Thursday, October 18, 2012

Comforting

Even though my sister is okay and I'm home again, I'm finding I still need comforting. Nearly losing a sibling is as close to true fear and sorrow as I have come since my parents' deaths, and I'm still tired and a little weepy at times. Comfort food is called for at times like this, so I made lamb shanks.

It's hard to imagine anything more comforting than richly browned and slowly stewed shanks served over mashed potatoes. My half-Irish soul is soothed by both. Because I had some goozle in the freezer from previous stewings, too, it was easy to add the depth and richness that makes this meal perfect.

Browning the shanks is a bit of a chore, since my frying pans aren't really large enough to accommodate the length, but with frequent shuffling around, I managed to get a good sear on them. Into the crock pot with some onion and carrots for flavor. I used the same pan to brown some mushrooms and a sliced onion, then added those to the mix. I deglazed the frying pan with a little red wine, dumping all the goodies from scraping up the browned bits into the crock pot along with about 1/2 cup of my frozen goozle.

At this point, you can add garlic and/or rosemary and a bay leaf - really, any flavors you think goes with lamb. I wasn't feeling very experimental, so I stuck with the garlic and rosemary theme.

Setting the crock pot on high was the work of a minute and, by the time I had cleaned up the browning spatters, it was starting to bubble and simmer.  I left it on for the best part of the day, until the lamb fell apart into its natural separations and relaxed off the bones. Even shanks are somewhat fatty, so after lifting out the meat, I skimmed the resulting gravy, leaving only the flavor behind.

Deep down good. Filling and satisfying. Reassuring, in a funny way. Just sitting down to a plate like this brings a stress-relieving sigh. 


4 Comments:

Blogger Greg said...

Comfort food....mmmm. I think you have inspired me to get the crockpot out of storage.

Thursday, October 18, 2012  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Greg, maybe not today, as it's so hot, but the weather is supposed to change tomorrow to our usual cool weather when a meal such as this will be very welcome!

Thursday, October 18, 2012  
Blogger cookiecrumb said...

J'adorbs lamb shank! Yours is so brown and pretty.
Cranky and I have been conniving all afternoon on how we might prepare a lamb shank.

Thursday, October 18, 2012  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Cookiecrumb, one is plenty for two people, but two gives you leftovers for another connivance. Win-win.

Thursday, October 18, 2012  

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