Slow Cooker Sunday

Before I set off for uni, my nan gave me, among other things, a slow cooker cookbook. ‘You really ought to get one darling’ she said to me, but she will also tell you that I was a defiant teenager and I dismissed her advice to invest a mere £20 on an old fashioned crock pot and instead invested it on the usual student activities.

Safe to say I spent my Uni years penniless, surviving mainly on marmite on toast and calories from beer. It was only years later when I got my own proper flat and sorted out my diet that I took nan’s advice seriously.

As a girl who enjoys going to the gym after work, having a constant source of healthy recipes is a must. However, I am also a lazy girl, and the thought of cooking from scratch at 9:30pm after a nausea inducing Body Combat class and thorough stretching in Body Balance is enough to send me to bed without dinner. Cue my purchase of a rather fetching purple slow cooker.

I was amazed at just how much you could make in this baby. Chilli con carne, bolognese sauce, lasagne, pulled pork, the list is endless, but for me Sundays are reserved for lamb and this recipe is so simple but delicious.

I love lamb shanks, but recently they seem to have become a ‘popular’ ingredient, pushing the price of this humble piece of meat up, so I’ve used smaller but just as delicious lamb foreshanks which I picked up at £6.90 for 4.

You will need:
4 lamb foreshanks
1 onion
2 cloves garlic
1 large sprig fresh rosemary
1 large sprig thyme or lemon thyme
Large glass red wine (any that you like)
Enough stock to cover the meat
1 tbsp flour
Salt
Pepper
Splash balsamic vinegar

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What to do:
1) Chop the onion into half moons, the garlic and rosemary finely and pull the thyme leaves off the stems and scatter into the bottom of your slow cooker.
2) Heat some oil in a heavy bottomed pan until smoking.
3) Coat the lamb in the flour, salt and pepper and brown in the hot oil for a few minutes on each side.
4) Add the lamb to the slow cooker on top of the bed of onions and garlic.
5) Pour the wine into the lamb pan and reduce for about 5 minutes. Add a splash of balsamic vinegar, then pour over the lamb, onions, garlic & herbs.

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6) Cover the lamb with stock, pop on the lid and slow cook on low for about 8 hours or until the lamb is falling off the bone.
7) Serve with buttery mash & green veg. I love this with cabbage or kale.

I do like to add chesnut mushrooms to this to add some texture & and earthy flavour. I’d fry the mushrooms in butter and add them around halfway through cooking, but it’s just as delicious without.

Happy Slow Cooker Sunday!
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