Earlier this year I bought a pressure cooker and I’m very pleased to report that it is now on the list of kitchen appliances that are useful (unlike these gadgets!). So far I’ve tried everything from corned beef to making winter puddings, and it seems I’ve really only scratched the surface of what can be achieved. Mostly however, I’m a bit in love with how easily it can prepare cuts of meat.
The other week, I decided to try cooking some lamb shoulder in the pressure cooker. It did such an amazing job with pulled pork so I figured lamb should be no different. To my delight, I found that the pressure cooker whips up succulent lamb like a boss. I do like slow cooking meat in the oven but instead of waiting six hours, the pressure cooker has dinner ready to go in under an hour.
There are of course pros and cons however. Pressure cooked meat doesn’t enjoy the lovely caramelising process that slow cooking involves. Also, if you like your roast with a hearty gravy then a pressure cooker can’t help you with delicious pan juices. I guess the choice of cooking method comes down to how much time you have and other kitchen logistics such as if you need the oven for some other purpose. Either way, lamb shoulder is a great cut and enjoyable however you prepare it.
As I’m not a huge meat eater, I decided I wanted to make a risotto and incorporate the lamb that way. Leek is the perfect winter vegetable although I used some asparagus as well to brighten the dish a little more. You can use any other vegetable of course but I love leeks and they work nicely with lamb in this recipe. To cut through the fattiness of the lamb, I used the Zucchini & Rosemary Tzatziki from my last post as a dressing to finish off the risotto.
Finally, to accompany the risotto I poured a glass of Stoneleigh’s lovely Pinot Noir from their Latitude range. I was introduced to Stoneleigh wines last year and was immediately impressed with their beautiful range of white wines. This was the first red I tried from this New Zealand winery and it certainly didn’t disappoint. I don’t mind a full bodied red (especially from Spain) but I usually prefer a lighter red with meals. I think Stoneleigh’s Pinot Noir would be quite nice chilled slightly too, to enjoy in the summer months.
I’m looking forward to trying this recipe again for a winter or early spring lunch catch up with friends.
Lamb & Leek Risotto
500g shoulder of lamb
3 cloves of garlic
one sprig of rosemary
salt and pepper to taste
1.5 cups of beef or vegetable stock
1/2 cup of red wine
To Make: Prepare lamb shoulder by placing slices of garlic into slots cut into the meat, or between folds. For slow cooking, if you do not have your own preferred way of cooking, please refer to Jamie Oliver’s recipe as a guideline.
If you have a pressure cooker, brown the meat on the sauté setting until outside is sealed. Pour stock and wine into the cooker pot and place rosemary on meat. The liquid should come half way up the meat. If it does not, place a little more stock. Place pressure cooker on medium setting and cook for 25 minutes. Once cooking time is reached, release pressure carefully then remove meat from liquid. Allow to rest before pulling apart with fork.
Note – Purists are welcome to prepare their risotto on the stove. I have adapted my Thermomix recipe for Lettuce Risotto to make the Leek Risotto as follows.