Slow cooked crock-pot lamb short-ribs – “And the mountains echoed” book review.

Slow cooked Lamb short ribs

 

If I like a book, really, really, really like it, then my clock will cease to exist until I have gleaned every word from its pages.  If I don’t read a book in one sitting, it might mean that I am not engrossed in it as much. Often, that means putting everything on hold other than what is most urgent. As a teen during holidays, urgent meant bathroom breaks. Breakfast, lunch and dinner could be had with nose stuck between the fast turning pages of a fabulous book. Think Sydney Sheldon, think M.M Kaye – one of my favorite authors. Think Eric Segal or Danielle Steele (then yes, now, not so much). 

It’s not much different today. Of course, the breaks have lengthened – now it’s bathroom breaks and every-other-room-cleaning break plus the regular chore breaks and of course the kitchen breaks. More on that later.

All that means my clock starts and stops at the most inconvenient of times.So I could be reading a book and then looking up at the clock to find it is 4 am in the morning. In other words, I just spent the entire night sitting, engrossed in a book so engaging that sleep – the most beautiful companion of all – was forgotten. Possibly because now that is the only time when I can still make do with only bathroom breaks to interrupt my journey with characters I am currently obsessed with.

 

And the Mountains Echoed

 

Khalid Hosseini’s  “And the mountains echoed” is one such book in recent times. I am a big fan of Mr Hosseini. His earlier works – ‘The Kite Runner’ and ‘A Thousand Splendid Suns’ are master pieces, that have lyrical prose from a born storyteller. Mr Hosseini is one of the most insightful writers in modern times. He has the capability to elegantly capture the essence of a situation in its entirety. He also has a gift of presenting both positive and negative viewpoints with exceptional emotional clarity and infinite sensitivity. Often times, his characters are morally ambiguous. There can be a little boy who is mean to the point of being vicious, only to spend rest of his life trying to find redemption. There can be a little girl who inflicts unimaginable horror on her sister only to sacrifice her entire life for the same sibling, and yet at the end making a choice that you can’t blame her for, even while knowing how reprehensible it is. You smile when they are happy, your heart palpitates when they are in trouble, your insides breaks when they are hurt, you cry when they are helpless, you hope when they look out of the window of a locked room in hopes of a better tomorrow. Sometimes their choices are ugly, and yet you can’t smother them with hate, because somewhere underneath all that devastation lies the prospect of a beautiful blessing.

“And the Mountains echoed” does not disappoint. In parts, it transcends genius.“Cruelty and benevolence are but shades of the same color”, says a character who is supposed to be malevolent and morally bankrupt. Showcasing human fallibility with devastating details, it’s magnificently thought provoking and emotionally enriching. Khalid Hosseini captivates imagination with his enticing tale of blood-ties, love, betrayal, jealousy, sacrifice, longing, greatness, pettiness, redemption, in every possible way imaginable. He manages to blur the line between black and white with so much ingenuity that you are left wondering if you are the one who has a grey soul.

 

Lamb Short ribs slow cooked

 

However, I must say it does not match the brilliance of his previous two books as far the story itself goes. Personally, I feel the story meanders a lot, and while I understand that it is intentional, still I feel it takes away some of the sheen that radiates from first 100 pages of this book. Maybe it needed another 500 pages, or maybe a few less characters? Also, while the ending is poignant, it does make you want for more resolution, of a longing that if only life could be more fair. But it does stand on its own as a triumph of story telling. What I love about Mr Hosseini’s way of writing is that he makes it look so simple, so soft, almost magical in its eloquence. There is no heaviness of words, no difficult paragraphs to navigate through. You feel transported to times when storytelling was all about sitting  on hunches in a cluster listening to a storyteller weaving magic with words with animated features and exaggerated gestures. Yet, it’s profound and terrifyingly real without any nonsensical psychobabble.

It is a must read. I pre-ordered the hard cover edition, and I don’t regret it. This one is for keeps. And also to be read in one sitting. If you like stories that run deep and characters that sneak inside your heart forever, pick this book up.

 

Lamb short ribs

 

Now, reading in one sitting involves taking ‘breaks’ from the ‘urgent breaks’ that life needs of you. During my teen years, Mom cooked while I read. Now I cook while my teen reads. Now what if I also need to read…who cooks?

My Crock-Pot!! That’s who. You gotta love your crock-pot at such times. This lamb recipe is just perfect for a meal that pretty much cooks on its own. Mix in some herbs and spices,throw it in, take it out and devour with some fresh bread. Divine!!!

And if I can say so myself, looks pretty glamorous too!!

 

Lamb Short ribs

 

 

5.0 from 6 reviews
Slow cooked crock-pot lamb short-ribs
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • 2 racks of lamb short ribs ( or enough for 4 people)
  • 1 tbsp red chilli flakes
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 cup fresh mint leaves
  • 2 habanero peppers (optional)
  • 1 tbsp butter melted
  • 1 tsp fresh cracked black peppers
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds roasted and coarsely pounded
  • salt to taste
Instructions
  1. Reserve 1 tbsp of garlic, few mint leaves and butter for later.
  2. Mix the lamb ribs with rest of the ingredients.
  3. Transfer the ribs in the crock-pot.
  4. Cook on high for ½ hour.
  5. Turn the crock-pot on low and cook for 3 hours.
  6. Heat the butter and fry the reserved 1 tbsp of garlic.
  7. Add the garlic butter to cooked ribs.
  8. Garnish with fresh mint leaves.
  9. Serve with a crusty bread like Sourdough or Scala or any other bread of your choice.
Note: Check for doneness and cook more if needed.

 

 TheLady8home’s Note: This is not a paid or a sponsored review. All opinions are of my own and shared on good faith. 

25 comments for “Slow cooked crock-pot lamb short-ribs – “And the mountains echoed” book review.

  1. CCU
    June 12, 2013 at 4:34 PM

    Such an engrossing book by the sounds of it – on my list for post-exam year reading! So much to do ;)
    Deliciously warm ribs here, I bet this dish and this book on a winter day would be fantastic!

    Cheers
    CCU
    CCU recently posted..Superfoods #2: Coconut SugarMy Profile

    • June 13, 2013 at 12:29 PM

      It’s a great book indeed. I wish you ate Non vegetarian – this one is a treat.

  2. June 12, 2013 at 6:46 PM

    A good book and a tasty recipe. A two-fer!!! That book sounds like a great read, Minnie. These lamb short ribs, and your preparation, really do sound good. The problem for me is I’ve never seen lamb short ribs here. Believe me, if I did, I’d be all over them! I need to not only look for them but to ask the people behind the counters, too. WHen I find them, you’ll be the first to know! :)
    ChgoJohn recently posted..Homemade Gnocchi in Gorgonzola SauceMy Profile

    • June 13, 2013 at 7:38 PM

      Now that you say it, I realized that I haven’t seen short ribs around that much either. But them we are not big lamb eaters, and I am not always looking for lamb as such. Thank you so much John!!

  3. June 12, 2013 at 11:18 PM

    As I walk my son to school we walk past our local bookshop and in the window they have had this book and I’ve been wondering about buying it. I love it when you buy a book and you just can’t put it down – a crock pot or slow cooker becomes absolutely essential if anyone is to get fed xx
    Hotly Spiced recently posted..The MustangMy Profile

    • June 13, 2013 at 7:40 PM

      It’s a great read, I loved it. Thanks Charlie :))

  4. June 13, 2013 at 6:05 AM

    What a great sounding book! :D And we’re on the same wavelength because I was writing down my shopping list for next week and there are ribs on it (to be done in a slow cooker ;)).
    Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella recently posted..Hallelujah Curry!My Profile

    • June 13, 2013 at 7:42 PM

      How awesome Lorraine!! Would you be posting a recipe?

  5. June 14, 2013 at 11:56 AM

    The book sounds like a must read!! I will get it asap. Will try the recipe for the lamb short ribs it sounds so yummy. Have only ever made pork ribs in the crock pot I guess lamb is a bit less greasy??

    • June 14, 2013 at 12:22 PM

      I find lamb quite greasy too, which is why I add the oil late, to make sure it’s not flooded with grease. But mint goes well with lamb meat. We don’t eat lamb much, this recipe works for us.

  6. June 14, 2013 at 12:10 PM

    I have never dared to cook with lamb. You see I just confessed Minnie. Lamb is just not in my genes I guess… but yours looks magnificent!
    “thought provoking and emotionally enriching” that’s a book that I would and could enjoy.
    Happy weekend!

    • June 14, 2013 at 12:23 PM

      Thank you Helene! We don’t eat lamb that much either. In fact unless it is ‘herbed’ I don’t eat it at all. We prefer goat meat. But this preparation was good. And the book is great.

  7. June 14, 2013 at 2:48 PM

    Simple marinade and easy dish! I don’t normally choose lamb as a meat choice but maybe because I don’t know how to cook properly. This looks flavorful and delicious!
    Nami | Just One Cookbook recently posted..Teriyaki Burger 照り焼きバーガーMy Profile

  8. June 14, 2013 at 5:54 PM

    We share a love of reading. I’ll admit I was a dinosaur about books, insisting that feeling the pages was necessary. Then I evolved. I recently bought about 400 digital cookbooks and use my tablet in the kitchen (or at bedtime). Some of the books in print were over $100 so I could never have afforded it financially or found space for that many.

    There are times though that a hard cover book is worth it. :)

    In the past I didn’t like ribs or chicken wings because of the mess but I’ve evolved from that thinking as well.
    Maureen | Orgasmic Chef recently posted..Popovers – Recipe from MaineMy Profile

    • June 17, 2013 at 9:55 AM

      hahahahhaa!! I love my Kindle too. You are so right…sometimes hardcover is the only way…:)

  9. June 15, 2013 at 1:46 AM

    That’s great that your teen reads. It looks to me like people don’t read anymore- they seem to be glued to their smartphones to check their messages. When I used to take a 25-minute train ride to work, 3/4 of the passengers were glued to their smartphone screens- I couldn’t take it anymore and retired!
    Fran@ G’day Souffle’ recently posted..My Life at the Cordon Bleu School- ParisMy Profile

    • June 18, 2013 at 12:19 PM

      That’s funny, but so true!! My teen does love to read, thank God for that.

  10. June 16, 2013 at 10:04 AM

    yum! these ribs are so tasty-looking and I am sure, these are! Loved this crock-pot recipe. Shall come back for more recipe on your space!

    • June 18, 2013 at 12:19 PM

      Thank you so much Purabi! Looking forward :)

  11. June 16, 2013 at 5:51 PM

    I am drooling .., licking my screen – these look AMAZING! xoxo
    The Hungry Goddess recently posted..Chilean Sea Bass with Orange Sauce & Citrus Fennel Pollen (Plus Dessert!)My Profile

  12. Ali
    June 17, 2013 at 8:04 AM

    Oooh, I’ve been wondering what that book was like as I loved his first two. Brilliant stories, so different to anything I had ever read. I have quite a few books on my to read list at the moment, and this one is on it! Those lamb ribs look delicious too!
    Ali recently posted..Busy little beeMy Profile

    • June 17, 2013 at 9:57 AM

      This one is a bit different than the other two. The writing, as usual is top notch. But I did feel the story could have done with a bit more cohesiveness. It is a very different approach though for a story this complicated.

  13. June 19, 2013 at 11:03 PM

    Thanks so much for the book recommendation! I loved the Kite Runner, so I’m glad to see that Hosseini has come out with another great book. Like you, I have been known to go to bed a 4 a.m. only after finishing a book. I regret it the next day for 2 reasons: Having to make it through the day without sleep and I finished the book! Why did it have to end? :) Your lamb short ribs look fabulous! I love all of the spice. I don’t have a crockpot but I’m sure I could figure out a way to cook it on the stovetop. Great recipe!
    mjskit recently posted..Our Favorite Grilled Halibut RecipeMy Profile

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Rate this recipe:  

CommentLuv badge