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Updated: Dec 28, 2021

Prep Time 15 minutes - Total Time 4 hours - Serves 5

When I think of autumn and winter food, this is one of the dishes that spring to mind straight away, but when it’s this good, don’t wait for when the clocks go back. This is the perfect family dinner for any day of the year.

We’ve all had a bad shepherds pie but when properly done it's a thing of beauty. And what makes this ultimate is that I use lamb mince as well as slow-cooked lamb shank which takes it to that next level.

(You will also find this recipe on page 118 of my book Richard’s Family Favourites click here)

Lamb Shanks Ingredients

  • 2 lamb shanks.

  • 1 red onion, skin on and roughly chopped.

  • 1 carrot, roughly chopped.

  • 1 stick of celery, roughly chopped.

  • 2 garlic cloves, skin on and lightly crushed.

  • 3 sprigs of fresh rosemary.

  • 3 sprigs of fresh thyme.

  • 350 ml red wine.

  • 500 ml lamb stock.

Filling Ingredients

  • 500 g minced lamb.

  • 2 tbsps of Worcestershire sauce.

  • 2 tbsps of tomato purée.

  • 1 tbsp of plain flour.

  • 2 carrots, diced.

  • 2 onions, diced.

  • 350 ml red wine.

  • 350 ml lamb stock.

  • 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary, roughly chopped.


  1. Place a large ovenproof deep dish over a high heat and get it hot. Add a splash of oil and fry the lamb shanks for around 7-10 minutes or till nice and golden on all sides. Then add the onions, carrots, celery, garlic, herbs and season. Pour in the red wine and reduce for a couple of minutes. Add the stock you want enough to cover the lamb, so top up with water if need be, and bring to a boil. Pop a lid on leaving a small gap and place on the middle shelf of a preheated oven set at 160℃ for 2-3 hrs or till super tender and falling off the bone. Once done, just leave to one side.

  2. In another large ovenproof deep dish over a high heat add a splash of oil and fry the minced lamb for 10 minutes. You want to get it nice and golden, then pop to one side.

  3. In the same dish, add a little more oil then add the carrots, onions, rosemary and cook over a low light for 15 minutes, giving it a stir every so often.

  4. Return the mince and any juices back to the dish, add the tomato purée and cookout for a minute. Next, add the Worcestershire sauce, the flour, give it all a good mix then turn up the heat right up. Add the wine and reduce it by 3/4, should take around 5 minutes and you’ll see it get nice and thick.

  5. Add the stock, bring to the boil then put a lid on. Lower the heat to the lowest and simmer for 1-hour stirring occasionally.

  6. Once the hour is up, turn off the heat and allow it to rest while you take the lamb shanks and spread the meat off the bone then add to the dish. Give everything a good stir and check for seasoning. Top the filling with mash and pop into a preheated oven set at 200℃ for 30 minutes or till golden brown.

  7. Serve with a mounting of peas and lots of beetroot or pickled red cabbage.

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