Category: Easter

Lamb shank pie


I tried this recipe for a dinner party once and it was a huge success, so I thought that it would be a nice alternative to roast leg of lamb this Easter. Taken from Jamie Olivers ‘Cook with Jamie’ it’s really simple to follow and will impress every time.


For the sauce:
2 tablespoons tomato puree

3/4 of a bottle of red wine

1 tablespoon plain flour

2 tablespoons olive oil

4 meaty lamb shanks – french trimmed if possible for visual effect

seasalt and ground black pepper

3 carrots peeled and roughly chopped

3 onions roughly chopped

1 medium turnip roughly chopped

2 leeks washed and roughly chopped

4-5 sticks celery roughly chopped

small bunch fresh rosemary

small bunch of fresh thyme

Pastry topping: 

1 x 500g pack of puff pastry

plain flour, for dusting

1 large free-rage egg, beaten

splash of milk

– serves 4 –


1. Whizz together the tomato puree, wine and tablespoon of flour in a food processor

2. Add olive oil to a very large saucepan and turn to a medium-high heat (you’ll need it big enough to fit the veg and the 4 shanks!)

3. Season the shanks all over with salt and pepper the pop them into the pan and brown off on all sides for a few minutes. When finished, remove from the pan and leave to one side

4. Add to the pan the chopped carrots, onion, turnip, leek and celery and cook for 15 minutes on a medium heat, or until they’re all softened.

5. Add to the pan the 2 teaspoons of flour, the wine sauce and the rosemary and thyme

6. Return the shanks to the pan, and push them right in so that they’re covered by the sauce

7. Bring to the boil, then place a tight fitting lid to the pan and turn down the heat to simmer for 1 and a half hours.

8. Remove the lid and raise to a rapid simmer for a further half an hour or until the liquid has reduced slightly and thickened.

9. Roll out the puff pastry and slice into long thick strips. Pre-heat the oven to 200C/gas 6

10. Transfer the lamb shanks and all of the lovely veg and juices to a deep pie dish and position the shanks so that the bones are sticking upwards.

11. Cover the dish with the pastry, wrapping it around the base of the shank bones and leaving the 4 tops of the bones sticking out.

12. Brush over the pastry with the beaten egg and milk.

13. Place the pie into the middle of the oven and cook for 20 minutes, or until the pastry has turned a lovely glossy golden brown colour.

14. Remove from the oven and serve a shank to each person with lots of lovely boiled new potatoes and some green veg. I like to mix steamed peas, sugar snaps and green beans together.



Wholemeal, wheat free Hot Cross Buns



250g Wholemeal rye flour, plus extra for dusting
200g Wheat-free white bread flour
1 tsp Salt
50g Caster sugar
1 tbsp Ground mixed spice
85g Butter
14g Easy-blend dried yeast
325ml Milk, slightly warmed
4 Medium eggs, beaten
135g Sultanas
50g Mixed peel, finely chopped

Crosses and glaze
100g Wheat-free and gluten-free bread flour
½ tsp Baking powder
1 tbsp Vegetable oil
2 tbsp Milk
1 tbsp Caster sugar

– makes 12 buns –



  1. Grease 2 baking sheets with oil, then dust them with rye flour. In a large bowl, mix together the flours, salt, sugar and mixed spice. Rub in the butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in the yeast. Pour in the milk and eggs; beat with a wooden spoon until the mixture is smooth. Stir in the dried fruit until evenly dispersed. Using a tablespoon dipped in cold water, spoon 6 widely spaced heaps onto each baking sheet. With a table knife dipped in water, shape them into rounds; take care not to flatten them as they don’t rise as much as regular buns.
  2. Cover each tray with greased clingfilm. Leave to rise in a warm place for 30–40 minutes until doubled in size and small holes formed by yeast bubbles have appeared on top.
  3. Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas 6. Make the paste for the crosses by beating the flour, baking powder and oil together with 100ml water until smooth. Place a 2–3mm nozzle in a piping bag and spoon in the paste. Once the buns have risen, remove the clingfilm and pipe a cross on each bun. Bake in the middle of the oven for 20 minutes. Mix the milk with the caster sugar and brush over the buns; return them to the oven for 10 minutes or until golden. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Melanzane alla parmigiana (Aubergine, tomato and parmesan bake)



Kindly sent in by this months guest Blogger, Jessica Morgan from London. Thanks Jess, this is a really great veggie addition to What I Ate Last Night. I’ve tried it and it went down VERY well, even for the meat eaters! 



4 aubergines – cut into 5mm slices

1 jar of passata

2 cloves of garlic crushed

2x 15ml spoons olive oil

100g parmesan cheese – freshly grated

20g pack basil leaves torn

salt and freshly ground pepper

1 egg beaten (you don’t have to use this if you don’t want to)

– serves 6-



1 Preheat oven to 200oC/ 400F/ gas mark 6

2. Chop aubergines up.

3. Lightly oil a griddle or frying pan with 2 spoons of oil. Cook aubergine slices over a high heat, in batches if necessary, until well browned and cooked (about 5-7 mins). Drain on kitchen paper.

4. Lay a few of the aubergine slices on the bottom of an ovenproof dish and spoon over some passata and garlic.

5. Sprinkle with basil and parmesan. Add seasoning, then repeat with remaining ingredients.

6. Finally pour egg over the top, sprinkle over a little more parmesan and bake for 30 mins or until the topping is golden.