We love a picnic in our family. We love being out in nature with no boundaries, with freedom and spending time together with no distractions. I have to admit though one of my highlights is what’s inside the picnic basket!
In the colder months I like to include something warm, like these Lamb Shank Handheld Pies, which I thought would pair beautifully with the Jim Barry 2017 Shiraz from the Clare Valley in South Australia.
The Shiraz is gorgeous and rich. The palate is dominated by dark fruits and brambles, spice and a hint of warming oak. If you haven’t tried Shiraz before, I think it’s a lovely entry into red wines as it often has a hint of sweetness.
Now that the trans-Tasman travel bubble has opened up between NZ and Australia, kiwis can now fly to Australia without needing to Quarantine. This means that you can head to one of the many events that are on over the year for the ‘Year of South Australian Wine’. So good right?!
So, what is all that about I hear you ask? Well, it is a year of festivals all over South Australia celebrating… you guessed it, wine! There will be degustation dining, live music, gourmet food, great hosts, museum wine tastings, cellar dinners, long lunches, mulled wine and exclusive wine tastings. This is the place to be!
There are events being held all over the region, Clare Valley, Barossa Valley & McLaren Vale to name a few.
If you can’t make it over to Oz, perhaps you could pick up a bottle of wine from South Australia and match it to your meal. They produce world class wines and the history within the region is incredible. I remember seeing vines there that are over 100 years old. It makes NZ’s wine scene feel so youthful. I saw all of this first-hand when I went on tour of South Australian wineries with a girlfriend 10 years ago. It was incredible, we had the best time and tried the most amazing wines. See images at the end of this post of me and my friend Amy in SA 10 years ago!
For more info on the events head to southaustralia.com/wine
The recipe for these handheld pies is quite simple, you make a lovely pie filling with succulent lamb shanks, and then place them into flaky pastry and bake until golden. What a perfect treat with a glass of shiraz.
I also made some salmon & cream cheese bagels, and you can’t have a picnic without some oozy brie, with home made quince paste and crackers. What a vibe!
Lamb Shank Handheld Pies
I did the pie filling in my pressure cooked but the notes have instructions for the oven.
Lamb Shank Handheld Pies
- 4 lamb shanks
- 1.5 cups of beef stock
- 1 tablespoon Tomato Paste
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- ½ cup white flour
- Salt and pepper
- 1 onion sliced
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 2 medium carrots peeled and diced
- Neutral oil I used vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons of Cornflour made into a slurry by adding 2 tablespoons of water and mixing
- 4 sheets of Flaky Puff Pastry
- 1 egg
Place the flour in a bowl and season with salt and pepper, toss the lamb shanks in the flour and shake off any excess.
Turn your pressure cooker on sauté, add a teaspoon of oil, and in batches, cook the shanks on all sides until golden. They will take a few minutes each side.
Once all shanks are done, remove from the pressure cooker and add the onions and carrots and sauté for 5 minutes until translucent. Add the shanks back into the pan, add the beef stock, tomato paste, brown sugar, and seasoning. Place the lid on the pressure cooker and set onto manual for 1 hour.
Once done, release the valve and remove the mixture from the pressure cooker. Take the shanks out and with a spoon, strain off any fat. Depending on how big your shanks are, you may like to drain some of the liquid off, I drained about ¼ of a cup of the liquid off and discard.
Now to thicken the sauce, turn the pressure cooker back to sauté, add your cornflour slurry and mix well. Cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Strip the meat from the bones and add it back to the sauce.
Then we need to mix to cool before making the pies, you can do this by leaving it to cool naturally or refrigerate.
When you are ready to assemble, preheat the oven to 180 fan bake, cut a circle in your pastry, mine are 11cm diameter. Place around 2 tablespoons of mixture inside, and seal using your fingers. I fold over the edges with my fingers, but you can use a fork if you like.
Repeat until all pies are made. Place on lined baking trays and prick with a fork to create steam holes, then brush with the egg mixed with 1 teaspoon of water.
Bake for approx. 20 minutes until golden and cooked.
Serve with tomato chutney.
If using the oven, cook at 160 degrees covered with a lid, until the meat is falling off the bone. Around 2 hours, time will differ depending on how big your shanks are and how hot your oven runs.