Yesterday I expected Debbie home about 8 pm (it turned out to be more like 10, thanks to those lovely weather systems we’re getting more and more of nowadays).
Plus I had the yen to slow cook something. We have a crockpot from the dawn of time (I think we got it as a wedding present in 1982), and the idea that I’m a crock-pot cook or a slow cook or whatever is deeply appealing to me.
In any case, I had seen a recipe in a magazine I picked up in Whole Foods for slow-cooked lamb shanks, but you had to cook them three different ways in the recipe (brown them, then bake them, then broil them) with various manipulations in between.
The heck with that. But it fixated me on lamb. I started looking around in our cookbooks for slow-cooked lamb recipes, and came up with a relatively simple “Neapolitan Lamb Stew” in a book on slow cooking from Ten Speed Press.
Harry, my guest blogger, business partner, and friend, tells me that “Neapolitan” is a code word for “tomato sauce”, and, indeed, this recipe had 2 lbs of tomatoes in there. But also red wine, rosemary, and boatloads of lamb stew meat.
Recipe ordinaire, I was fretting, but 8 hours of slow cooking in the crockpot turned it into what Joy of Cooking or somebody called a “Heavenly slumgullion” after a while. It was really good. All the gnarly bits were rendered out of the lamb chunks, the sauce came together, and it was A-1.