The little birds...

If you watch little birds you will see they are busy and happy! Using whatever they can find they create the most gorgeous little nest.
I would be the little bird with some glittery thread in her nest!
We can be like this. Happily working away with the things that are available to us to create a beautiful and happy home.
All the while with a little song in our heart.

Banner by Free Pretty Things for You.

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Lamb Shank recipe and the helpfulness of crock pot cooking.

I have always used my crock pot (slow cooker) a lot especially when I know it is going to be a really busy day or I will be out for the day. It is just so easy to know when dinner time comes dinner is ready and I only have to serve it. As Laine always said it is like having a helper (a hand maiden) and I think of this every time I use my "helper".

This recipe is so easy and adaptable to what you have. It is rich and delicious! The meat is fall off the bone tender.

Rich Tomato Lamb Shanks.

One lamb shank per person. I did 6 so we had three meals ready.
One jar of Dolmio tomato base. Or I can tomato soup. Or three tablespoons tomato paste... so similar.
One small onion per person. Or half larger onion per person.
Loads of vegies. I used carrots, sweet potato, parsnips. Use lots of what you have. Add greens later in cooking.
For added luxury, richness I add some sun dried tomatoes. It is not something you have to do.
Make sure the lamb shanks are coated in the sauce.

I cook on high for about 8 hours. There are no rules here. Usually I cook on high and sometimes turn it to low later if I am home. For more hours cook on low and when you get home see how it is and turn it up if needed. Another thing you can do is start it on high and turn to low as you leave the house, then assess when you get home. Everyones slow cooker is slightly different too.

Turn lamb shanks at least once so they are even and coated in sauce. Add peas or greens in last hour or so. You can remove a cup of the sauce and let it cool then add gravy or cornflour to that and stir it back in if you want thicker gravy. Or you could serve with mashed potatoes as the gravy is amazing! Or even crusty bread to mop it up!

Remove lamb shanks carefully as the meat is literally falling off the bone.

I served up two meals that I then froze. I love having meals in the freezer they are great in emergencies. I always do this. I would just never cook one meal.

This is so delicious.

When the girls were little I would just remove some lamb and lots of vegies and blend that and have several days worth of baby food. Later they would hang onto the whole bone and chew!

This is comfort food. I am hungry now thinking about it!

Lamb shanks used to be really cheap. Now they are trendy as restaurants are making this and featuring it as a specialty. So the price is up. We got ours on special from a whole sale butcher. If they are expensive where you are use any lamb for this recipe. A marked down leg of lamb done this way is amazing! It will feed so many people! Add masses of vegies so you have a complete meal.

With only a little bit of winter left I am making my last few truly winter meals. I love how what we eat changes around the year. It adds so much variety and the seasons add so much to our lives. And we can feel spring in the air. It was so cold last night but today the sun is shining and it is just beautiful!

Have a wonderful


  1. I haven't bought lamb shanks for ages as they are so costly. That dish does look yummy though.

    1. Nanna Chel I agree... any great special on lamb even a roast will work well. I do a large amount and freeze a couple of meals. Lots of vegies. I keep my eye out for big markdowns. Here our Woolworths at 2 pm is a good time for markdowns. So I swoop! xxx

  2. Ooh i love lamb shanks! And love using the slow cooker. A perfect dish on a cold winter's night.

  3. Thank you Kat. Yes I would say the slow cooker is one of the big helpers in saving money and organisation. I couldn't live without mine! xx

  4. Yummy yummy , looks good Annabel! Lamb shanks are very expensive here , but I will keep my eye on other lamb specials.DH bought a cute red oval slow cooker for his flat , so we have a new convert now ;-) hehe xx

    1. That is a good idea for DH as he can come home in the evening to really good food. I hope to put up some more easy recipes. Thank you for your comment! xx

  5. Dear Annabel,
    This may sound like a silly question but could you explain how you freeze your leftovers so they aren't ruined by the freezer? I never seem to do this right!
    Thank you! xoxo Marybeth

    1. Dear Marybeth, no it is not a silly question. For something like this which is a complete meal I will use a deep dish or casserole dish that it can be reheated in the oven in. Often I will do single serves so one will be re heated like for my husband if I am away and it will be just right for dinner. Let it go cold and I wrap well with several layers of plastic wrap. Thats it, pop in freezer. These I try to use within a few months. I thaw and re heat in the oven till piping hot. You cannot tell it was ever frozen. I do this with roast dinners. Just as you would serve a roast I place everything on a deep dish and do the same. I think the gravy is important to stop meat from maybe drying out. Then it is like a TV dinner, an instant all in one meal. Otherwise I do meaty pasta sauces etc and use a sealed container to freeze a lot. Then I thaw it and just have to boil some pasta and I have a meal. Lasagne freezes very well. I make a large tray and let it go cold. Then I cut it into individual portions and freeze those. This is really handy as all you have to do is add a salad. Pies freeze well. I use left over casseroles to make pies and they freeze perfectly also fruit pies. They are wonderful to have on hand. Cakes and muffins etc freeze very well. I use large plastic containers for those. Anything left too long in the freezer seems to ruin over time, except maybe big chunks of meat which seem to last. So getting into the habit of using things so that they help you cook less nights is the thing. I use stuff up anytime I am not well, over tired, financially having a bad week, or like last week I was away three nights so I thawed one thing (this lamb shank meal actually) for Andy to heat that night and I left frozen tuna mornay in the fridge for him for the next night. Very handy! I hope this helps you... let me know how you go! xxx

  6. WOW! thanks so much! As we enter into a new homeschool year I will be teaching all four children and this advice will help tremendously! There are no words to tell you how grateful I am to receive your posts. They have been a breath of life to a weary soul. God bless you. XO Marybeth

    1. Dear Marybeth,
      I have something to send you that I think you might like and hopefully find helpful. I would need your email address to do it. Mine is Your comments are a big encouragement to me! Love Annabel.xx

  7. Yum this sounds like a recipe I should try, thank you so much for sharing :)

  8. If only I could get lamb shanks cheap !!!

    1. I know Wendy. One day the price will come back down! These were a great special from a wholesaler. But this recipe works well on any lamb on special even a leg. Plus with lots of vegies it is a real stretcher.
      Thank you for your comment Wendy!


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