Winter is the perfect time to drag out the slow cooker from the recesses of your cupboard, and try out some new recipes. It is also the ideal way to fend off those I-seriously-cannot-be-a**ed-cooking-tonight sentiments as you trug home from work. I have been having several of these days (I blame it on all the cold wet weather we’re having).
I’m a morning person (no, I’m not one of those sickeningly chirpy people in the morning, I just get up early!), so doing some chopping and assembling before work is a doddle. If you are a night owl, most slow cooker recipes are forgiving enough that you can assemble your ingredients at night, and in the morning, just add the wet ingredients, stir and turn it on.
Lamb tagine is a recipe which works really well in a slow cooker, as the flavours meld together beautifully. The ingredients below can be varied to your taste, – you can add canned chickpeas, remove the kumara, add cumin or paprika (if you want a bit of heat).
3 or 4 lamb shanks (depending on size, 1.2 – 1.5kg)
400g can of chopped tomatoes
1 large kumara (cubed)
150g apricots (halved)
1 red onion (sliced)
4 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
2cm ginger (grated)
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tbsp honey
1 chicken stock cube
Heat 2 tbsp oil in a heavy pan, and brown the lamb shanks on all sides.
Put the browned lamb shanks into the slow cooker and all the ingredients. Dissolve the stock cube in 150ml hot water before adding. Stir through.
Cook on low for 8-10 hours.
Skim off excess oil, and serve on couscous. Couscous is surprisingly easy to cook, – cook by pouring in equal amount of boiling water (or stock) and standing in a covered bowl for 3 mins, then fluff with a fork.