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At work? Slow cooker has dinner covered

At work? Slow cooker has dinner covered

The office worker drags out the slow cooker and demands compliance. Her employees — beans, onion, ce
At work? Slow cooker has dinner covered
Lamb stew with white beans, carrots and spinach basically cooks itself in a slow cooker, ready for you when you get home from work.
Photographer: Bill Hogan

Office work comes with excellent perks, including colleagues and doughnuts and swift Internet. And a number of strictures.

For instance, the office worker is expected to wear clothes. Not yoga gear. Not slippers.

The office worker is expected to arrive solo. Her puppy, regardless of his melting gaze, his soft chocolate coat, or his habit of snoring quietly for hours, is prohibited.

And dinner, left home alone, does not cook itself. This the worker finds unreasonable. She puts on actual clothes, spears wild verbiage and arrives home eager for puppy time. What have the carrots and beans been doing all day? Nothing! No sorting, no simmering, no stewing. They’ve been lounging.

The office worker drags out the slow cooker and demands compliance. Her employees — beans, onion, celery, carrot and lamb — will prep early and put in a full day of slow braise.

She comes home to the welcome scent of rosemary and garlic, to stew ready to serve. Puppy in arms, she smiles. Maybe she’s ready for management.


Prep: 15 minutes. Cook: 8 hours. Makes: 6 servings

1 onion, chopped

2 carrots, chopped

2 ribs celery, chopped

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 bay leaf

1 sprig rosemary

1 pound dried white beans, such as navy or great northern

1 lamb shoulder (2 pounds), trimmed of fat

Olive oil

1 pound baby spinach leaves

Spicy sauce, such as harissa, optional

1. Prep: Heap onion, carrots, celery and half the garlic into a slow cooker. Sprinkle with half the salt and pepper. Toss in bay leaf and rosemary.

2. Boil: Rinse and sort beans. Scrape into a big pot. Fill with cold water to cover by 1 inch. Bring to a boil; boil 1 minute. Pour beans and water into the slow cooker (no need to drain). Make sure water rises 1 inch above the bean line. (If not, add more.)

3. Season: Rub lamb with oil. Season with remaining garlic, salt and pepper. Set lamb on top of beans.

4. Ignore: Cover slow cooker and set on low. Ignore, about 8 hours. Come home to a hearty meal that practically cooked itself.

5. Serve: Discard bay leaf and rosemary. Spoon off any fat. Heap in spinach; cover and let wilt, about 3 minutes. Break up lamb. Scoop beans, spinach and lamb into bowls. Spoon on a little spicy sauce, if you like. Yum, right?

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