Lamb Vindaloo – Crock Pot Style

Crazy days at work and crazy days of weather have made this a good week to pull out the slow cooker.  I’m in week two of the Pantry Challenge and having to get a little creative to create something that looks like a complete meal.  My Make It Fast, Cook It Slow cookbook is really coming in handy.  10-15 minutes of prep time and then the food cooks while I work.  Dinner is ready whenever I am.  Perfect.

Let me start by admitting that I know nothing about vindaloos.  A tiny bit of reading reveals that these meat stews sometimes have potatoes in them and are served with naan and sometimes have no potatoes and are served over rice.  Since I had some potatoes left from last week I went in that direction.  So, basically I can only tell you that I enjoyed this dish.  I think it’s good food.  I cannot tell you whether or not it’s good vindaloo.  No idea.  But it made a good dinner.  And lunch.  And dinner.

Part of the point of the pantry challenge is to help me clear some stuff out of the freezer.  There’s a lot of lamb down there so that seemed like a good centerpiece for a meal.  I love Indian food so when I found a recipe that incorporated both I grabbed the chance.  I didn’t have any lamb stew meat so I used shanks instead.  I ended up with less meat, but I don’t think the dish suffered at all.  Having the lamb on the bone adds a lot of flavor.  And since shanks have to cook a long time to be tender they’re perfect for a crock pot recipe.  I had about two cups of baby potatoes (red, yellow and purple) left from last week’s chowder so I used those up.  My last substitution is in the tomatoes. The recipe calls for a can of stewed tomatoes.  You may remember from a New Year’s post that I hate stewed tomatoes.  Hate them.  Clearly I’d never have a can in my pantry. I substituted a pint jar of my home canned tomatoes along with about 1 tablespoon of sugar and a chopped red bell pepper.

Not much to say about the cooking.  Dump everything in the crock pot and let it cook  8 hours or more.  The flavor is dark and rich and spicy.  The potatoes help balance the cayenne, as would the rice if you go that way.  If you think you’ll need a little something extra to balance the heat serve some cucumber raita or a cucumber salad on the side.  I invited a friend to join me for dinner and she was kind enough to bring some naan to go with the vindaloo.  Yum!

Good? Yes, definitely.
Easy? You bet. Gotta love the crock pot.
Good for company? My company seemed to enjoy it.
Special shopping? Nope.

Lamb Vindaloo


4 small to medium lamb shanks
1 onion, chopped
6 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 t ground cloves
1 T minced fresh ginger
1/2 t cayenne
1 T ground coriander
1 T cumin
1 t cinnamon
1/4 C cider vinegar
2 C chopped baby potatoes
1 pint whole peeled or diced tomatoes
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 T sugar


Put onion, garlic and spices in a large ziplock bag and mix thoroughly. Add the lamb shanks. Coat the lamb shanks with the spices. Put in the refrigerator and marinate overnight.
Dump the contents of the ziplock bag in the crockpot and add remaining ingredients. Cook on low 8-10 hours.
Serve with naan.

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