This week I have a special treat for you, someone who can really cook. It’s none other than Keith, from Reluctant Housedad famous for his Thrice-Cooked Chips. I only cook mine once and they come out of a bag. I had to rein him in a bit as he has a penchant for things that takes days to cook (e.g Heston’s three-day ultimate bolognese). I’m all up for slow cooking but really not that organised. :-)
ORANGE & LEMON-BRAISED LAMB SHANKS with CINNAMON SQUASH and CAVALO NERO
As we all know, lamb goes great with strong flavours such as Garlic, Rosemary and Anchovies, but I like to add a little zing to this delicious comfort food dish. The long, slow cooking in the orange and lemon stock permeates the meat, making it aromatic, fresh and light. Don’t cook it for too long: you’re after a firm texture for the meat, which you can break part into its individual muscle lobes once it has cooled, ready for finishing, bathed in its own gravy.
For the lamb
- 1 tbsp sunflower oil
- 2 lamb shanks
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3-4 sprigs fresh thyme
- 3 garlic cloves, sliced
- 2 tbsp tomato puree
- 300ml white wine
- 500ml chicken stock (from a good quality cube is fine)
- Zest and juice of 1 orange
- Zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 1 tsp cornflour dissolved in a little water
- Zest of 1 orange
- Zest of 1 lemon
For the butternut squash
- 1 butternut squash, seeds removed, skin on, chopped into chunks
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 3-4 small dried chillies
- 1 tsp sea salt flakes or rock salt
- 2 tbsp olive oil
For the cavalo nero
- 8 big leaves, stalks trimmed
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Knob of butter
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
1. Add the sunflower oil to a large frying pan and brown the lamb shanks all over, approx. 6-8 mins.
2. Add the browned lamb and the rest of the ingredients to a slow cooker and cook on LOW for 3-4 hours until the lamb meat is very tender and almost, but not quite, falling off the bone.
3. Remove the lamb from the stock and transfer to a plate. Leave to cool.
4. Drain the stock into a pan through a sieve. Put the pan on the hob on a high heat and reduce by half. Leave to cool, then transfer to a jar and put in the fridge. This will allow the excess fat to rise to the top and solidify, which you can then remove. Once the fat has been removed, transfer the stock to a saucepan.
5. Using your hands, break the lamb meat away from the bone, along the lines of the meat’s natural lobes. Trim of any fat and sinew, then add the lamb meat to the saucepan of citrus stock.
6. Meanwhile, in a coffee grinder or pestle and mortar, grind the cinnamon, chillies and salt. Toss the butternut squash chunks with this spice mixture and the oilive oil. Cook in the oven preheated to 180C/Gas 4 for 35-40 mins, until the squash is tender.
7. In a large frying pan, heat the olive oil and butter and add the cavalo nero. Cook for 5-7 mins, stirring, until the cabbage turns slightly crisp.
8. Meanwhile, bring the pan of lamb and citrus stock to the boil and add the dissolved cornflour to thicken the sauce.
9. Serve the lamb and its gravy at the centre of the plate, surrounded by the squash and cavalo nero. Garnish with finely chopped orange and lemon zest.
A huge THANK YOU to Keith, it looks amazing.
Contribute to Slow Cooker Sunday
Now it’s your turn to join in by either adding a link below or by leaving your recipe in the comments section. Don’t worry it doesn’t have to be as fancy as Keith’s.
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