Quintessential Australian food is definitely something to be patriotic about, especially when you can make it healthier and more satisfying without skimping on flavour. This 'Straya Day mighty meat pie recipe is gluten and dairy free.
2 tbsp coconut oil or ghee
4 lamb shanks, trimmed
400g whole peeled tomatoes
250ml good-quality red wine
500ml beef stock or water
2 tbsp arrowroot
4 garlic cloves, crushed
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 brown onion, peeled and chopped
2 sticks celery, chopped
1/4 celeriac, peeled and diced into 2cm cubes
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and diced
3 tbsp parsley, chopped
4 sprigs thyme, chopped
1 cup almond flour
1 cup coconut flour
1/2 cup tapioca flour
1 cup very cold lard or coconut oil
1 tsp Himalayan sea salt
2 free-range eggs
1. Rub 1 tablespoon coconut oil on the lamb shanks and season with salt and pepper. Brown the shanks in a medium-sized saucepan or casserole dish on all sides for a few minutes until all surfaces are lightly browned and cooked evenly. Transfer the shanks to a warm plate and drain off any excess oil.
2. Heat 1 tablespoon coconut oil in a frying pan over medium heat and add all the herbs and vegetables to the pan. Increase the heat to high, and once they begin to soften, lower the heat to moderate and cook for a further 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. While the vegetables are cooking, combine the whole tinned tomatoes in a blender with red wine, beef stock and the 2 tablespoons of arrowroot, then blitz until combined. Return the shanks to the pan and add vegetables and the blended tomato liquid mixture (it's OK if the bones of the lamb shanks are outside the pan, but the meaty parts of shanks should be well-submerged).
4. Place a lid on the pan and simmer gently for two hours on medium heat.
5. When the shanks are soft and tender, remove them from the pan and place in a separate dish. Shred the meat off the bones and return the meat back to the pot, simmering for a further 30 minutes or until the mixture reaches a thick consistency, as the filling for the pie. Season with salt and pepper. Allow to cool completely before making the pie crust.
To make the pie crust:
6. Preheat oven to 160C. In a mixing bowl, add the almond flour, coconut flour and tapioca flour and mix to combine. Cut up the lard or coconut oil into small pieces and work into the mixed flour using your hands, until a fine crumb-like texture forms. Add the salt and eggs and mix well to form the dough. Transfer dough on to a tapioca-floured/dusted working bench and knead it until it becomes smooth. Wrap the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes or until it's firm enough to roll out. Grease a 25cm pie tin with coconut oil. Divide the dough into two portions, one weighing 300 grams, the other weighing 250 grams.
7. Take the 300-gram portion and place the chilled dough on top of a wide layer of plastic wrap and roll out the dough into a 30cm round, about 4mm thick. If the dough begins to crack slightly, simply bind it back together by pinching it with your fingers and lightly smoothing out the areas where the cracks have formed.
8. Place the pie tin upside down, directly over the centre of the pastry. Wrap the edges of the plastic wrap around the pie tin and gently flip the pastry and the tin over together - correct side up. Press and smooth the pastry firmly into place, ensuring that there are no gaps between the pastry and the tin. Some cracks may need to be fixed, so simply bind the dough back together with your fingers to seal them. Peel the plastic wrap away from the pastry, and trim the edges using a knife or a pallet knife.
9. Roll out the remaining 250 grams of dough on a wide sheet of plastic wrap to a 5 millimetre-thick round. Carefully transfer the pastry sheet to a flat tray and refrigerate for 10 minutes to firm. Once chilled, cut out a 25 centimetre round, removing the excess pastry, and return to the refrigerator until required.
10. Meanwhile, pre-bake the pie shell in the preheated oven and cook for eight minutes or until lightly golden. Cool completely before adding the filling.
11. Once the pie shell has completely cooled, fill the pie shell with the lamb mixture and evenly spread the mixture (you may have some leftover mixture - this can been stored in the freezer for later use).
12. Remove the chilled 25 centimetre pastry round from the refrigerator, and place the pastry round on top of the pie - plastic side up. Gently run your fingers around the sides to seal the edges and then carefully peel away the plastic. Make an incision into the pastry by inserting a knife directly into the centre of the pie (this allows the steam to escape while the pie is baking).
13. Bake the pie for 25 minutes or until golden. If the pastry is browning too quickly and the centre is still cold, cover with foil.
14. Serve with fermented or homemade tomato sauce.