1 Tbsp olive oil
4 (1.25kg) frenched lamb shanks
2 carrots, roughly chopped
2 stalks celery, roughly chopped
1 onion, roughly chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed
40g packet French onion soup mix
2 Tbsp cornflour
2 cups chicken stock
1 cup red wine
¼ cup tomato paste
1 Tbsp brown sugar
Sea-salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper, to season
Flat-leaf parsley leaves, sour cream, tomato relish and steamed green beans, to serve
Herby cheese pastry
1 cup finely grated parmesan
1 Tbsp thyme leaves, finely chopped
1 Tbsp finely chopped rosemary leaves
Freshly ground black pepper, to season
12 sheets filo pastry
125g unsalted butter, melted
Heat oil in a large flameproof casserole pan on high. Cook lamb shanks, turning, until well browned all over. Remove shanks from pan and set aside. Add carrot, celery and onion to pan and cook on medium heat, stirring, for 8 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook for 1 minute.
Combine French onion soup mix, cornflour, stock, wine, paste and sugar in a jug. Add to onion mixture and bring to the boil. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Return lamb to pan and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low and cook, covered, for 1½ hours, or until lamb is tender.
Preheat oven to 200°C fan-forced (220°C conventional). Put four 14cm-wide, 1½ cup capacity ovenproof dishes on 2 oven trays.
Remove lamb shanks from cooking liquid with a slotted spoon. Increase heat to medium and simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes, until the mixture thickens slightly.
Meanwhile, tear large-ish chunks of lamb meat from bones and return to pan. Remove from heat and season. Divide mixture between dishes.
To make herby cheesy pastry, combine parmesan and herbs in a small bowl and season with pepper. Put 1 sheet filo pastry on a flat surface and brush with melted butter. Sprinkle pastry with parmesan mixture, then roll up from the short end to form a log. Repeat with remaining filo, butter and parmesan mixture to make 12 logs (keep filo sheets and rolled logs covered with a slightly damp tea towel to prevent drying out).
Using 1 log at a time, slice in half lengthways (to expose the layers).
Gently twist pastry around itself to form a coil, repeat with 2 more logs and continue twisting around the coil you’ve started. Place pastry coil, cut side up, on top of one pie. Repeat with remaining pastry and pies.
Brush pie tops with melted butter. Bake for 10 minutes, or until pastry is golden. Garnish with parsley and serve with sour cream, tomato relish and green beans.