… living in rural Lincolnshire as we do, brings a completely different perspective on the food we eat. There are little lambs suckling in the field opposite my front door… and when I say opposite I mean two strides away. They bleat as you walk past. They bleat all the bloody time as it happens but it’s a wonderful thing and connects you directly with your lunch. Many people – mostly city folk – don’t like this idea, preferring to turn a blind eye and a deaf ear to the ‘closeness’ of nature and The Viking, being a vegetarian, doesn’t quite understand how I can say ‘how cute’ the lambs are when i’m prepared to eat them. I don’t see it like that. I love that the lambs are cute and healthy and clearly have a glorious life. They’re not being factory farmed and I am witness to all this goodness. I’m not sure I could as yet attend the abattoir but I appreciate what’s going on here and it encourages me to only by the best I can afford and to of course buy local… if I can’t do that then I will go without. As it happens, not only have I given up smoking since going to California in December but I have rarely eaten meat – perhaps 10 times since the end of 2014. I’m not going to say here and now that I am going to give up meat entirely but whilst the circle of life goes on outside the front door I feel a little closer the my choices…
slow cooker lamb shanks
does it seem a bit obvious to cook lamb on Easter Sunday… quite frankly, with food this good who cares? As it happens, in all my years of cooking and blogging I have never cooked lamb shanks. It’s quite unbelievable because they are a big favourite of mine and of course are a gastropub classic too. They are so simple to cook and they take a lot of punishment so it’s unlikely you could go wrong, plus the slow cooker packs them so full of flavour you won’t know what hit you… i’m serving mine with the veg from the slow cooker but of course I think maybe mashed potato is an essential lamb shank accompaniment.
2 lamb shanks
2 tablespoons flour seasoned with salt and pepper
1 large onion – roughly sliced
2 carrots chopped
2 sticks of celery – chopped (or if you’re like me – chop off the celery in chunks from the tip)
5 or 6 small or new potatoes – halved
200ml red wine
200ml good quality stock (I only have vegetable stock in the house but feel free to use the stock of your choice)
1 tablespoon of tomato ketchup
butter and olive oil
place the chopped veg into the bottom of the slow cooker
heat a little butter and olive oil in a heavy pan, pat the seasoned flour over the lamb shanks and then brown the shanks, one at a time in the pan until they have a nice colour then place them on top of the veg in the slow-cooker
pour the red wine into the pan you’ve just browned the lamb in a de-glaze the pan then pour this over the lamb along with the vegetable stock and ketchup. You should have enough stock to cover the fleshy bit of the shanks
place the lid on and cook on low for 8 hours (after 7 hours add the rosemary)
towards the end of the 8 hours pre-heat the oven to 180 and then gently remove the lamb shanks and veg from the slow-cooker with a slotted spoon and place them into a roasting tin which you pop into the oven whilst you make a gloriously thick gravy with the juices by rigorously boiling them in a pan until they reduce by half
serve the shank on top of the piled veg dripping in gravy… and have a glorious Easter!
I am entering this wonderful slow-cooker lamb shank into the brilliant Slow Cooked Challenge hosted by Janice from Farmersgirl Kitchen
eat and of course enjoy!