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October 08, 2005

WEEKEND COOKING UPDATE: My earlier slow-cooker post produced a request from reader Stephen Lalley that I identify the cookbook with the Lamb and Guinness Stew recipe, and from reader Fred Spruytenberg that I share my recipe. Those really are two different requests, as I changed the recipe a bit, as I always do.

The original recipe is from this book, The Gourmet Slow Cooker, which is full of great recipes. Here's my version, which is a bit lower in fat:

2 1/2 pounds lamb stew meat
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
10-12 new potatoes
2 large onions, chopped (I prefer vidalia)
fresh thyme
One to two cans "Pub Draught" Guinness
One can French Onion Soup
Salt, pepper, turmeric, paprika, garlic, rosemary, red pepper, to taste.

Brown the lamb in a saute pan with the oil. Set on paper towels to drain. Sprinkle salt, pepper, and paprika on the lamb.

Saute the onions, unless you're in a rush -- then just put them in the bottom of the crockpot first, which gets you halfway there with no work.

Add the lamb, potatoes, onions, and spices to the crock-pot. Pour soup and beer on top. Add spices and turn it on (I cook on low). About 20 minutes before serving, stir in the flour a bit at a time to thicken. Serve (a bread-bowl from Panera makes a nice touch.)

If the Insta-Wife weren't allergic to carrots, I'd add 2 or 3 cut up carrots to this recipe. Sometimes I've added stewed tomatoes, too, and that works out well. So does some grated parmesan cheese added right after the flour.

Other reader requests: John Marcoux wants to know what makes my All-Clad slow cooker better than this much cheaper one. Beats me. My sister-in-law, who gave it to me, is a big All-Clad fan. So am I, especially when I'm not paying.

And several readers requested other quick-meal cookbook suggestions. I like this one: A Flash in the Pan: Fast, Fabulous Recipes in a Single Skillet. The Insta-Daughter likes a lot of the recipes from it, and they're all fast and easy. That's the key around our house. I love to take a whole afternoon to cook something that demands that much work, but I don't have a lot of afternoons when I can do that, alas.

UPDATE: By the way, here's a link to the Carnival of Recipes, which I think I forgot to mention earlier.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Reader James Foster recommends this cookbook, too.

MORE: Reader Arthur Mitchell recommends French Cooking in Ten Minutes : Adapting to the Rhythm of Modern Life, by Edouard de Pomiane. I haven't read it, but judging from the reviews it looks very cool.

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