This was the perfect meal for a very wet and cold winter’s evening in Perth. An excellent choice by Jeremy for his birthday dinner. I do enjoy those days when it is miserable outside and you are snug and warm in your home and the house is filled with delicious comforting aromas. You know as evening approaches you are going to be tucking into some hearty warming food which is good for the soul on days like this.
A slow cooker is worth it’s weight in cold during winter …….. you throw the ingredients into the pot and let it work it’s magic. Cheap cuts of meat taste so tender and succulent and really do melt in your mouth. This dish doesn’t have any fancy ingredients but what it does have works perfectly together.
Lamb Shanks Recipe
8 lamb shanks
1/2 cup seasoned plain flour (you can use GF)
5 tablespoons of olive oil
2 onions finely shopped
5 cloves of crushed garlic
3 cups of dry red wine
1 cup of balsamic vinegar
5 heaped tablespoons of tomato paste
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 cup of beef stock
2 tsp dried mixed herbs or small handful of finely chopped mixed herbs ( I used thyme, parsley, marjoram, rosemary and sage from the garden)
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Place seasoned flour into a plastic bag with 4 lamb shanks and shake to coat shanks in flour. Repeat with remaining lamb shanks.
- Heat 4 tablespoons of olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat and brown lamb shanks all over, a few at a time.
- Place lamb shanks in slow cooker pot.
- Heat remaining olive oil in a pan over medium heat and cook onions and garlic until soft and translucent.
- Place softened onions and garlic into slow cooker pot.
- Put remaining ingredients into slow cooker pot and mix through.
- Place slow cooker on high for approx. 6 hours or 8 hours on low.
- Serve with creamy risotto or mashed potato.
Pumpkin and Rosemary Risotto
Now I have a confession to make ……………….. I absolutely love risotto!
I have always been a firm believer in stirring the risotto for at least 35-40 mins as I find this process has always resulted in a beautiful creamy risotto. I do find the stirring quite therapeutic but, there are times when I don’t have enough hands or time and the idea of a ‘quick’ risotto sounds like a very good idea.
I recently purchased a Breville Fast Slow cooker, which I only wanted for the pressure cooker function so I could make stocks and broth etc.. I read lots and lots of recipes and blogs about cooking risotto in a pressure cooker and I wasn’t convinced. This dinner seemed like a good opportunity to test out my new ‘toy’! Who wouldn’t want to be able to cook a creamy risotto in 8 mins especially when the ‘pressure’ is on and you don’t have the time to stand stirring rice???
The biggest surprise for me was that it worked brilliantly! No one believed me when I told them that I had cooked the risotto in a pressure cooker and that it only took 8 mins! So, for those of you that have a pressure cooker, here is the pressure cooker risotto recipe for you.
Pumpkin and Rosemary Risotto
1 butternut pumpkin, chopped into small cubes (tossed in olive oil)
2 springs fresh rosemary
2 leeks finely sliced
2 cloves of finely chopped garlic
1 1/2 cups risotto rice
3 cups chicken stock (warm)
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup dry white wine
120 g grated parmesan
- Place cubed/chopped pumpkin into a roasting tin and roast on medium heat for 30mins until golden and slightly soft.
- Turn on the sauté function for 5 mins on your pressure cooker. Put 2 tablespoons olive oil into pot/pan and sauté the sliced leeks and garlic for approx. 5 mins until soft and cooked.
- Remove 3/4 of the leek/garlic mixture and set aside.
- Place remaining olive oil in pan and turn on sauté for 5 mins. Add the rice. Stirring constantly for approx. 2 mins. You will see the rice start to become translucent.
- Add the white wine and keep stirring. Once the wine has been absorbed into the rice turn off the sauté.
- Add the hot stock to the rice pressure cooker.
- Turn pressure cooker on high for 8 mins.
- When the pressure cooker is ready, release the steam (using instruction book).
- Open the lid, the rice will still look quite wet (don’t worry!), add the butter and the grated parmesan. Place sprigs of rosemary in mixture. Stir through the rice.
- Add the cooked pumpkin and leeks to risotto mixture.
- Replace the lid and leave for 3 mins and the rice will become very creamy.
- Serve 🙂
This meal was followed by a very old fashioned dessert – bread and butter pudding. We were truly ‘stuffed’ and feeling quite replete after some lovely red wine and a hearty winter meal.
Happy Birthday Jeremy 🙂