I was asked to come into the Today show this morning, even though I am normally on Tuesdays, because a very special guest was going to be on the show.
Pat Farmer ran nearly 21,000km – two full marathons every day, with no days off, for ten months – and arrived home yesterday. Reunited now with his two beautiful teenaged children, Pat ran to raise awareness and funds for the excellent work of Red Cross.
Not many people know this, but I am a runner myself. I run out of petrol, I run late, I run into friends, my mascara runs and sometimes I even have the runs. But despite my obvious dedication to running, I can’t even begin to imagine what it would be like to run. Two. Marathons. A day. For TEN MONTHS! The mental strength, the dedication to the dream, the vision, the philanthropic spirit…I am in awe of Pat’s achievement.
Now he’s home, and he wants a lamb pie. And by God, the man is going to get a lamb pie. The recipe’s below, with step-by-step pics.
Bravo Pat. Any time you want a lamb pie, give me a yell.
Makes 4 pies
Prep time: 15 minutes Cooking time: 6 – 8 hours
½ cup plain flour
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp ground white pepper
4 frenched lamb shanks
3 tbs oil
2 carrots, diced
3 celery sticks, diced
2 onions, diced
4 cloves garlic, chopped
¼ cup tomato paste
1 ½ cups red wine
1 ½ cups veal or beef stock
1 teaspoon thyme leaves
2 bay leaves
2 sheets short crust pastry
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 sheets puff pastry
Combine flour, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Coat the lamb shanks in the flour. Be careful to shake off the excess flour, otherwise it will burn in the pan.
In a large fry pan, heat 1 tablespoon oil over a medium-high heat. Brown the lamb shanks until golden, and transfer to the bowl of a slow cooker.
Lower the heat in the fry pan to medium. With the last tbs oil, add the celery, carrot, onion and garlic. Saute for 3-4 minutes or until the onion is translucent but not brown.
Add tomato paste to the vegetables and cook for a further minute.
Into the pan, add wine, stock, thyme and bay leaves. Add any of the leftover flour from coating the lamb.
Place the vegetable mixture into the slow cooker. Make sure all the meat is submerged in the liquid – any meat poking out the top will be tough and dry.
Put the lid on and cook on the low setting for 6-8 hours. After this length of time the meat will literally be falling off the bone. Remove from the sauce with a slotted spoon and keep under foil. Pour the sauce into a pot and place on a medium-high heat on the stove top and boil until the sauce is as thick as you like it. Be careful to keep stirring so nothing burns.
Using two forks, shred the lamb. Be careful to remove any small bones.
Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan forced)
Cut the short crust pastry sheets in half diagonally and line 6 individual pie trays with the pastry. Trim the edges, leaving a small overhang to allow for shrinkage. Line with Glad Bake and fill with rice or pastry weights. Bake on a tray for 15 minutes. Remove the weights and cool on a wire rack.
Increase the oven temperature to 220ºC (200ºC fan forced)
When the lamb has cooled, divide the mixture into the pie bases.
Cut circles from the puff pastry to fit over the tops of the pies. Brush the edges of the pie cases with egg and place the puff pastry on top.
Cut a small vent in the top of the pie to allow for escaping steam. Brush the top with egg.
Bake for 25 minutes or until puffed and golden.