aaach.. I've been organizing my totally out of hand saved recipes.. will add some braising ones here, figuring they can be adapted for crockpots as well as dutch ovens/french oven type pots.
I'm skipping the 'braising' recipes that I consider just simmering for not very long. Most of those involve either chicken, or meatballs.
Guess I'll start with braised lamb recipes I've saved.
From Nigel Slater in The Observer
This one seems not so good for a crockpot, more for a weekend day when one is at home anyway. Sounds good to me, though.
Braised lamb shanks with leeks and haricot beans
This gets even better when left overnight in the fridge. You could make it a day or two in advance to good end. Serves 4.
4 small lamb shanks
300g dried haricot beans
4 bay leaves
4 large leeks, trimmed, halved lengthways and rinsed
a thick slice of butter (about 60g)
2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely sliced
1 tbsp chopped thyme leaves
1 tbsp plain flour
650ml of light stock or water
juice and zest of a lemon
a handful of parsley, chopped<
a handful of mint leaves
Soak the beans overnight in cold water. The next day, drain them, put them into a deep saucepan and cover with fresh water. Bring to the boil, skim off the froth, drop in two bay leaves and a drop or two of olive oil and simmer for 40 minutes. Turn off the heat and leave them in the cooking water.
Warm a glug of olive oil in a deep casserole. Season the shanks all over with salt and black pepper then lower them into the pan. They should sizzle when they hit the oil. Turn the meat from time to time until it has coloured nicely on all sides (a pale honey rather than deep brown). Remove the meat from the casserole and set aside on a plate to catch any escaping juices.
Set the oven at 160C/gas mark 4. Cut the leeks into chunks roughly the length of a wine cork; wash them thoroughly, making sure no grit or sand is trapped in their many layers, and then put them, together with the butter, in the casserole, keeping the heat low. Cover with a piece of greaseproof or bakewell paper then cover with a lid. (The paper will encourage them to cook in their own steam rather than brown.) Leave them to cook until they have started to soften - a good 20 minutes or so. You will need to give them an occasional stir.
Remove and discard the paper. Peel and thinly slice the garlic, and add it to the pot with the thyme and two bay leaves. Sprinkle the flour over the top and continue cooking for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring occasionally, then pour in the water or stock and the drained cooked beans. Season with salt and pepper.
Return the shanks and any collected juices to the pan. Bring back to the boil. Cover the casserole with a lid and place in the oven for an hour and a half or until the lamb is completely tender - sometimes it takes two. You should be able to remove it from the bone with little effort. (Then again, it shouldn't actually be falling apart.) Remove from the oven, stir in most of the lemon juice and zest, parsley and mint, then scatter the rest over as you serve.
Slow-baked rhubarb with vanilla and blood orange
A sharply refreshing warm pudding for after the lamb. Serves 4.
a vanilla pod
the juice of 2 blood oranges and the zest of 1
3 level tbsp golden caster sugar
Set the oven to 160C/gas mark 4. Cut the rhubarb into lengths roughly the size of a finger and put them into a baking dish. Scrape the seeds from inside the vanilla pod and mix with the juice and zest of one of the oranges and the juice of both. Add the sugar then pour over the rhubarb and toss gently so that each piece of fruit is wet. Roast for 30-35 minutes until soft and tender. Serve warm, in bowls, with the hot orangey-vanilla juices spooned over.
Another lamb shanks recipe that needs you to stay home but sounds even better than the first one.
Braised Lamb Shanks with Garlic and Vermouth
The inspiration for this recipe comes from Richard Olney's "Simple French Food", where the shanks and garlic are cooked with nothing more than a bit of water. I've updated Olney's version by adding dry white vermouth adn a few bay leaves. Make this on a Sunday afternoon when you're hanging around doing nothing much at all. As the lamb braises, wonderful meaty, herbaceous aromas will fill the house.
6 lamb shanks (3/4 to 1 pound each)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 cup dry white vermouth, preferably Vya or Noilly Pratt
2 bay leaves
2 heads garlic, separated into cloves (unpeeled)
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice; more as needed
1/4 cup chopped fresh herbs, preferably a mix of mint and parsley (chervil and chives are also good)
Heat the oven to 325 degrees. Trim any excess fat from the lamb shanks (being careful not to trim away the thin membrane that holds the meat to the bone) and season them all over with salt and pepper.
Heat the oil over medium heat in a large Dutch oven or other heavy braising pot large enough to accommodate the lamb shanks in single or double layer. When the oil is shimmering, add half the shanks and brown on all sides, 12 to 15 minutes total. Set the browned shanks on a platter or tray to catch any drippings. Repeat with the remaining shanks. When all the shanks are browned, pour off and discard the fat from the pan.
Return the pan to medium-high heat and add the vermouth. As the vermouth boils, stir with a wooden spoon to dissolve the drippings. Return the shanks to the pan, arranging them as best you can so they fit snugly. Tuck the bay leaves in between the shanks and scatter over the garlic. Cover and slide into the lower third of the oven. Braise, turning the shanks every 45 minutes, until fork tender, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
Transfer the shanks to a platter and cover with foil to keep warm. Tilt the braising pot to pool the juices at one end and skim off the surface fat. Strain the liquid through a fine-mesh sieve, pressing down on the garlic cloves so the pulp goes through but not the skins. Discard the bay leaves. Whisk in the lemon juice. Taste the strained sauce for salt. To serve, spoon the sauce over the shanks and shower them with the chopped herbs and a little freshly ground pepper.
For making ahead: don’t bother skimming the fat from the braising liquid. Instead, strain it, pressing down to extract the garlic pulp, and pour a little over the shanks to moisten the meat. Refrigerate the shanks and remaining strained braising liquid separately, both tightly covered. Before serving, arrange the shanks in a baking dish. Lift the solid fat from the top of the chilled liquid, spoon what remains over the shanks, cover with foil and warm in a 325 degree oven for about 30 minutes. Finish with herbs and black pepper, and serve.
This one seems like it would work in a crockpot:
Braised Pork Shoulder in Milk
(Maiale al Latte)
Makes 6 to 8 servings
In Lombardy and the Veneto, veal, pork, and chicken are sometimes cooked in milk. This keeps the meat tender, and when it is done the milk makes a creamy brown sauce to serve with the meat.
Vegetables, pancetta, and wine add flavor. I use a boneless shoulder or butt roast for this dish because it takes well to slow, moist cooking. The meat is cooked on the stove, so you don't need to turn on your oven.
1 boneless pork shoulder steak or butt roast (about 3 pounds)
4 ounces finely diced Italian bacon (pancetta)
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 rib small tender celery
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 quart milk
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup dry white wine
1. In a large Dutch oven or other deep, heavy pot with a tight-fitting lid, combine the pork, pancetta, carrot, celery, onion, milk, and salt and pepper to taste. Bring the liquid to a simmer over medium heat.
2. Partially cover the pot and cook over medium heat, turning occasionally, about 2 hours or until the meat is tender when pierced with a fork.
3. Transfer the meat to a cutting board. Cover with foil to keep warm. Raise the heat under the pot and cook until the liquid is reduced and lightly browned. Pour the juices through a strainer into a bowl, then pour the liquid back into the pot.
4. Pour the wine into the pot and bring to a simmer, scraping up and blending in any browned bits with a wooden spoon. Slice the pork and arrange it on a warm serving platter. Pour the cooking liquid over the top. Serve hot.
From "1,000 Italian Recipes." Copyright 2004 by Michele Scicolone. Used with permission of the publisher, Wiley Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.