The Cottage Smallholder


stumbling self sufficiency in a small space

Superb slow cooked lamb casserole recipe (posh lamb stew)

 

Photo: A very bad photo of a very good meal

Photo: A very bad photo of a very good meal

I used not to be much of a fan of lamb casserole or stew. I think that I made it once for Danny and didn’t like it as it tasted bland and fattylike all the lamb casseroles I’d tasted before. Back then I didn’t have a slow cooker/crock pot – which is great for enhancing the flavour of cheaper cuts of meat.

This week the scales fell from my eyes when I used some lamb shoulder neck chops at the Highgate Farm Shop. Six chunky chops (900g) for just over four quid. Feeling thrifty I bought them, determined to make something good.

Slow cooking melted the sinews away and along with the bones helped to make a tasty sauce. This sauce turned into a thick jelly when chilled. So I’m going to go for a bone in cut from now on.

I’m sure that loads of people have been doing this for years but I discovered a way of easily removing all the fat from the casserole that you might find useful. I put two small plates over the meat and vegetables and pressed them down well before chilling overnight. In the morning the plates were surrounded by fat and when I lifted them off the fat came too.

This is now going to be standard practice to easily remove the fat from all dishes that need to rest overnight. No more dawdling, which you have to do when picking fat out with a teaspoon. The end of feeling guilty about giving up half way through. Don’t tell Danny.

We ate this dish last night and it was delicious – even I had seconds. I served the chops whole but if I’d been feeling really economical could have removed the meat from the bones, when cooked and easily eked out the portions from 6 to 8.

This recipe is best cooked in a slow cooker or crock pot.

Slow cooked lamb casserole recipe for 6-8

Ingredients:

900g of lamb shoulder neck slices
100g of unsmoked streaky bacon (chopped)
200g of onions chopped fine
250g of parnips (peeled, topped and tailed and chopped into chunky 2-3cm pieces
450g of Chantenay carrots (topped and tailed – skin on)
200g of celeriac (peeled and chopped into 1cm cubes)
1 celery stalk sliced very fine
2 chunky cloves of garlic (chopped very fine)
4 heaped tbsp of plain flour
1 tsp of dried savoury
Half a tsp of anchovy sauce (or 1 anchovy fillet chopped fine)
1350-1400 of boiling chicken stock (I used water and three stock cubes)
1 tsp of vegetable stock powder
Salt and ground white pepper to taste

Method:

Prepare all the vegetables, garlic and herbs and put into a large bowl.
Sprinkle the flour onto a plate and turn the lamb over and over in the flour so all surfaces a coated thickly.
Sprinkle the remaining flour over the bowl of vegetables and stir very well.
Put about a third of the vegetables at the bottom of the slow cooker. Add half the lamb slices, add more vegetables, the rest of the slices and finish off with a final layer of vegetables.
Make the hot stock and stir in the vegetable powder and anchovy sauce. Pour this over the lamb and vegetables making sure that when pressed down they are covered with stock.
Switch the slow cooker to high. When the stock is bubbling well (after about an hour) switch to low for about 3 hours until the meat is tender and the vegetables cooked.
Season with salt and ground white pepper to taste (it needs quite a bit of pepper but add this incrementally to avoid disaster).
As with many slow cooked dishes, this will be far tastier if chilled overnight. So it’s a perfect dish for cooking  in advance.


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13 Comments

  1. Hi Fiona,
    Thankyou for your kind words,I do enjoy your site. Hopefully, I shall be back on my feet again soon,it’s taking it’s time!
    This dreadful weather isn’t helping.
    Many thanks for the tip about dried savoury, I followed your advice,tried ‘my supermarket’ Tesco is supposed to have it,made by ‘knorr’,so I shall give that a try if not at least I know that I can always fall-back on Thyme.
    Many thanks,
    Odelle.

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