I bet you’re all wondering what three tin casserole is, aren’t you? Basically it’s what happens when it’s the end of the week and there aren’t many fresh vegetables left in the fridge and you have a piece of meat that requires long slow cooking you need to braise or casserole.
You could go to the shop, but why don’t you have a quick look in your cupboards and see what you have in there? Tinned produce is great, it has a very long shelf life and can usually be reheated in a few minutes. The canning process also locks in a lot of the vitamins and minerals so it’s healthy too. I knew I had a can of tomatoes, which would provide the liquid for my casserole, but I also found a tin of ratatouille, and decided to stick in a tin of green lentils, but you could also use beans. These green lentils didn’t go down very well when I cooked them on the hob the other month to accompany my Griddled Mint & Garlic Lamb Neck Fillet. I love lentils and often make Tomatoey Lentils as a side using red lentils, but the green ones were really tough (I’m not sure if it’s because they were green or a different brands), anyway I was hoping they’d benefit from the slow cooking. Luckily they dead and were edible this time!
This was the first time I’d cooked with pork shanks, I decided to treat them as I would lamb shanks, long slow cooking, making my slow cooker the perfect kitchen gadget. If you don’t have a slow cooker you could always cook this dish in a lidded casserole in the oven on a low heat for a few hours.
I just made this meal for two, but there was enough vegetables for 4 portions.
Pork shanks – 1 per person is generous portion
Olive oil – 1 tablespoon
Onions – 1 (finely diced)
Garlic – 3-4 cloves (finely sliced)
Tinned tomatoes – 400g tin whole or chopped
Green lentils – 400g tin (drained and rinsed)
Tinned ratatouille – 400g tin
Potatoes – 4-5 medium (peeled and halved)
Seasoning – stock cube (I used a mushroom one) and Italian seasoning
Equipment: Chopping board, knife, slow cooker or lidded casserole, wooden spoon, frying pan
- Set the slow cooker on high and put all the canned ingredients into the crock-pot, breaking up the tomatoes with a wooden spoon if you’re using whole ones.
- Chop the onions and garlic and brown in the frying pan with some olive oil.
- Add the onions and garlic, along with the potatoes and seasoning to the crock-pot and replace the lid.
- Brown the pork shanks in the frying pan on all sides and add to the crock-pot.
- Leave on high for an hour if you can. Turn down to low and cook for 8-10 hours, or leave on high for another 4-5 hours.
- Serve in a bowl.