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Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Slow-Cooked Lamb

Hi peeps!'s that time of year when I get down on my hands and knees and rummage around the back of my pan drawer in a frantic bid to retrieve my trusty Le Creuset. My dutch oven, you see, hibernates all summer and only makes an appearance when there's that unmistakeable chill in the air, icicles on window panes, misty street lamps lighting grey skies...

Yup, it's definitely winter o'clock folks - time for mistletoe, jingle bells, and of course - taking comfort in the season's bounty with some warm, hearty winter fare for everyone to gather around and share in true holiday spirit.

Hence, I get down on my hands and knees and successfully retrieve my trusty Le Creuset.
It's a beautiful pot - red enamelled cast iron sitting bejewelled against my black granite counter. I love it. The way it looks, it's sheer weight; and the incredible stuff it cooks.

We're making slow-cooked lamb today - deeply comforting, aromatic, and full of flavour.

Here's what you need:
- 1 kg diced lamb
- 4 large onions, sliced
- 1 head of garlic
-  Herbs (I used 2 sprigs each, thyme, rosemary and 3 bay leaves)
- 250ml balsamic vinegar
- 3tbs olive oil

Here's how you do it:
Add the olive oil to the slow cooker or dutch oven and add in the onions. Sit the lamb cubes on top of the onions, then add the balsamic vinegar. Top with herbs. Let cook on low heat for 3 hours.

By the way, in case you're interested - what the oven is doing in those 3 hours - while you do nothing but twiddle your thumbs and use every last reserve of will power to stop yourself from opening the lid and devouring the contents within - is actually slowly braising the lamb in it's own sauce to ensure that the meat's full, immense flavour is drawn out. Brilliant, isn't it?

Now I've had lots of hits and misses with lamb - undercooked, overcooked, burnt (yup that one left me crying for years)...but with the dutch oven, it's hard to go wrong. 6 ingredients, 1 pot. Our meltingly tender lamb dish virtually cooks itself.

And anyway, I'm used to trial and error. I had to kiss lots of frogs, you see, before my pumpkin turned into a golden carriage and I found my Prince. I think I may have just mixed up two very different fairy tales, but you get my point, so it's all good folks, it's all good.

Honestly, get out a glass of red, an old book and sit back on your couch in the warmth of your home. Because nothing is more comforting than a languidly cooked one-pot meal, that simmers away on the back burner, infusing all those different flavours and textures and aromas into one gorgeous dish.

Enjoy x

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