Since I’ve been working on my upcoming Christmas book, I haven’t really left the house a lot. The weather has been cold and nasty, the house is cosy, and outside has just been… you know, London in November. This sort of weather definitely turns on my hibernate mode. But it’s perfect for slow cooker meals.
They say that the slow cooker is one of the most underused pieces of kitchen equipment (coming in second to the breadmaker) but I find it vaguely soothing to prepare the evening meal in the morning, and have a little pot of yum stewing away all day. It uses about the same amount of energy as a lightbulb and can turn cheap and fatty cuts of meat into a tasty dinner.
Around the corner from our local supermarket is a great little butchers, which is much better value (and quality) than the supermarket meat. I’m not normally such a big fan of stews, but I wanted something warming so we got two pieces of scrag end of lamb (also known as neck end or stewing lamb) for about £7. This made about 5 large portions in the slow cooker, so is really a very economical way of eating.
This has been adapted from a recipe in “The Slow Cooker Cookbook” by Catherine Atkinson (Her version is called “Lamb stewed with tomatoes and garlic”). This is (obviously) gluten-free but also dairy-free if you omit the butter. I cooked this for 9-10 hours instead of the stated 6-7 hours – but you can adjust according to your schedule.
- Approx 1kg/2lb of stewing lamb
- Gluten-free flour
- Ground arrowroot
- Olive oil
- Knob of butter (optional)
- 1 leek
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed
- 150ml dry white wine
- 150ml lamb stock
- Salt & pepper
- 400g tin borlotti beans (drained)
- 400g tin chopped tomatoes
- Rice or quinoa (to serve with)
1. Trim excess fat from the lamb and cut into 1 inch cubes. Pour some flour onto a plate and add 2 tsp ground arrowroot, mixing into the flour.
2. Toss the lamb in the flour until fully coated.
3. Heat some olive oil in a pan and fry the lamb until browned (in two batches). Transfer to the slow cooker pot, keeping any meat juices in the pan.
4. Chop up the leek into rings. Add a knob of butter to the pan and fry the leeks along with crushed garlic. Add the wine and stock to the pan, bringing to the boil.
5. Transfer the contents of the pan to the slow cooker and add drained borlotti beans and chopped tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper.
6. Cover and cook on high for 1 hour. Stir then cook on low for another 6-8 hours. Serve with rice or quinoa.
Apologies that I didn’t get a prettier shot of this on my plate. By the time dinner came around I was ravenous, and it completely slipped my mind to photograph it!
This makes excellent leftovers, and is very tasty reheated on it’s own as a sort of soupy meal.