Slow Cooker


Leftover Pot Pie!

 

Did you make a truckload of stew/chicken soup/random meaty substance and can’t stand the thought of having the exact same thing AGAIN for dinner?

Why not make THIS?

Ingredients:

  • Leftover stewy substance
  • Frozen mixed veggies.  Or veggies that are in your refrigerator and are about to croak, so you really really need to use them, like, NOW.  But chop them up first…
  • Maybe some cornstarch?  (up to a tablespoon)
  • Frozen Puff Pastry – thawed for 30-40 minutes
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon water
  • Ramekins would be nice.

Destructions:

  1. Throw the leftovers into a pan on the stove.
  2. Heat to dissolve chunks of grease, coagulated animal particles, etc.
  3. Add a bit of cornstarch if you need to thicken the sauce a bit – The best way to do this is to remove a 1/4 cup of sauce, mix with cornstarch, then return the mixture to the pan.  That way, no lumps!
  4. Add the veggies of your choice and warm through.
  5. When the mixture is done, add it to your ramekins.  If you don’t have ramekins, you can probably use one big baking container or ramekin, but what fun is that, really?   Come on.  Go to the CorningWare outlet and pick up some ramekins.  They’re probably STILL on sale. Seriously.
  6. Unroll the puff pastry.  You can either cut the pastry into equal squares, or trace around your containers (with about 1/2 inch extra border) and then cut.  Whatever. 
  7. Break an egg into a small bowl, add 1 tsp water, and mix well.
  8. Brush egg wash onto rim of ramekins. 
  9. Add puff pastry and seal edges.
  10. Brush egg wash on top of pastry.
  11. If you want to get all artsy, add pastry shapes using egg wash as glue, then brush egg wash over those shapes too.
  12. Cut vent holes!  No ‘splosions!
  13. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.
  14. Bask in the yumminess.

My Aunt is sort of a Granola.  Sort of a Little Miss Sierra Club.  But that’s good, because she keeps me on my toes as far as being conscious of the effect that I have on the world.  Unlike her, I am not exactly a gardener, but what I CAN do is cook.  So I have resigned myself to the fact that the most effective way that I can help out plant life is to make it into something yummy.

My Aunt  also likes to obtain her meat products locally, and as organically produced as possible.  There just so happens to be such a meat place relatively near here, and I always like to accompany her when she goes there.  The main reason for this is that I have found that I don’t handle red meat very well, due to all of the hormones, antibiotics, and other crap that they shoot into the meat.  It most definitely affects my physical and emotional well-being when I eat Abused meat products.  So, when I go to this organic place, I load up on organic meat, and then I strategize for a few months about what to cook with it, while it sits in my freezer.

The lamb used in this recipe was obtained from the meat place that I mentioned above.  So no being locked in a dark box, being fed cardboard, and being shot up with Buddha-Knows-What.  Yes, it’s a baby animal, but I’m sure it had a good life.  And what better tribute could I pay to this poor little creature that gave its life for my dinner, than to make it into something that is entirely, unbelievably awesome?

Yep.  Don’t you love my jacked-up reasoning???

So anyway, here is a completely amazing recipe for Moroccan Lamb Stew, made in my trusty slow-cooker, accompanied by Apricot Couscous. 

Keepin’ it real, baby…

Moroccan Lamb Stew

 

Ingredients:

  • 1-3 lbs lamb, cubed
  • 2 Tbsp flour
  • 3 cups cubed peeled yams  and/or carrots (1 inch)
  • 2 cups thinly sliced onions
  • 1 cup pitted prunes (Yes, PRUNES.  Now just shut up and throw them in there!  You won’t even be able to tell, I promise!)
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 can (14 oz) diced tomatoes
  • 1 can (10 oz) beef broth
  • 3/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • (1-2 Tbsp Moroccan spice mix, if you have it.  This mix includes cinnamon, parsley, black/red/white pepper, and spearmint.  Mine is from Pendery’s Spices.)
  • 1 cup red wine  (ONLY cook with wine that you would drink!  Always!)
  • 2-3 Tbsp honey

Directions:

  1. Put lamb in a 4 to 5 quart (4 to 5 L) slow cooker, and dust with flour.  Stir to cover all pieces. 
  2. Top with the rest of the ingredients.
  3. Cover and cook on low heat setting for 6 to 7 hours or until meat is tender.
  4. Increase to high heat setting and remove the top for 30 minutes-1 hour if the stew needs to thicken.
  5. In the meantime, bask in the yummy, heavenly scents filling your entire house…!!!

 

And, to accompany the stew….

 

Apricot Couscous

Ingredients:

  • Couscous of your choice  (Mine was from a box.  If you are using bulk couscous, the couscous/water ratio should be about 1:1.)
  • 6-8 dried apricots
  • OPTIONAL:  Ras-el-hanout spice mix

Directions:

  1. Soak the dried apricots in very hot/boiling water for one hour.  (This is so that later, when you are eating your couscous, you won’t think that you are gnawing on gummy bears.)
  2. Chop apricots.  I like to get my pieces to the size of raisins.
  3. Add apricots to the water that you will use to make couscous, and boil the water.  Add Ras-el-hanout if you have it.  If not, no biggie.
  4. Stir couscous into water, cover, remove from heat, and let sit for 5 minutes.
  5. Serve lamb stew over couscous.***

 

***  My husband said that this stew is one of the TOP TEN things I’ve ever made for him.  EVER!  So I guess it’s pretty good?