We'd love to hear your thoughts and suggestions on how we can improve things

1 / 4

We'd love to hear your thoughts and suggestions on how we can improve things

2 / 4

We'd love to hear your thoughts and suggestions on how we can improve things

Not Likely
Extremely Likely
3 / 4

We'd love to hear your thoughts and suggestions on how we can improve things

4 / 4
Thanks so much for helping us improve The Pass!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form
Shepherd’s Shank Pie
Over 2 hours

Sheer nostalgia – coming home from school to the alluring smell of onions and garlic and the warmth and buzz of the oven. The lamb shank gives the pie hidden depths of flavour and another texture. You have to run a fork through the mash for texture, and you can sprinkle some cheese or breadcrumbs over it before it goes in the oven, if you like, but it’s pretty good as it is.

Extracted from Giffords Circus Cookbook: Recipes & Stories from a Magical Circus Restaurant by Nell Gifford and Ols Halas (Hardie Grant, £27) Photography: David Loftus

Recipe courtesy of
  • 1 lamb shank
  • 500g lamb shoulder meat, diced
  • vegetable oil, for frying
  • 150ml red wine
  • 500g minced lamb
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 leek, washed and sliced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 3 plum tomatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 3 sprigs of thyme, leaves picked
  • 2 bay leaves
  • sea salt and black pepper

For the mash

  • 1kg floury potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 50g unsalted butter
  • 100ml double cream
  • 2 egg yolks
Create your free account to reveal the step-by-step instructions, save your favourite recipes, receive personalised recipe recommendations and exclusive restaurant cooking content, and be the first to know about new recipe and restaurant launches.
  1. Season the lamb shank and shoulder meat well with salt and pepper. Heat a little oil in a deep, cast-iron pot with a lid and brown the meat over high heat. When it is nicely browned all over, pour in the red wine and use a wooden spoon to scrape up any caramelised bits from the pot, then transfer the meat and wine to a bowl. Wipe out the pot, then add a little more oil and brown the minced lamb. Add the onion and garlic, turn the heat down to low–medium and cook for 10 minutes until the onion is soft and translucent, then add the leek, carrots, tomatoes, thyme and bay leaves. Return the shank and shoulder meat to the pot, along with any juices from the bowl.
  2. Pour in enough water to cover, leaving just the tip of the shank bone sitting proudly in the middle. Bring to the boil then turn down to a simmer, cover with the lid and cook for 2½ hours, or until the meat starts to pull away from the shank.
  3. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  4. For the mash, boil the potatoes until cooked, then drain and mash with a masher, ricer or mouli. In a small saucepan over low heat, melt the butter in the cream, then stir into the mashed potato. Season with salt and pepper and finally add the egg yolks, mixing well until smooth.
  5. Spoon the mash around the shank and use a fork to make a tower, just like you did with your mash as a kid. Cook in the oven for 20 minutes until the mash is golden, then serve up, settle in on the sofa and stick the telly on.

The Pass was created to help the many people now struggling to feed themselves and their families as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic. If you like or use this recipe, please consider making a small donation to Hospitality Action to help those whose livelihoods have all but disappeared.

More recipes to try
Cauliflower Hotcakes with Cherry Tomato, Broad Bean and Avocado Salsa
45 mins
The Flexible Family Cookbook
Rainbow Fries
1 hour
The Flexible Family Cookbook
Popcorn Cauliflower Bites
30 mins