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.

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Curry Lentil Stew with Roasted Sweet Potatoes

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Sprinkle with fresh cilantro and keep this lentil stew vegan. Or add a dollop of yogurt to top it off — try super creamy sheep’s yogurt fresh from the farm.

Thicker than soup, this lentil stew spiced with curry, ginger, cinnamon, cumin and mustard seeds was the perfect one dish entree for our Feeding Your Soul group on a cold winter’s day.

Serve over basmati rice or quinoa with toasted pumpkin seeds for a vegan-vegetarian delight!

1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons ginger, minced
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1-2 tablespoons curry powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3 plum tomatoes, chopped
2 zucchini, cut into 1 inch rounds and then quartered
7 cups vegetable stock
1 pound lentils
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut in 1/2 inch cubes
13 ounces organic coconut milk

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss sweet potatoes cubes in 3 tablespoons of olive oil and roast on a cookie sheet for approximately 20 minutes or until soft but still firm and starting to caramelize on the edges. In a heavy stock pot, sauté onions, ginger, garlic in 1/4 cup olive oil on medium-high heat until onions are almost translucent. Mix in mustard seeds and spices. Add tomatoes, zucchini, stock and lentils. Bring to a boil and simmer for 30 to 45 minutes or until lentils are softened but not mushy. Add sweet potatoes and coconut milk to the stew and stir a few minutes over medium heat until incorporated. Top off with fresh chopped cilantro.

Adapted from Bon Appetit’s Vegetarian Lentil Stew recipe, Sept 1998.