A good, slow cooked lamb shank is hard to beat. The meat is as tender and full of flavour as meat can possibly be. With the current little respite from the Sydney summer heat (there has been constant, glorious rain for about three days straight!), it was the perfect opportunity to set the Philips All-In-One Cooker to low and slow, and let it do its magic!
Disclosure – Philips sent Blog of Dad the All-In-One-Cooker for the purpose of review. The thoughts expressed in this post are entirely my own, based on my experiences with the Philips All-In-One Cooker. For more information, please visit my Disclosure Statement.
It’s no secret that one of my favourite things about writing this blog is the opportunity to try new products. There is always something pretty great about finding a large shiny box of new goodness on the doorstep every now and then. The best thing, though, is when a product that I have reviewed becomes a regular part of our household life. One of these product is the Philips All-In-One Cooker.
We use this versatile device at least once a week. After a couple of attempts we quickly figured out how to produce perfect, hassle-free rice every single time. We have used the All-In-One Cooker to make all manner of foods from curries to slow-cooked pull-apart pork. I have even used to bake a pretty decent cake! I highly recommend it, and the results (such as this lamb shank) speak for themselves.
I had wanted to try lamb shanks in the All-In-One for some time, but I had struggled to find a recipe that was suitable. There were PLENTY that looked absolutely delicious, but most of them called for ingredients that were not entirely suitable for a three year old and a ten month old to consume (hello red wine!).
Eventually I stumbled upon an idea that came close to what I wanted, and from there it was a matter of tweaking it to suit my tastes. The original recipe can be found here.
The beauty of recipes like this is that they are very forgiving. Substitute something here, add something different there, change the quantities… none of it particularly matters*. Want to add rosemary and anchovies? Go ahead! Hate carrots? Get rid of ’em! Get the basics right of cooking the shank, and the rest will more-or-less take care of its self. Keep in mind that this recipe was designed to be friendly to young children, so there is no added salt or sugar. Adjust as necessary, according to your tastes.
*unless you do something weird.
Lamb Shank with and Cabbage with Mint Gravy (serves 4-ish adults)
Preparation time: approximately 15 minutes
Cooking time: At least 8 hours (in slow cooker)
- 4 lamb shanks
- 4 onions, finely sliced
- 1/4 cabbage, finely sliced
- 4 carrots, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 cup Vegetable stock
- Cooking oil of your choice (for browning lamb shanks)
- 2 tablespoons cornflour
At the risk of this whole recipe becoming a love-letter to the Philips All-In-One Cooker, I feel compelled to point out that the genius of the device allows you to cook the shanks in either pressure cooker or slow cooker mode. I chose slow cooker, because I had enough time in the morning to prepare. However, if you are short on time, pressure cooking can achieve similar results.
Brown the meat, onions and garlic
Whichever method you choose, I highly recommend you make sure you brown the meat. You CAN skip this step if you are in an absolute hurry, but it will make a difference to the flavour at the end. Browning the meat begins the Maillard reaction, which, frankly, is what good meat is all about.
Normally I use the sauté function of the Phillips All-In-One for browning meat – it is just another function that makes the multi-cooker great. However, with this meal I browned the shanks in a large, heavy cast-iron pan. This is because four shanks take up a lot of space and it is easier to ensure a more complete browning in the pan. Also, I don’t want to damage the non-stick coating of the All-In-One pot. Finally, browning the shanks in a pan allows me to simultaneously cook down the onions and garlic in the All-In-One, by using the sauté function on high. Again, taking the time to do this creates a much greater depth of flavour in the dish.
Add shanks, cabbage and vegetable stock to slow cooker
Chuck it all in and give it a little prod, if you really feel the need. Don’t worry about messing about with it too much, time will do most of the work. Set the All-In-One to low and slow.
Wait at least 8 hours
I cooked my shanks for about 8 hours and they were amazing, but I’d be willing to bet that another couple of hours wouldn’t have hurt. The meat was tender, but still firm enough to cut with a knife rather than fall off the bone. The beauty of the Philips All-In-One is that you can go away and live your life, safe in the knowledge that the brilliant appliance is doing all the work. You can check on it every now and then if you really want. When I slow cook, I tend to check my meat about an hour before I intend to serve it. If necessary, bump the slow cook setting to “high”. If it still isn’t cooked to your liking and time is short, there is always the pressure cook option.
Remove shanks and pressure cook cabbage
This step is optional. I was very happy with the lamb after 8 hours, but the cabbage wasn’t quite as soft and floppy as I wanted it to be. A quick 5-minute pressure cook was more than enough to solve that problem.
Remove cabbage and add carrots
Use a plastic slotted spoon to remove the cabbage and onion, whilst leaving the liquid behind. Place chopped carrots into liquid and set to pressure cook for three minutes.
Remove carrots and add corn flour
Now to make the gravy. Remove as much vegetable debris as possible (although it doesn’t matter if there are a few bits and pieces left behind). Make a cornflour slurry by fully dissolving two tablespoons of cornflour in a small amount of tap water. Set the All-In-One to sauté and stir (with a soft spoon) constantly while slowly dribbling in the slurry. Keep stirring until gravy has thickened.
If you have not added any salt at this point, the gravy will taste very sweet. If it is not for child consumption, you will definitely want to add salt now. If it is for child consumption, just add a little salt (to taste) to the adult portions.
You also have the option of adding the mint sauce to the gravy, or adding it separately to each plate after plating. I chose to add it after, so that I could control the amount in each portion. On mine I put A LOT, on Hannah’s, just a splash.
Plate and eat
I added a side of basic mashed potato, but you can use whatever carbohydrate you like. Roast potatoes, rice or even nice fresh crusty bread would all work well!