“Because only slow food can teach us the things that really matter – care, beauty, concentration, discernment, sensuality, all the best that humans are capable of, but only if we take the time to think about what we’re eating.” – Alice Waters
Contrary to how it may appear, this isn’t a particularly easy concept to master. It requires changing the habits of a life time. But so many of the practices and rituals and routines that have become second nature, thanks to my personalised AIP, have helped.
And my love of slow food is one of my favourites
When it comes to slow food – food that is prepared in accordance with culinary traditions, using high-quality, locally sourced ingredients – and, slow cooking, it’s hard to go past a quince.
The sexy-ugly, wonderfully knobbly quince is a member of the rose family and a relative of fruit like apples and pears.
Quinces are a bit like the ugly duckling of the fruit world. They look ever so unassuming at first glace but once you cook these babies (long and slow), they are transformed into deep, rich, ruby-coloured deliciousness.
What was news to me when I started digging, is that quinces have been popular throughout Europe and the Middle East for a very long time – hundreds of years. They are associated with tales of love, passion and fertility. And, apparently a gnarled quince was likely the ‘apple’ Eve gave to Adam in the Garden of Eden… Who would’ve think it?
I have childhood memories of trays of quince paste; first from my German Omi, and then from my Mum. I adore both quince jelly and quince paste – but, sadly niether are very AIP with all the sugar they contain.
So, when all the lovely quinces started appearing for the season here in Sydney, I wanted to create a savoury recipe that didn’t have oodles of added sugar and my aromatic lamb shanks with quince number was born.
Like many slow cooked dishes, once you have your ingredients lined up, this recipe is a doddle to prepare. In all honesty, the most challenging aspect is patiently (and carefully) peeling and coring the two quinces.
But, when you taste the results – oh boy!
With the warming hit of spices couple with both lamb shanks and quince, this is quite a rich dish. We keep our accompaniements very simple – just some wilted greens and a side of fluffy cauliflower rice.
Serves at least 6
- 2 tablespoons happy fat (I used coconut oil)
- 4 large lamb shanks
- 2 large onions, peeled and roughly chopped
- 6 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
- Juice and about 4 strips of zest from 1 lemon
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon mace
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 400 mls/13.5 fl oz beef bone broth
- 2 large quinces, peeled, cored and cut into eighths
- Freshly chopped parsley for garnish
- Heat oven to 160 degrees
- Melt 1 tablespoon happy fat in base of Dutch oven casserole over medium heat. Season shanks and caramelize well. Set aside.
- Melt remaining fat in casserole. Add onions and sauté over medium-low heat for approximately 10 minutes, until soft and translucent. Add garlic and cook for another minute or so.
- Add lemon strips and spices to casserole and cook for a minute or two. Stir in honey, bone broth and ½ the lemon juice.
- Pop in shanks and bring to simmer. Add quince segments by pushing them into the liquid around the meat (taking care not to burn your pinkies!)
- Pop on the lid and into the oven for 2½ hours.
- Remove the lid and cook for another 30 minutes.
- Remove the shanks and remove the meat from bones and shred. I use two forks to do this. Discard bones and return shredded meat to pan. Give a good stir.
- Serve garnished with parsley and a little of the remaining lemon juice.
E N J O Y !
Being the good Kiwi girl that I am, lamb shanks are a firm favourite. If quinces are not currently in season in your neck of the woods – don’t despair! – this RIDICULOUSLY GOOD Herbed Slow-Cooked Lamb Shanks recipe is one of the most popular on my site