The Slow Cooker Chronicles: Mediterranean Lamb

Yesterday I christened my slow cooker, my newest kitchen appliance and an instant best friend. I madeLamb Shanks with Lemon, Dill, and Feta, an easy and delicious recipe from Food & Wine.

Minimal preparation, plus five hours of slow-cooking at high heat, and the lamb shanks were so packed with flavor and so tender, that I might never cook anything outside the slow cooker again.
It’s perfect for a lazy Sunday when you can enjoy the aromas wafting from the pot – especially if you live in a pint-sized, New York City apartment and the aromas fill your entire home.

Along side the lamb, I served healthy and light sides to even out the rich flavors of the meat: Whole-Wheat Orzo tossed in Olive Oil and seasoned with Salt, Pepper and Oregano, and an Israeli Salad – my favorite.

The slow cooker will undoubtedly become a reliable companion for me as the winter encroaches on the joys and great tastes of summer fruits and vegetables, and outdoor grilling. Stay tuned for the next slow-cooked meal, and check out yesterday’s recipe here.

Slow Cooker Lamb Shanks with Lemon, Dill and Feta (Courtesy of Food and Wine)
(Serves 4)

4 Lamb ShanksKosher Salt and Fresh Ground Pepper
2 Tablespoons of All-Purpose Flour
1 Tablespoon of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2/3 Cup of Low Sodium Chicken Broth
4 Dill Sprigs plus 1 1/2 tablespoons of finely chopped dill
2 Garlic cloves, thinly sliced1 Medium onion, thinly sliced
1 Small lemon, thinly sliced and seeds picked out
1 Tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 Cup of crumbled feta cheese
Orzo for serving

– Season the lamb shanks with salt and pepper and dust with the flour, shaking off any excess
– In a large skillet, heat the olive oil until shimmering. Cook the lamb shanks over moderately high heat, in batches if necessary, until browned all over, about 10 minutes
– Transfer the shanks to a slow cooker. Add the chicken broth, dill sprigs, garlic, onion and lemon. Cover and cook on high until the lamb is tender, about 4 hours.
– Transfer the shanks to shallow bowls and keep warm
– Skim the fat from the cooking juices
– Stir in 1 tablespoon of the chopped dill and the lemon juice and season the juices with salt and pepper
– Spoon the juices along with the onion and lemon over the lamb shanks. Sprinkle with the feta and the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of chopped dill and serve with orzo.
– MAKE AHEAD The cooked lamb shanks can be refrigerated in their liquid for up to 2 days. Skim the fat from the cooking juices and finish the sauce shortly before serving.

Israeli Salad
(Serves 4)

1 large tomato
1 medium – large cucumber
1 small red onion
Lemon Juice
Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper

– Dice the tomato, cucumber, and onion
– Toss with about 1 tablespoon of lemon juice – more according to taste
– Toss with 1 tablespoon of olive oil
– Salt & Pepper