Slow cooking wins hearts in winter

I am surprised, by the oohs and aahs we hear bone broth today. When I look through cookbooks and hipster café menus one would think bone broth is a revelation, a new discovery! Slow soups, stocks and cooking has been around forever in most cultures with some variations. The slow cooking draws out the flavour and minerals from the bones, herbs, spices and vegetables that make the stock base of most soups. The slow cooking method has been used forever to also  make tough, cheaper cuts of meat palatable.

Somewhere, in the last 20 years with so much packet, processed food, many have forgotten or did not grow up with slow cooking. Bought stock is never the same as what you make yourself and often full of all sorts of nasties

This soup is definitely worth the effort to warm hearts and leave everyone with that cosy inner snugness, that we all need at the end of a cold winters day. This soup is seasonal, low cost, full of vegetables, rich in flavour and goodness.  Everyone will be begging for seconds. Double the recipe to either freeze or have for lunches the next day. Doubling recipes and stocking up the freezer in winter saves time and takes the pressure of cooking on some nights.

Cooks note: The stock needs to cook slowly for at least four hours. If you are time poor, you can make batches up on the weekend and freeze or make the night before.

You need

1 large saucepan, colander

Cooks note: mise en place: a French cooking term for having everything in its place. This helps to keep an organised kitchen and an unflustered cook. Preparing all ingredients first, taking out the equipment you need and reading through a recipe will make cooking relaxing and fun, as it should be. Put on some music, try and keep the bench space tidy and there will be less cleaning up at the end.


Lamb stock

2 lamb shanks

1 tablespoon of olive oil

1 1/2 litres water

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1/2 brown onion, peeled and diced

1 carrot, washed and  roughly chopped

1 fennel top with fronds, washed

1 stalk of celery washed and cut into 4

fresh ground black pepper

1 handful of fresh herbs. I used sage, thyme, rosemary and parsley from the garden

For the soup

300 gms cauliflower, washed and cut into small flowerets

1 bunch broccolini, washed and chopped

300gms mushrooms, stalks removed and sliced

1 small fennel, washed cut into quarters, core removed and thinly sliced

1/2 brown onion, finely diced

2 cloves garlic peeled and crushed

2 tablespoons of olive oil

To serve

Freshly grated pecorino chees

To make

Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large sauce, heat on medium.

Add lamb shanks and brown on each side.

Add all other stock ingredients and bring to boil. Turn down to a simmer, (small bubbles) and simmer for a minimum of 4 hours. If you have time cook for 6 hours with lid on.

Place a colander over a large bowl and pour in soup stock.

Remove the lamb shanks, keep stock in bowl and discard the rest into a compost bowl.

The meat should fall of the shanks, cut up and return meat to the stock, discard bones.

Heat remaining  2 tablespoons of olive oil in a saucepan, add onion and garlic, sauté for 4-5 minutes.

Add fennel for a couple of minutes.

Add mushrooms and place on the lid of the saucepan, cook for 5-6 minutes to allow the mushrooms to wilt down to give a more intense flavour.

Add stock, meat and cauliflower, simmer for 10 minutes.

Lastly add the broccolini and simmer for 5 more minutes.

Serve with freshly grated pecorino and cracked black pepper


Bon appetite

X 70’s girl


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