If it doesn’t have pictures, I’m not buying it. That is my attitude towards recipe books. Now I know there are some fantastic ones that have no pictures, but if I don’t know what the dish is supposed to look like when it’s done, I won’t know if I’m on the right track! When I get to the ranks of fancy chef (oh, one day…) I will happily buy recipe books that have no pictures, but until then I refuse to work with only my imagination to guide me.
One of the lines of recipe books that appeal to my inner child is Australian Womens Weekly. Having grown up with a few at home, and having their country accept me as a resident, I feel a fierce loyalty to them. In addition they only feature recipes that are foolproof! After being allowed into the Cooking section of the bookstore on Saturday, I was left unattended and managed to get my monthly fix of AWW. I bought their wonderful slow cooking book, with a beautiful glossy cover and colourful shiny pictures inside.
As it’s been so cold lately, Frank and I settled on making a Greek-style leg of lamb in the newly-gifted slow cooker. The recipe was easy, and tasted rather yum, but one word of warning: the lamb might try to climb straight out of the cooker when left to it’s own devices…
the leg of lamb sneaking out the slow cooker
After Frank assured me that, although the lamb was touching the lid of the slow cooker, it would shrink (as that’s what lamb does), we nipped out to get a nice bottle of wine to go with it. Unfortunately when we got back we found the lid 3cm higher than it was when we left, and the lamb had it’s big toe on the kitchen counter. Luckily we managed to wedge it back in and held the lid shut with one of Frank’s 2.5kg weights. We showed that lamb who is boss!
Although the lamb broke the cardinal rule of slow cooking (never open the lid) it turned out rather delicious. It seemed to lack a bit of salt, so I would recommend checking the flavour before you put the lamb in the cooker. Tonight I will be making pasta with shredded lamb, a good way to use up the leftovers!
the carved lamb
Greek-style roast lamb with potatoes – this is designed for a 4.5l slow cooker (from AWW)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1kg baby potatoes
- 2kg lamb leg
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary, chopped roughly
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried flat-leaf parsley
- 4 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 tbsp grated lemon rind
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 125ml beef stock
Heat half the oil in a large frying pan. Cook potatoes until browned, transfer to the slow cooker. Make small cuts in the lamb, press rosemary into into cuts. Combine remaining oil, parsley,oregano, garlic, rind and juice in a small bowl; rub mixture all over lamb, season. Cook lamb in same heated pan until browned all over. Place lamb on top of potatoes, add stock. Cook; covered, on low for 8 hours. (Or high for 4 hours)
Remove lamb and potatoes; cover lamb, stand 10 minutes before slicing. Serve lamb with potatoes and gravy.