The ultimate definition of simplicity is a dinner prepared in a slow cooker. Throw a few ingredients in to the slow cooker in the morning, turn it on and let it run while you're at work. There is nothing more amazing than walking in your house at the end of the day when dinner is done, and it smells amazing. There is no need to prepare anything, no need to run around frantically trying to get a meal on the table while the family are "hangry" (don't you love that word). You can relax - it's done.
One of our favorite slow cooker meals is one that we learned about last year from Real Simple magazine. It's a lamb tagine with dates and oranges. You serve it with a little couscous, some sliced almonds, and orange wedges. Delicious!
2 lbs. lamb shoulder, cut into 2-inch pieces
3/4 c. halved and pitted Medjool dates
1 Tbsp. ground coriander
1 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
4 cloves garlic, chopped
Finely grated zest and juice of 1 orange
Salt & black pepper
1 1/2 c. couscous
1/2 c. pitted kalamata olives, halved
Chopped, toasted almonds; cilantro leaves; and orange wedges, for serving
1. Combine the lamb, dates, coriander, paprika, garlic, orange zest and juice, 1 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon pepper, and ¼ cup water in a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker. Cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 5 hours.
2. Cook the couscous according to the package directions. Just before serving, stir the olives into the tagine.
3. Serve the lamb with the couscous, almonds, cilantro, and orange wedges.
* Total Time: 5 hours, 25 minutes to 8 hours, 25 minutes