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Giffords Circus Shepherd’s Shank Pie

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  • Medium

To celebrate the new Giffords Circus Cookbook we are sharing their famous, comforting Lamb Shank Shepard's Pie

Giffords Circus Shepherd's Shank Pie

2020 sees Giffords Circus celebrate its 20th anniversary and the the launch of the GIFFORDS CIRCUS COOKBOOK: Recipes & Stories from a Magical Circus Restaurant by Nell Gifford & Ols Halas, featuring delicious communal cooking from its travelling restaurant, Circus Sauce, which is headed by chef Ols Halas. Alongside the 100 recipes, this beautiful book is full of colourful stories and images featuring the story of the circus itself and its vibrant community.

Giffords Circus was started by Nell and Toti Gifford and has been touring the south of England every summer since 2000. A traditional village circus with a uniquely British charm, blended with extraordinary acts from all over the world, Giffords Circus has become an institutional show. Sadly, this year they will be celebrating this amazing milestone without one of its founder members, as the magnificent Nell Gifford passed away in late 2019.

Circus is our job, our life, our love. Come to Giffords Circus and be part of the magic.
Nell Gifford, Giffords Circus co-founder

This beautiful cookbook includes plenty of hearty fare like Pork belly baps with poached rhubarb and Braised beef short ribs with sticky dates and hazelnuts, fresh and light sharers of Salmon goujons with laver bread tartare and cauliflower, Romanesco, raisin and almond salad, decadent dishes including Lobster and squid ink lasagne and crowd pleasers including Smoked ham hock in pastry with piccalilli and BBQ corn with sweet chilli butter. There are also brilliant takes on classic desserts such as Eton mess, Queen of puddings, Over-ripe berry and champagne soup and Rum babas with roast pineapple.

To celebrate 20 years of fun, laughter and good food, we’re sharing their recipe for Shepherd’s Shank Pie.

Giffords Circus say: 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.

Giffords Circus Shepherd's Shank Pie
GIFFORDS CIRCUS COOKBOOK: RECIPES & STORIES FROM A MAGICAL CIRCUS RESTAURANT by Nell Gifford & Ols Halas | Photography by David Loftus.
GIFFORDS CIRCUS COOKBOOK: RECIPES & STORIES FROM A MAGICAL CIRCUS RESTAURANT by Nell Gifford & Ols Halas | Photography by David Loftus.
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Ingredients

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

For the mash

  • floury potatoes 1kg, peeled and cut into chunks
  • Unsalted butter 50g
  • double cream 100ml
  • egg yolks 2

Method

  • Step 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.

  • Step 2

    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.

  • Step 3

    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.

  • Step 4

    Return the shank and shoulder meat to the pot, along with any juices from the bowl. Pour in enough water to cover, leaving just the tip of the shank bone sitting proudly in the middle.

  • Step 5

    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.

    Preheat the oven to 180°C.

  • Step 6

    For the mash, boil the potatoes until cooked, then drain and mash with a masher, ricer or mouli.

  • Step 7

    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.

  • Step 8

    Spoon the mash around the shank and use a fork to make a tower, just like you did with your mash as a kid.

  • Step 9

    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.

GIFFORDS CIRCUS COOKBOOK: RECIPES & STORIES FROM A MAGICAL CIRCUS RESTAURANT by Nell Gifford & Ols Halas | Photography by David Loftus.

Published 26th March 2020 by Quadrille BUY HERE >>

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