I thought up and made this recipe for Lamb Pasanda (Slow Cooked) before Halloween, but now that this time is passed and ‘pumpkins’ are no longer readily available (not even in a can) ….. you can use butternut squash (part of the same family) and it tastes just as lovely with the same texture – I know, I’ve already tried it!
Slow cooking is an age-old method of cooking meat and it is the very best way to get all of the flavour of the other ingredients into your meat and to have jaw droppingly tender meat that falls off the bone and melts in your mouth.
If you are a busy family, slow cooking can be the best way to get large, tasty meals, suitable for the whole family (it’s tender enough for babies & toddlers) without hanging over the stove till it’s finished – a little pre-preparation is all that it takes!
It does not require a lot of water as your pot is covered and the temperature is to low for it too dry up (the moisture does not leave the pot). Unless you are cooking rice or pasta (which we ae not in this recipe) then 250-300ml is more than enough liquid in total ‘while cooking’. The cream is added at the end.
You will need:
- A slow cooker – mine is a Crock-pot stoneware 3.5 litre.
- Plain flour – to coat the lamb joint and cut pieces
- A mix of the dried spices below (approx 2 tsp)
- 600-650g / approx 1 1/2 1lb of lamb on the bone (shoulder or leg)
- 2 cloves of garlic (crushed and finely chopped)
- 2 tsp grated fresh ginger or 1tsp of ground ginger
- 4 tbls vegetable oil
- 3 large onions (chopped)
- 1 fresh green chilli (deseeded and chopped) or 2 tsp of chilli powder
- 2 green cardamom pods (bruised – pressed lightly)
- 1 cinnamon stick broken in half or 2 tsp of ground cinnamon
- 2 tsp ground corriander
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground tumeric
- 250ml / 9fl oz lamb stock (stock cube is ideal)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 Butternut Squash (peeled, deeseded and cut into cubes)
- 2 carrots (peeled and cut into large slices)
For the last 5-10 minutes of cooking:
- 150ml / 5 fl oz double cream
- 1tsp garam masala
- flaked almonds
- Cut some of the meat of the bone – there is likely to be some fat away from the bone and you can remove this if you wish (I prefer to). When the meat is marbled with fat this is OK and adds to the flavour of the dish – but I don’t like it when the fat is in chunks (it’s best to remove this).
- Slice the meat you have removed into chunks and place to one side (to go into the slow cooker later).
- Arange the butternut squash and carrots in the bottom of the slow cooker pot – they cook better when close to the dish itself (so up the sides of the meat is OK too).
- On a plate put enough plain flour to coat the outside of the lamb joint and the cut pieces. Add a little of the same dry spices as above to this (approx 2 tsp).
- Roll the lamb joint in the flour/spice mix pushing it into the folds and rubbing it in to ensure the spices break the surface of the meat, then roll the cut pieces in the flour mix until coated all over.
- In a large frying pan or saute pan add the vegetable oil and turn to a medium heat.
- Fry the onions and fresh chilli (if using chilli powder add later) until the onions are a golden brown, 5-8 minutes (don’t turn the heat high they will burn).
- Add and stir in the cardamom pods, cinnamon, ground coriander, cumin and tumeric (if using chilli powder add now). Stir for another 2 minutes.
- Add the garlic and stir in for 1 minute.
- Remove the onions and spices fom the frying pan and put to one side in a bowl.
- On a medium heat carefully place the lamb joint into the hot oil and turn occsionally until the meat is brown. Remove and put to one side and do the same with the cut pieces.
- Arrange the lamb joint on top of the vegetables in the slow cooker and if necessary put some of the vegetables along side the joint (making sure they are still near to the edge of the pot).
- Add the cut lamb pieces along side the joint. It is OK if the cut pieces come to the same height of the joint – but does not matter if they do not.
- Using a spatula pour all of the ingredients (onions, chilli spices) from the frying pan, incuding the remaining oil over the cut meat and vegetables.
- Pour the 250ml of lamb stock over the top of the lamb joint, cut meat and vegetables.
- Set your slow cooker to high and cook for the first 2 hours on high.
- After 2 hours set your slow cooker to medium/low for an additional 6 hours.
*If you are not available to re-set after 2 hours, cook for as much time as you are able on the high setting and cook for 8 hours on the lower setting.
The lamb will be cooked in about 3/4 of this time and the vegetables tender enough – but for that melt in your mouth texture a much longer time is required.
For the last 5-10 minutes of cooking or when you are almost read to serve :
- Re-set the slow cooker to keep warm and add the double cream and garam masala to the pot and stir in.
- Serve in bowls and garnish with paprika and almond flakes.
**Tip: I add my garam masala to the double cream when preparing the vegetables and put back in the fridge in a sealed container – this allows the flavour of the garam masala to release into the double cream.
Also the spices can all be added to a plate prior to adding to the frying pan, so that you can see you have them all and they ar ready to add at the same time.
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