So today is my birthday.
It's also the birthday of the Princess Royal, Napoleon, Lawrence of Arabia and it's the official death day of the Virgin Mary. Honest. Catholic feast of the Assumption.
I'm still feeling shitty. Had counselling earlier which stirred up a lot of stuff. Then went over to spend time with foal. Which made me realise the gaping wound in my heart when she isn't there. Sparrow I'm the mead hall again.
But anyway today I tried to do a Thing.
My parents gave me some Birthday Money. Instead of using it to buy essentials like say a good Islay single malt ( anyone willing to send me a bottle of Bowmore or Caol Isla please get in touch 😊) I thought maybe Sparkly would lure me from the couch nest.
So using the power of Amazon I ordered Sparkly.
This particular Sparkly is an automated pressure cooker/ rice cooker / slow cooker that you just plug in.
He is now called Duke Nukem.
So I cooked with him because Sparkly must be tested. It's the law.
So the following is my recipe for Cajun Style Lamb Shank.
Yes I know it should probably be alligator. But I live in Suffolk. Very few alligators and there's not enough meat on a common sand lizard.
2 lamb shanks
One onion (chopped)
12 mushrooms (sliced)
12 baby corn cobs (snapped to bite size
1 cup of black beans (dried or canned. If canned wash off the goo. If dried I soak by pouring boiling water on from the kettle then leaving it for 20 min. You can use them without soaking but I think it's a better texture if soaked)
1oz dried wild mushrooms ( yes ounce. Come to peace with it.)
1 cup Arborio rice
5 tbs Black Treacle ( molasses to our American cousins in the colonies)
3 inches of fresh ginger (yes inches. Live with it)
2 cloves of garlic.
I tsp celery seed
2 tsp black peppercorns
2tsp coriander seed
2 tbs smoked paprika
3 tbs sweet paprika
1 star of star anise
1 tsp salt
1 cup tomato juice
3 tbs tomato puree
500ml vegetable stock.
A little olive oil to fry.
Grind all the dry spices and salt to a file powder then clean out mortar and set aside. Peel ginger using a teaspoon handle (trust mu the skin is very easy to scrape of) and peel garlic by crushing with a knife edge (again trust me. Push down till you hear a pop. The skin just slides off.). Grind garlic and ginger together to form a paste. If it's taking too long add a little sugar it draws out the liquid.
OK here we go.
Heat a pan and add olive oil. When it's hot brown the shanks all round then put on a plate. When cool is rub all over with dry spice mix then set aside.
Add onion to the hot pan. When onion is translucent add fresh mushrooms and cook down to get all the liquid out of it. Then add the garlic and ginger. Cook for 2 minutes then stir in the dry spice mix and remove from heat. Tip this into your pressure cooker. (If using a casserole dish you need an oven at 140°C and the cooking time is 4 hrs. Keep an eye on the liquid.)
Transfer the lamb shanks onto the onion bed. Add the rice and beans and dried mushrooms and corn to the pressure cooker.(If you can find some you can add some okra too. It adds a lot to the sauce.)
Heat the pan you fried things in up and tip in the stock. Make sure you scrape the bottom to get all the flavour off. Stir in the treacle and the tomato puree and tomato juice. Mix well.
Tip into the pressure cooker.
Heat it up and cook under pressure for 45 minutes.
It's really yummy. Look.
So yes Sparkly got me off the sofa briefly.
Duke is lovely
Doubt it will last.
You never know.
Anhedonia and isolation and apathy are crippling.
Oh and I fainted and injured my left glenohumeral the other day. I'm strongly suspecting it's an unreduced subluxation. It feels funny.
Dysautonomia caused it.
Idiopathic bradycardia when I'm sleepy. Not enough blood to run brain.
But it should feel better by now. I've got limited usage still.
Time will tell.
Try the lamb. It's really yummy.