Archive | March, 2013

Recipe: Crock Pot Red Wine & Garlic Braised Lamb Shanks

5 Mar

Oh lamb. You’re so cute and so delicious. For those of you who think eating the fuzzy little critters is evil, please stop reading now. For those of you who are salivating, please read on.

This is my ‘go to’ for gourmet when you don’t have time for gourmet. Unlike most crock pot recipes that call for ‘fake’ ingredients (like canned soup or velveeta), this one is pretty much all natural and the results are impressive enough for company. The best part is whether you make it ahead or all in the same day, it really only takes two 15 minute intervals of effort. It’s a great option for a weeknight dinner party or a ‘dine-in’ date night. You’ll even have half a bottle of red wine left over to enjoy with it.

Crock Pot Red Wine & Garlic Braised Lamb Shanks

Crockpot Lamb Shanks |

3-4 lamb shanks, defrosted
1 onion, quartered
10 whole garlic cloves, peeled
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
olive oil
1 1/2 cups red wine
1 packet of pot roast spice (you’ll find this in the spice mix aisle)
1 packet of beef base
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon basil
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1 bay leaf

In a frying pan, heat a couple of teaspoons of olive oil. Season the shanks well with the salt, pepper and Worcestershire and then sear well on all sides. Dump the remaining ingredients  the bottom of the crock pot and stir. (If you want to be fancy, you can deglaze the bottom of the frying pan with the wine.) Add the seared meat and then add water to the top of the shanks. Cook on low for 8 hours.

If you’d like, you can refrigerate the shanks (in the crock) overnight and skim the fat before reheating. If you’re going to eat them immediately, ladle two cups of the broth into a measuring cup and let the fat settle to the top. Pour the fat off carefully and then place into a small saucepan with 1 packet of beef base and some freshly ground pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil and then whisk in a slurry of a couple of teaspoons of cornstarch and water. This will form a rich gravy to serve with your lamb.

I like to serve the shanks on a bed of mashed potatoes. All the better to enjoy the gravy with.

Taste Test: Baconnaise

3 Mar

I was at our local Sobey’s grocery store last month and there amongst the other condiments was something I’d been itching to try for years: baconnaise. Yes, an unholy union of bacon and mayo invented by the geniuses at J&Ds.  

What’s it like? Well, it’s pretty much exactly what you think bacon flavoured mayo would taste like. It’s the best of both worlds: the rich tangyness of mayo and the salty savouryness of bacon. Best of all, it’s actually kosher and vegetarian. Spreadable bacon for everyone!

It’s been fantastic on turkey sandwiches, so much so that I’ve made more turkey sandwiches in the past month than I have in the past three years. This morning I went out on a ledge and put it on a bacon, egg & cheese breakfast sandwich instead of a bit of butter and it really beefed up the flavour quotient.

There are a bunch of things I still want to try it on:
– Fries
– Club sandwich
– Chicken burger
– Burger

Long story short, baconnaise is now a staple condiment in this house. You should pick some up and try it yourself!