Slow Cooker Lamb and Eggplant Stew

Slow Cooker Eggplant Stew

I bought some local lamb shanks a few months ago on a whim, intending to braise them with some carrots for Easter. Well, time got away from me and now the Easter bunny is long gone, along with this season’s carrots. And there’s no way I’m braising anything in the oven in this weather. What to do with that lamb in my freezer?

The solution to my quandary came last week along with some eggplant and onions in our Local Box. When I was planning my menu, I found several recipes for lamb and eggplant with Mediterranean seasonings, including Iraqi Lamb and Eggplant StewMoroccan Braised Lamb and Eggplant, andSpiced Lamb Stew with Eggplants, Tomatoes and Peppers. I used all three source recipes to create a new stew for my slow cooker, with sliced lamb shanks, plenty of spices, eggplants and tomatoes in a rich broth.

Slow cooking is an ideal way to cook tough or lean cuts of meat in the summer. Its moist, low heat breaks down cartilage and connective tissues, and its energy efficiency allows you to cook meat for a long time without heating up your kitchen. When cooking with a slow-cooker, it’s good to keep the following tips in mind:

    • For even cooking, always put vegetables in the crock first, followed by meats and liquids.
    • Use the right amount of food: the slow cooker should be between half and two-thirds of the way full before cooking.
    • Keep the lid on the slow cooker for the entire cooking time, removing it only to check for doneness or to stir as the recipe directs. No peeking!
If you don’t have sliced lamb shanks on hand, another cut of lamb, such as shoulder or leg, would work well in its place. A whole lamb shank will work, too, as long as it fits into your slow cooker. If lamb isn’t available, any cheap cut of beef or venison could be used interchangeably with the lamb in this recipe.

Slow Cooker Lamb & Eggplant Stew (serves 6 )

2 medium globe eggplants, chopped
1 large onion, diced
1, 10 ounce can diced tomatoes
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 lamb shank cut into two-inch sections, about 1 pound of meat
2 teaspoons paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons allspice
1/2 cup wine or beef broth
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
fresh parsley for garnish

Combine the eggplant, onion, tomatoes and crushed garlic in the slow cooker. Lay the lamb shanks on the vegetables and cover with wine and spices. Cook undisturbed on high for five hours or low for eight hours, until lamb is very tender and falls away from the bone. Use two forks to pull the lamb meat away from the bones and break up any large pieces of meal. Remove the bones and garnish stew with chopped fresh parsley before serving.

3 responses to “Slow Cooker Lamb and Eggplant Stew

  1. This recipe gets me so excited for fall! It’s coming up in just a few months!!! I can’t wait to make it on a dreary day!

  2. Pingback: Ragout of Lamb | russellskitchen

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s