1 1/2 tablespoon AP flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
A big pinch cayenne pepper
1 lbs lamb shanks, cut in 3-inch pieces
1 1/2 tablespoon EVOO
1 cup onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup celery, thinly sliced
2 carrots, peeled and diced small
t teaspoon garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme or 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
1 small bay leaf
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons rosemary, freshly chopped
2 cup water or beef broth
3 cups Yukon Gold potatoes
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
A grating of nutmeg
2 tablespoons butter
In a gallon ZipLoc bag, combine flour, salt, pepper, and cayenne; shake to mix. Add a few pieces of lamb at a time and toss to coat with mixture. If any of the flour mixture remains, set it aside. Heat a large frying pan until hot. Add 1 tablespoon of oil and add only as much lamb as will fit in a single layer without crowding. Brown lamb over medium-high heat, turning occasionally, for about 8-10 minutes or until browned on all sides. Remove the lamb to a bowl. Cook remaining lamb in batched and set it aside. In the same pan, heat the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of oil. Sauté the onion, celery, and carrots for about 5 minutes. Sprinkle on any remaining flour mixture, stir in garlic, and and cook, stirring for about 30 seconds. Spoon the vegetable mixture into a large pot. Top with the lamb. Add the thyme, rosemary, bay leaf, and liquid. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce the heat, and simmer, partly covered, for 1 1/2 hours. Cook until meat is tender, about 30 minutes or so. Remove lamb and vegetables to a large platter to cool. Tilt the pot and skim off the fat from the gravy. Over medium-high heat, boil down the gravy to 2/3 cup, stirring often to prevent scorching, about 5 minutes. Transfer it to a medium bowl. Remove the meat from the bones and cut it into 1-inch pieces. Add it to the bowl together with the vegetables and stir gently. (Filling can be refrigerated up to 24 hours at this point).
Peel and quarter the potatoes. Place them in a medium saucepan and cover them with a few inches of cold water and add salt. Boil them fro 20 minutes or until just tender when pierced. Drain the potatoes thoroughly and put them through a ricer or mash them. Stir in butter and heavy cream. Whisk in salt, nutmeg and pepper. Adjust seasoning to taste.
Spoon the meat mixture into the pie pans and cover each with 1/2 cup of the mashed potatoes. Using a fork, make concentric circular marks in the potato topping to resemble a rose. Bake for 10 -15 minutes. Turn the oven to broil and place under the broiler for 3-5 minutes or until the mashed potatoes are golden.
*For Cottage pie substitute beef for lamb.