An oldie but a goodie from the PB archive…
after a long day at work, a cramped train ride home in heels followed by a teeth-chattering walk from the station, the last thing we want to do is open the fridge to try and find some inspiration for dinner… let alone the chopping, stirring and cooking that follows. this time of year my slow-cooker is a saviour.
i throw everything in to the pot in the morning and leave to bubble away all day – the flavours melding and the meat becoming tender and succulent. by the time we arrive home, all i need to do is throw some potatoes on for 15 minutes and dinner is ready.
this is my go-to stew recipe. it is hearty and delicious and brimming with good stuff.
you will need:
- 500g lamb cut into 2cm cubes (i get the butcher to do it, or buy it pre-diced from the store)
- handful of baby carrots, or one and a half regular carrots
- 1 onion
- 200g chestnut mushrooms (or any large variety)
- 1 clove of garlic
- 3 tbsp flour
- salt and pepper to taste
- olive oil and butter to grease the pan
- 2 tbsp tomato puree
- 300ml red wine
- 300ml good quality stock (whichever kind you fancy)
- sprig of rosemary
turn on the slow-cooker. in a freezer bag, season the flour with salt and pepper and toss the lamb in the flour by sealing the bag and giving it a good shake, rattle and roll. heat the butter and oil in a pan and brown the lamb. do it in batches so the pan isn’t over-crowded.
meanwhile chop the onion and mushrooms (keep the mushrooms in large chunks, those mischievous little suckers tend to shrink into obscurity), crush the garlic and if you’re using regular carrots, dice them up too.
when the lamb is cooked transfer it to the slow-cooker, along with the vegetables. in the pan, add the wine and tomato puree and bring to a bubble so all those good meaty juices and extra bits come away from the pan. pour that into the slow-cooker pot too along with the stock, and sprinkle the rosemary on top.
clamp the lid on and allow to cook for the rest of the day. when you get home later, you’ll be greeted with the heady aroma of perfectly cooked, melt-in-your mouth lamb stew.
throw on some potatoes to the boil and mash with a greedy dollop of butter and milk (or if you just can’t face turning on the stove at all, do the sneaky and buy the pre-packaged mash from the store).
serve up a steaming helping of stew with a puddle of sauce to be soaked up by creamy mash. pour yourself a well-deserved glass of red and settle in front of the fire with your hug-on-a-plate.