I’ve started on the autumn food. I’ve jumped in head first and I’m as good as swimming in the piles of coloured leaves after a few of the things I’ve made this week (more of those to come soon). I’ve also gone veggie for the month of October (partly in solidarity to a couple of workmates giving up smoking for Stoptober and partly because of wanting to see whether I could). The main issue is lunch options. Most shops have them, but due to my (completely rational) hatred of cucumber and not being keen on cold egg, it’s better to make my own. I’m good with this anyway as I try to make my lunches each week as it is. This is one I’ve made countless times, and when I got to the shop to find they’d not got any butternut squash, it was my go to fall back option. Sweet potato, coconut & chilli soup is warming, creamy and has a nice little kick.
So I’m three weeks into London now. It’s going pretty quickly, and after viewing flats almost every night after work it took my future flatmate Kate coming down to the London and blitzing a heap of viewings during a daytime to find us somewhere. The exciting thing is that we’ve had our offer accepted on a flat and once all the paperwork is sorted we should be moving in this weekend, November 1st. Recommendations for things to do/eat/see in Clapham please? (Also if anyone fancies giving me a hand moving my stuff Leeds to London this weekend please let me know, this is a serious request).
But anyway, enough of that, I’ve been all kinds of busy the last week or so. On top of the hunting I’ve also been to MCM Comicon, the Science Museum and eaten about 5m burgers. I invited a number of friends over on Sunday so I had an excuse to try out my new pressure cooker from the team across at Tower. Now that my working day is longer, and my commute has quadrupled I’ve got significantly less time in the evenings than I did before. As pressure cookers are intended to cut cooking times and with my shorter evenings this can only help me want to cook more when I get home.
I had a hunt around for a few recipes that’d be friendly for a group of us (originally supposed to be 5, but ended up as 4). The pulled pork that Daisy across at Pretty Green Tea made recently looked great. I opted for Lamb Shanks, with a red wine gravy, something which would usually take a couple of hours (a braised lamb shank can take around 1.5 hours plus). With the pressure cooker the cooking time was cut down to around 45 minutes (including the majority of the prep). The pressure cooker is a 4.5 litre model and was just the right size for this.
Everyone enjoyed it and the gravy, after a little thickening complimented the lamb wonderful. The lamb was tender and close to falling off the bone. Have you tried a pressure cooker before? Any tips, or suggestions?
Pressure Cooker Lamb Shank in Red Wine Gravy
Author: The Bearded Baker
- 4 lamb shanks, tossed in plain flour.
- 8 teaspoons oil (I used vegetable)
- 1 onion, sliced.
- 3 carrots, diced.
- 1 large leek.
- 3 tomatoes, chopped.
- 2-3 cloves garlic, crushed.
- 60ml Veg Stock
- 175ml Red Wine
- Rind of 1 lemon, grated.
- 2 sprigs of fresh Thyme
- (optional) flour and cold water for thickening the gravy.
- Cover the lamb shanks in four, discarding the excess.
- In the base of the pressure cooker heat half of the oil. Brown the lamb shanks and set aside.
- Add the rest of the oil and fry the onion, carrots, leek and garlic. Frying for around 5 minutes. Stir occasionally.
- Add the lemon rind, thyme, tomatoes, stock and wine and bring to the boil, stirring occasionally. Allow to boil for a few minutes.
- Place the lamb shanks back in the cooker, covering with some of the liquid and veg.
- Place the lid on the cooker and set to high pressure, apply high heat until the pressure safety open preventing valve pops up and then drop the heat (keeping the pressure at high). Keep at this for 25 minutes.
- Once you have reached this point, you have to allow the cooker to cool before you open it. Release the steam using the valve and then run the pan under the cold tap until the safety opening valve drops.
- The lamb should be ready at this point, but if it needs longer then give it another 5 minutes.
- If you need to thicken the gravy, mix the flour with the cold water and add to the gravy mix, boiling and stirring until it thickens.
- Serve with mashed potato and greens, sprinkled with extra rosemary.