What a load of Crock

8:15 PM Kari R. 0 Comments

Mervyn's. I loved that store since it was the predecessor to Kohl's and you seriously could buy anything there. I made the trek to Mervyn's a few years ago during the "going out of business" sale and made the most amazing 20 dollar purchase of my life, a crock pot.

Until now, I've only used my crock pot for apple cider and it's been collecting dust in my garage.

Then, the other day, I had a major craving for a slow cooked meat dish. After pursuing the Bon Appetite site for a while, I stumbled across a Moroccan Lamb recipe (sounded ethnic and fun).

Check out the prep - poor lamb

Side note: I basically love lamb, it's not as heavy as steak, is easily infused with flavors. And, after my veggie stir fry the other night, I had a major hankering for some red meat.

I know that there are some die-hard crock pot fans out there who love these one-dish wonders. But, let me just say that crock pot recipes have gotten more sophisticated and we no longer add in a condensed can of cream of {insert adjective here} + {insert your choice of meat}. Let's just say after prepping for a good hour that entailed chopping, mincing and searing, I was happy I didn't have any morning meetings since I slipped into work a little late, to say the least.

As I pulled up to my house after work, I was also happy to see my complex wasn't engulfed in flames since I was paranoid at work all day thinking my Moroccan Lamb would accidentally cause a random electrical fire.

Overall, I think this was a step in the right direction for my first crock pot experiment. Few changes I would have made, indicated in purple.

The finished product, pretty le-git.

Moroccan Lamb (from BonAppetit.com)
Serves 2

Ingredients

1 whole lemon, diced (do not peel) - but, try to get rid of as many seeds as possible.
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

2 whole lamb shanks - I was feeding four peeps, so I also threw in a pound of a lamb shoulder (while still keeping the rest of the recipe the same). This was was a nice addition since the meat is from a different part of the body and had a different texture. I know, poor little lamb.
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 large onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can diced tomatoes
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup canned garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained - would also consider adding in a small can of Italian white beans since they are a bit bigger
1/2 cup whole olives, drained
2 cinnamon sticks
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 cup golden raisins - definitely optional since I HATE raisins, I omitted this

Directions

1. To make the quick-preserved lemon, combine diced lemon, sugar and salt. Mix well and let sit at room temperature while you continue with recipe. Hmmm, to be honest, I don't really know if this step is necessary. Basically, don't stress if you forget to buy a lemon at the market:)

2. Remove as much of the tough, silvery membrane from the lamb shanks as possible. Season all over with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil in frying pan and sear lamb shanks on all sides, about 7 minutes total. Remove lamb shanks and return pan to stove on medium-low heat. Add the onion, bell pepper and garlic. Saute for 2 minutes and then add to slow cooker. Pour the diced tomatoes, water, garbanzo beans, olives, cinnamon sticks, salt, cumin and coriander into the slow cooker and mix well. Add the lamb shanks and spoon some of the vegetable mixture over them. Turn slow cooker on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours.

3. Halfway through cooking, stir in the raisins and half of the preserved lemons. (Store the remaining preserved lemons in refrigerator for another use.)

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