Tag Archives: weeknight dinners

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 | baconavecbacon.com

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.

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Recipe: Cheesy Taco Pasta

29 Jul

Mr. Bacon is decidedly against two types of foods: casseroles and Mexican flavours on pasta. I’m a decidedly huge fan of both of these things. I used to make these kinds of dishes only when he was away from home but sometimes, you just have a craving for some comfort food that needs to be satisfied immediately!

For this very reason, and also because 90% of grocery store frozen meals are gross, I make up these kinds of dishes and portion them out into glass dishes to take for lunches.

This is one of my favourite things to make. It’s simple but packs a lot of flavour and reheats really nicely. It’s also a thousand times better than the ‘Beef-Type-Substance Helper’ version. It’s equally good fresh from the oven on a weeknight if your family is willing to help you eat it!

Cheesy Taco Pasta


1/2 large bag of Scoobi-doo or rotini pasta
1 pound ground beef
1 taco seasoning packet
1 1/2 cups salsa
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup sour cream
3 cups shredded marble cheese

Start the water boiling for the pasta. Then in a separate large pot start browning the ground beef. When it’s done, add the taco seasoning, water, sour cream and salsa. Stir and let simmer while the pasta cooks. (Remember to salt the water well!) When the pasta is done, drain and then add to the sauce mixture. Let cook for another 3 minutes, stirring while the sauce is absorbed. Remove from heat and add 1 cup of the shredded cheese to the mixture. Stir.

If you’re eating it immediately, or want a family sized version in the freezer, place the pasta and meat mixture into a large baking dish. If not, portion it out into 4 or 5 microwavable containers. Top both versions with the remaining cheese. If you’re eating it immediately throw it under the boiler for a few minutes or until the cheese is bubbly. The other version will be ready after a 5 minute stint on high in the microwave.

MMM. It’s like a spicy hug.