I’ve recently rediscovered lamb, as an alternative meat. Lamb isn’t a cheap meat to buy, but tends to be a quality meat so worth the extra spend. It’s amazing slow-cooked, with great flavour and texture. A really satisfying dish during the cold winter months. It’s also a hit with my Kids, who for some reason aren’t overly keen on chicken at the moment.
Simple Slow Cooked Minty Lamb Casserole – Serves 4
You will need:
1 x Standard Slow Cooker
A minimum of 700g (1.5lb) of diced Lamb up to 1kg (2lb) depending on portion size required
1 x Large Onion (or 2 x Small)
1 x Stock Cube
1 x Tablespoon of Flour
2 x Large Carrots (or 3-4 Small)
2-3 x Celery Stalks
1 x Clove of Pressed Fresh Garlic
1 x Tablespoon of Dried Thyme (or a good shake!)
1 Pint of “watered down” Gravy (Fresh or Instant)
Mint Sauce (to taste)
1. If it isn’t already, dice the lamb into chunks approx 1″ square.
2. Heat a heavy bottomed pan on high and then reduce to a medium heat and add the meat. There shouldn’t be any need to add oil or fat. Lamb isn’t a dry meat and will cook easily in it’s own juices.
3. Once the lamb starts to seal and turn brown, crumble over a stock cube (I use beef as I have them to hand), and also sprinkle over the flour. Grind the blackpepper over a few times and coat the meat evenly in the ingredients.
4. Peel and finely chop the onion and add to the pan, then turn heat to low whilst you prep the other vegetables. Keeping an eye to ensure the contents do not burn.
5. Turn slow cooker onto low.
6. Peel and dice the carrots and add to the slow cooker, then dice the celery and add also.
7. Add a clove of pressed garlic and also a good sprinkle of dried thyme.
8. Remove pan from heat and add the contents to the slow cooker and stir.
9. Make up 1 pint of gravy either from scratch or instant, I use onion gravy granules for ease and taste. It needs to be a watered down version for slow cooking, so I add one heaped teaspoon to 1 pint of boiling water and stir until dissolved.
10. Pour the gravy over the lamb and vegetables and stir. Do not fret if it does not completely cover the ingredients, the meat and veg will shrink as it cooks. If you add too much fluid, as a slow cooker does not reduce liquids (much!) you will end up with a very watery meal.
11. Leave for at least 6 hours on low, you can leave for longer (I leave mine for 8-9 hours when out all day).
12. 20-30 minutes before serving use a two tiered steamer to steam chunked peeled white potatoes on the bottom tier and extra winter vegetables such as broccoli and cauliflower on the top. I then put the potato through my potato ricer (amazing invention) and cream with a fork adding butter and mustard to taste.
13. When ready to serve, plate up the extra veg and mash on warm plates.
14. Finally thicken the gravy in the slow cooker with additional gravy granules or cornflour, and add mint sauce to desired taste.
*Don’t forget that as tempting as it may be to lift the lid and have a stir or a sniff of the lovely aroma, that everytime you do it will increase cooking time by 20 minutes. Reduce the need to stir by always ensuring that you have stirred well when adding everything initially.
** Please note that I am not a qualified nutritionist or professional cook. My recipes are what I put together at home and all amounts etc… are approximate. What I write is my own experience of cooking the recipe. Ovens and ingredients do vary – just go with it, have fun and apply common sense at all times! Practise makes perfect!
Spread the word and let’s start a Slow Cooker revolution!
Please let me know how it goes – or if you have experimented and improved on this recipe please let others know in the comments below
Most of all have fun!