Taking it slow: healthified lamb shanks
I love my slow cooker and I'm not the only one. Their ability to produce warming flavoursome meals and turn cheap meat cuts into melt-in-the-mouth morsels is well known. For this appliance to cook a delicious meal while you're at work is a revolution in convenience; the working mum's best friend (apologies to the Dad's who are chief cooks in their household). Another marvellous thing about slow cookers is the recipes cry out for the addition of legumes. Stews, casseroles, tagines, hot-pots- whatever you want to call them - are perfect for combining meat and beans (or any legumes).
Lamb shanks are legendary in the slow cooker repertoire and in this recipe I increased the health-cred by adding loads of vegetables and red lentils. While some slow cooker recipes involve just throwing all the ingredients in, I find the extra effort to brown the shanks and vegetables in a pan first before adding to the slow cooker really pays off in flavour, but if you're in a rush just skip the browning step.
This quantity makes two adult portions, plus one portion of leftover sauce without meat.
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 lamb shanks
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 carrot, sliced
1 cup red cabbage, chopped
½ cup red lentils
¾ cup red wine
700ml tomato passata (or canned tomatoes, chopped)
1 beef stock cube, crushed
Zest of one lemon
Continental parsley, chopped
Green vegetables of choice
Heat half the oil in a non-stick pan
Brown the lamb shanks both sides. Remove from pan and add to slow cooker.
Heat remaining oil and brown onions.
Add the remaining vegetables and garlic and cook until softened.
Add the lentils and stir until combined.
Add the red wine, stock cube and passata and heat through.
Pour over shanks in the slow cooker and cook on high for 6-8 hours.
Serve shanks over mash potato garnished with lemon zest and chopped parsley with steamed green veggies on the side.
Ideas for the leftover sauce
- Filling for jaffles (toasties)
- Toast topper with cheese
- Sauce for steamed veggies
- Pasta sauce
- Enrich basic vegetable soup