rss facebook The Food in My Beard logo

Jamie Oliver's Lamb Shank Pie


Jamie Jamie Jamie. What are we going to do with you? I really like your ideals about fresh and natural food, your TV shows where you make awesome dishes from the farm, and of course, your relaxed and silly attitude. Your cookbooks are great, a ton of recipes, beautiful pictures, neat ideas, and long intros describing what each dish means to you. You inspire Mandi and me to cook all the time. Unfortunately, we only have a 50% success rate with your recipes!!!!! FIFTY PERCENT!?!?! I would say, on average, we have about a 93% success rate doing anything in the kitchen. So what's the deal, Jamie? 50% is pretty dismal. Your good recipes are always amazing; we use your green curry paste all the time. But the ones that fell flat tend to feel unfinished to me. You were almost there, Jamie, why didn't you keep going? This dish in my opinion is an example of an unfinished recipe by him. If he took it a bit further, it could have been amazing. If the shanks braised a bit longer, or if there was a better balance of flavors, the end result could have been much better. As it currently stands in his book "Cook with Jamie" it is a one note meal with tough, chewy, gamey lamb shanks and not much flavor. It's a shame because it looks so cool

Ask your butcher to French the lamb shanks. It's a pain to do it yourself!

You guys know you need to wash leeks well right?

Butchering skills +2

That's a lotta aromatics!

You know the drill, sear them all around.

This is one thing I have had trouble with in previous Jamie recipes. Why does he love tomato puree so much???? Mix this around until combined. It is a few spoons of tomato puree, 3/4 of a bottle of wine, and 2 tbsp flour.

Cook 5 minutes, then add herbs.

Add wine mixture.

This cooked covered for an hour and a half. I think they should have gone longer, like way longer, but I had never cooked lamb shanks before, so I was blindly following the recipe.

Puff Pastry

Shanks after their hour and a half in the hot tub.

Cut Pastry into thin strips.

After you get all the shanks out, reduce the liquid for 15 minutes.

We had an extra shank, and the pieces of good looking meat from where I frenched them all. I broke this meat up and added it back into the sauce.

Some egg wash around the rim to form a seal.

We started making a bit of a criss cross, but then went crazy towards the end. Jamie even says to place them haphazardly.

More egg wash.

After 20 minutes at 350.

Doesn't it look really awesome??!? Too bad the inside is what counts.


It wasn't awful. I was satisfied after I ate it, but the lamb was not very tasty or tender and the sauce was lacking the complexity most sauces have when you slow cook meat in them.

I am not posting this recipe at the bottom for 3 reasons.

1. If you want the recipe, purchase the book "Cook with Jamie". It is a great book and worth buying despite this recipe.
2. If you REALLY want the recipe and don't want to buy "Cook with Jamie", I think you can tool it out from the pictures.
3. You don't want the recipe.


Looks like some kind of weird mutant chicken pot pie...

Thanks for being honest about its suckiness. The pictures are sweet though.


As I was scrolling, I was all excited to see a SHARK FIN, wondering what clever metaphor would you be attributing to the recipe! - until continuing down, ohwellno, it's just a massive knife.

I love Jamie, but you could totally have your own show.

I have the same success rate with Jamie. I watch his show and the food he makes looks so good. So then i make the recipe from his book hoping it will turn out as good as i saw on the show. But half the time it kinda never turns out right. Something is always lacking for some reason. Like one of the curries in his books was just -bad- & i made it twice following directions exactly, thinking the first time was my fault.

But his apple pie is awesome : )

That pie would be the perfect ship warming gift for pirates. So badass with bones sticking out : )

Thanks for the recipe. My boyfriend is cooking this up for me sans the "pie" part of it right now. Everything is in the pot and I can't wait to taste it when it's ready :)

I've cooked this shank recipe numerous times for family and friends and it has worked from the 1st time i tried it!! I found blending all the herbs with the flour and wine makes a really nice, flavoursome sauce. The sauce also ends up a lot thicker!
As for the meat cooking better, try turning the shanks during their cooking process a little more. Or letting them cook longer! The shanks i use here are really big sometimes so need to alter the cooking time.
Hope this helps! It's such a great winter dish, please try it again!!

50%, what are you guys doing?
We have 3 or 4 of Jamie's books and always use them for no-brainer recipes that work every time. Mind you I always use any recipe as a guide and adjust according to my own taste or whims.
Maybe you're not showing your food enough love, two people cooking the same recipe can come out with a flop and a masterpiece, it has to be in the love! Just a few things I picked up from your photos:

1. Those shanks need a heap more braising, they should be well caramelized on the outside before you put any liquid near them.
2. Seasoning, is pepper really expensive where you live? Season those damn shanks. I use Kampot pepper from Cambodia when I have stock of it, you can eat that stuff straight!
3. Wine. Taste it before you use it, if it doesn't give you that warm, yummy feeling then it ain't going to add nice flavours to your meal. I find a nice thick shiraz works a treat.
4. Parsnip. Ewww, but this is my personal taste. I find parsnips cooked within a stew/liquid add an unpleasant taste.
4.5 Leek. More leek, less onion. Leeks are awesome! My personal tastes coming through again.
5. Frenching. Nothing against the French but leave the shanks alone for a more rustic look, and those bits are yummy to chew on, or feed the dog if you're on a diet.
6. Carrots. I'd dice them a little smaller. Why? I don't really know but they look nicer.
7. Pastry. Hapazardly? Looks like you'd finished the rest of the wine before that art work. Ok now it's time for me to fess up that I'm a little obsessive, compulsive but if you're going for artwork then again show a little more love!

OK I hope we've all taken this in the light-hearted way it is intended. On the upside your photos are excellent and were a great help in seeing where you might tweak the recipe a little. Oh and there's one more thing:

8. Where's the mess? The more mess you make the better the food tastes! Well that's how it works for me, the wife has named me the "Messy Chef", nes cookbooks coming to a store near you soon!

Thanks for the pictures -- very helpful because even though I won't be making this recipe (now that you've said I don't want to :) , I will be cooking lamb shanks soon and have never done it before.

A few tips if you are making lamb shank pie again:

- Add plum sauce. The sweetness compliments the lamb and thickens the sauce
- Add Worcestershire sauce and gravy powder at quantities of your own taste.
- Cook the shanks with the sauce in the oven for at least 3 hours so that the meat fall off.

Lamb shank pie is such an amazing dish when cooked right. I like Jamie Oliver's recipe's but like all recipe's I never just rely on what they say. Always research other recipes and get the best ideas from others and create something better for your own taste. Great blog and pictures though.

Leave a comment