you are tempting me with those photos.

  6. "So, although we both really enjoyed it, I'd make so many changes that it would be a fairly different recipe by the time I got through with it."

    I think you should make those changes and write up a recipe that the rest of us could try. :D

  7. I'm sure there are no left-overs. Nice picture anyway. ;-)

  8. looks yummy !! think i might join you on a cook book challange...


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