Five years ago I worked near the Centro shopping centre in Lutwyche. There used to be book sales there in the middle of the centre from time to time and I picked up a couple of Slow Cooker Cookbooks there once, along with a bunch of Eckhart Tolle that I frisbeed off to all my friends who I felt needed enlightening. I'm good like that.
I gave one to my Dad (cookbook, not Eckhart) and he turned out the Lamb Shank with Root Veg recipe several times.
LIFE CHANGING STUFF.
Fast-forward five years and lamb shanks are like, $5 each (ridiculous) and it's a delicious recipe but I decided to try it with a leg of lamb this time with DELICIOUS RESULTS.
This is a super rich, comforting dish that could be camping food (as this batch is intended for the boys' upcoming Cape York trip) or it could be served over homemade (or just very good) fettucine for a dinner party. Add lashings of parmesan and gallons of red wine and you are home and hosed. Drooooooollll.....
Leg of lamb - this one was about 2kg but whatever will fit in your slow cooker will do.
2 brown onions
4 cloves of garlic
1-2 cups of red wine - I used shiraz last night and it was unsurprisingly perfect
1-2 cups of beef stock
1 jar of tomato passata or tomato pasta sauce if you'd like to sweeten things up a bit.
Liquid smoke (optional)
Saute diced onions and minced garlic in some olive oil. Transfer to the slow cooker.
Sear the lamb leg in the same pan on all sides until the fat has rendered a bit and it is nicely brown. It's best if the leg of lamb is close to room temperature prior to searing.
Transfer lamb to the slow cooker.
Now, the liquid. Depending on how 'saucy' you want the finished product, you can use different quantities of stock, wine and tomato gear.
I used about one cup of each wine and stock, and a 400g jar of tomato sauce from Aldi because it was in the cupboard. This had liquid about half way up the lamb leg. I have a feeling it would've been even better had I doubled the amount of saucey ingredients. I'll have to wait until next time to find out!
Season with salt and pepper and lay a big sprig of rosemary on top of the lamb. Add no more than one drop of liquid smoke now, if using. I compromised and used smoked salt and pepper. Gorgeous! Cook for 30 minutes on high, then set to low for 7 hours.
If the liquid is not covering the lamb, consider flipping it half way through. I didn't and the meat that was submerged had a slightly better texture than the top half.
After 7 hours, take two forks and shred the lamb off the bone. Most of it should fall away easily. For firmer sections, remove the bones and shred with a knife before returning to the pot. At this stage I added steamed potatoes and sweet potatoes as the stew is to be frozen as meals for camping, however there are a number of things you can do with the finished result at this stage:
1. Serve on mashed potato
2. Serve on pasta, add parmesan
3. Serve on polenta or cous cous.
4. Stir in steamed potatoes and sweet potatoes like I did, and serve with steamed greens.
5. Ladel in to hot crusty buttered bread rolls.
6. Fork it directly from slow cooker into your face.
What's your favourite slow cooker dish? Have you done lamb before? Any tips or favourite recipes?