Lamb Shank Shepard’s Pie

By - Colin Fassnidge

  • 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 lamb shanks
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 3/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 2 cinnamon quills
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1 tbs fresh thyme
  • 1 cup (250ml) white wine
  • 3 cups (750ml) tomato passata

Cheesy potato topping

  • 1.6kg sebago potatoes, peeled, cut into 3cm pieces
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) pure (thin) cream
  • 30g unsalted butter
  • 140g cheddar, coarsely grated
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 bunch flat-leaf parsley, leaves picked, finely chopped
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
  1. Heat oil in a large heavy-based saucepan over medium-high heat. Season lamb all over and add it to the pan. Cook, turning, for 8-10 minutes until browned all over. Set aside. Add the onion, carrot, celery, garlic, spices, bay leaves, and thyme to the pan, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5-6 minutes or until the vegetables start to soften. Add white wine and scrape the bottom of the pan using a wooden spoon.
  2. Return lamb to the pan, add passata, 2 cups (500ml) water and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and simmer gently for 3 hours, 30 minutes-4 hours, or until meat is falling off the bone. Remove the lamb and set aside. Skim off excess fat from the sauce, then increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer sauce for 15-20 minutes until thickened. Shred meat into large chunks, discarding any fat, sinew, and bones. Add meat to the sauce, season to taste, and stir to combine. Set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, for the cheesy potato topping, place potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with cold, salted water. Place pan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and boil for 25-30 minutes until cooked. Drain potatoes and return to the pan. Add cream, butter, half the cheddar, and nutmeg, and mash until smooth and creamy. Season to taste, and stir through the parsley and lemon zest.
  4. Preheat oven to 180°C. In a 2L-capacity baking dish, add the lamb mixture and spoon over potato topping. Scatter with remaining 70g cheddar and bake for 40-45 minutes until crispy and golden on top