Lately this blog has been alive with my whining about stress from work, how tired I am, wahhhh wahhh wahh! I’ve been struggling. It came to a head about a month ago when I just about passed out at the gym and spent a half hour just not being able to move. I knew I hadnt felt well for some time, but I figured it was work causing it. But that incident told me it was not.
So off I went to the doctors, where I was promptly tested for everything under the sun. And the results? Low iron. Like incredibly low iron. Where there isnt enough iron in my blood to help carry the oxygen around, hence why I practically passed out.
So the doctor has ordered me me onto some iron supplements, and insisted I increase my red meat intake.
The thing is though, I dont like red meat. I barely like meat! The thought of choking down a steak once a week was not that appealing. So I did what any foodie would do. I convinced the boy that I NEEDED a slow cooker and then told him all about the tender meats I would be cooking him.
Slow cooker procured, I have spent the last 2 weeks cooking up a storm and falling a little more in love with that appliance each time.
The key, I have learnt, is to sear the meat well before hand. If you dont do this it just wont have the same flavour.
I finally got around to making lamb shanks last week and OMG this was the most delicious meal ever. It was packed full of flavour and the meat melted off the bone.
So I humbly suggest you make this. If you don’t have a slow cooker, I have included the regular pot recipe below. Just make it!
Lamb shank and pasta soup
- olive oil cooking spray
- 2 lean lamb shanks, trimmed
- 1 brown onion, finely chopped
- 2 carrots, peeled, chopped
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 400g can diced tomatoes
- 4 cups salt-reduced beef stock
- 3/4 cup small shell pasta (I used risoni)
- 1/4 cup basil leaves, finely shredded
- 4 crusty wholegrain bread rolls, to serve
- Lightly spray a large saucepan with oil. Heat over medium-high heat until hot. Add lamb shanks and cook, turning, for 5 minutes or until browned. Transfer to a plate. Reduce heat to medium. Add onion, carrot and celery. Cook, stirring, for 2 to 3 minutes or until soft. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute.
- Increase heat to medium-high. Return lamb to pan. Add tomatoes, stock and 2 cups cold water. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low. Cover. Cook for 1 hour 30 minutes or until lamb is tender. Remove lamb shanks to a board. Shred meat.
- For slow cooker, after step 1 transer all ingredients to your slow cooker. Add tomatoes, stock and 2 cups cold water and cook on low for 8 hours. (Or on high for 4)
- Return soup to the boil over high heat. Stir in pasta. Cover and cook for 7 to 8 minutes or until pasta is tender. Add shredded lamb and basil. Season with salt and pepper. Ladle soup into shallow bowls. Serve with crusty bread rolls.
- For slow cooker, I cooked the pasta separately and added to the slow cooker with the basil right at the end.