When it comes to recipes inspired by global cuisine, I am a novice at best. Heck, I have just begun to feel comfortable preparing the types of meals I grew up eating, so tackling something global was a bit daunting. And doing it with a type of meat I have only ever even eaten one time, let alone cook, was downright scary.
But I have never backed down from a challenge. Ever. It’s kind of a blessing and a curse really.
And so here I am about to share with you a recipe that incorporates two things I have never done before.
But before I do that, let me tell you a little bit about the American Lamb Board and what they sent me to help me expand my culinary horizons.
The American Lamb Board is an industry-funded research and promotions commodity board that represents all sectors of the American Lamb industry including producers, feeders, seed stock producers and processors. The 13-member Board, appointed by the Secretary of Agriculture, is focused on increasing demand by promoting the freshness, flavor, nutritional benefits, and culinary versatility of American Lamb. The work of the American Lamb Board is overseen by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the board’s programs are supported and implemented by the staff in Denver, Colorado.
Lamb is often overlooked as a meat of choice in this country, but after making this recipe, I have to tell you that it is my new favorite, and with over 82,000 family-owned sheep farms in the US it’s a good chance you can actually get it locally and year-round. Lamb is tender, high-quality and full of flavor, and the perfect compliment for all sorts of global flavors including Latin, Middle Eastern, Asian and Mediterranean.
I received a lamb shoulder. It was roughly 3 lbs before cooking and came wrapped in a twine mesh. I’d never seen raw lamb before and I hope you aren’t squeamish about these things but I wanted to show it to you before cooking.
I chose an Asian inspired recipe because my husband and I both love Asian cuisine and he is familiar with it in case I needed help.
I then made the sauce which really had only a few ingredients: soy sauce, Hoisin sauce, brown sugar, minced garlic, rice wine vinegar and Asian stir fry oil. Cayenne pepper and sesame seeds are optional. I placed the roast in the slow cooker, poured the sauce over it and cooked it on high for 2 hours. I then flipped the lamb shoulder over and basted it with the sauce and continued to cook on high for another 2 hours. If you need it longer, you can turn it down to low after the initial 2 hours or if your slow cooker has a warm setting, simply set it to warm for as long as you need before you plan to serve it. I then removed the roast from the slow cooker and poured the sauce into a saucepan and heated it on the stovetop to reduce and thicken. I served it over white rice.
It was really good! I used the cayenne, and even though my daughter said it was too hot, she kept asking for more. It was the sweet kind of hot that keeps you wanting more – and drinking a lot of milk. So if you don’t want the heat, reduce or eliminate the cayenne altogether.
- 2-3 lb lamb shoulder
- ½ cup soy sauce
- ¼ cup hoisin sauce
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 1 tbsp Asian stir fry oil
- 4 cloves minced garlic
- ¼ cup rice wine vinegar
- tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
- 1 tbs toasted sesame seeds (optional)
- Sear lamb shoulder in Asian stir fry oil over high heat until brown on all sides.
- Add to slow cooker.
- Mix all other ingredients together in a small bowl until combined.
- Pour over lamb.
- Cook on high for 2 hrs.
- After 2 hrs, turn lamb over and baste with sauce.
- Continue cooking on high for another 2 hours or on low for 4 hours.
I encourage you to consider lamb next time you are shopping for meal ingredients for your family!
Have you ever cooked with lamb? If not, why not?
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.