Slow Cooked Lamb Stew

Yes, the meat disintegrated when being picked up with tongs.

Welcome back hooman! Unless you’re some kind of arachnid who’s managed to learn English and basic computer interfacing… If that’s the case, well done! Now. The recipe.

The Things
1. An Oven. Fan Forced, or Conventional, it doesn’t matter for this cooking method.
2. A 5L Crock Pot. Ceramic or Cast Iron. Again, it doesn’t matter.
3. Spice Grinder or Mortal and Pestle. Or if you’re feeling adventurous, a sledge hammer and anvil. (Just make sure it’s food safe.)

NB!: If you, like me, go out and impulse buy a cast iron pot, SEASON IT FIRST. No, don’t just put some Coriander in the bottom and add your ingredients. Seasoning an iron piece of cookware means covering every square millimeter of that hardware in oil and baking it on the hottest temperature you have access to. I chose Grape Seed Oil due to the fact that it has almost no taste and an extremely high smoking point. I still managed to smoke out my house by cranking out poor little oven up to 260C/500F. Don’t leave an excess of oil. Just make sure it’s coated and then wipe off the rest.

The Ingredients
1. A giant chunk of baby sheep. Leg, shoulder, shank, as long as it’s big ‘n meaty. Try to get something with the bone in, because the marrow inside the bone is where some of of the flavour comes from. Also, as shown above, it will be able to be removed with ease by the time we’re done with it.
2. 1 bottle of Leggo’s Italian Herbs with Basil and Parsley tomato based pasta sauce. You can make a sauce if you’d like, I was completely winging this recipe while wondering the aisle’s of Woolies.
3. 1 tablespoon of salt. I activated my snooty side and use ‘Pink Himalayan Rock Salt Crystals’…. Use regular salt if you want, because I seriously can’t taste the difference between Saxa Table Salt and the PHRSC’s.
4. 1/2 a tablespoon of black pepper kernels.
5. 1 teaspoon of Thyme.
6. 1 teaspoon of Rosemary.
7. 1/2 tablespoon of gravy powder.
8. 300ml GOOD red wine. Shiraz is best for a big, punchy sauce. Merlot if you want a softer flavour. But, whichever you choose, don’t cheap out on the wine. (Life lesson: Never cheap out on the wine.)
9. 1000ml water. (Holy Water if you want to test whether that middle child of yours is actually a spawn of Satan.)
10. 1/3 cup of Grapeseed Oil.

The Rubric
1. Decide when you want to eat this meal… No really. For maximum flavour, it needs time to marinate in the marinade. If your answer is anything sooner than ‘tomorrow night’s dinner’, either change your calendar, or befriend a timelord because it’ll take that long to prep, marinate and stew.
2. Put the Rosemary, Thyme, Salt and Pepper into your Mortar and Pestle, or spice grinder, and wear the spices down until they are smaller than Vladimir Putin’s brain (maybe a bit bigger, you’ll be grinding for quite a while to get down that small.)
3. Place everything that isn’t the lamb into your pot and mix it thoroughly. You don’t want any clumps of pepper in your roast.
4. Sink your lamb inside your marinade. If the meat does not get entirely submerged, slice up some carrot and potato chunks to add to the broth. Keep going until the meat is covered.
5. Put the lid on and let it sit overnight to really infuse the meat with flavour.
6. Place the pot inside the oven and then turn it on to 100C and leave it for a while. Go for a run, a walk, do the tough mudder challenge, whatever! When I say a while, I mean like, 9+ hours a while. Long enough that you can start the cook, go to work and come home to a perfectly cooked piece of lamb.
7. When our timer has expired, 8-10 hours, gently, (GENTLY!!) lift the lamb out of the pot, onto a plate or into a bowl. There will be run-off from the marinade, so be aware of the torrential dripping. If you use tongs, it will fall apart. Try using a giant spoon or if you have no other options, a rice sifter or colander are great alternatives. Just try and save the juice.
8. Spoon some of the leftover marinade into a cup and add in a teaspoon of corn flour at a time and mix thoroughly. No clumps! Add one at a time and complete the stirring process before adding another. The amount of corn flour will depend on the amount of broth you get.
9. Pour the rest of the bottle of wine into a plastic jug and use a silly straw to enjoy your childhood grape juice ‘adultified’ and serve your lamb with whatever vegetables you’d like.
10. ENJOY! 🙂

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