Slow Cooked Lamb Shank Lentil Stew

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This one pot meal couldn’t be easier to make and will fill you up on a cold winter’s night!

Winter calls for savory meals slow cooked in what used to be called the crock pot.

Slow cooking breaks down meats, root veggies and other ingredients so digestion is easier when your body is working hard to stay warm. The shank bone intensifies the flavor and adds minerals for your bone and joint health. Lentils absorb the rich taste of the liquid at the end of cooking and enhances the hardiness of this meal.

1 large lamb shank bone
1 large onion, chopped
1 shallot, minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 parsnip, peeled and chopped
2 cups dices tomatoes
1/2 cup beef broth plus more
1 cup dry red wine
1 Tablespoon rosemary
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
2 Tablespoons fresh Italian flat parsley, chopped plus more for garnish
1 bay leaf
1 cup french green lentils, rinsed
Salt & pepper to taste

Place all ingredients except lentils in slow cooker. Add more beef broth if needed. Set slow cooker for 6 to 8 hours, stirring every hour. Add lentils the last hour of cooking. When done, meat should fall “off the bone” and lentils should be soft but not mushy, absorbing much of the liquid to become stew-like consistency.  Cut any excess meat off the bone, add to the stew and discard the bone and bay leaf.  Garnish with fresh chopped parsley. Serves two.

Spicy Shredded Chicken Soup with Farro

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Chicken easily shreds off the bone after braising in the slow cooker for hours.

Nothing beats hot chicken soup on a cold winter day. And this recipe warms you up even more with some spice to create a little more heat. Dial down on the chili powder and omit chile seeds if you want a milder soup.

With the nice surprise of an artisan grain like farro instead of the usually rice, this is a one-pot one-bowl meal that everyone will love!

1 whole organic chicken, cut in pieces
2-3 cups chicken or vegetable broth, plus more if needed
1 cup onions, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
3 carrots. peeled and cut into 1/4 inch discs
1/2 red pepper, chopped
4 Tablespoons flat Italian parsley, chopped plus more for garnish
32oz can peeled tomatoes
1 serrano chili, chopped (remove seeds for less “heat”)
1 Tablespoon dried oregano
1/2 – 1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon cumin
1 cup farro
salt and pepper to taste

Arrange all ingredients in layers in a slow cooker except chicken, broth and farro. Place chicken on top and pour in broth so that chicken is half covered and will braise in the liquid.  Cover and set cooking time for 8 hours. After approximately 5 hours, remove chicken breasts, shred chicken with a fork, cover and set aside. Continue cooking the remaining chicken and broth and in the final hour, add farro and more broth for a soupier consistency. When farro is fully cooked in the tomato-chicken broth, remove other chicken pieces and any bones, and discard. Skim off chicken fat on top with a spoon.  Add the shredded chicken to the pot and stir.  Ladle in soup bowls and garnish with extra parsley.  Serves 6.