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.
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.
Slow Cooker Sticky Asian Lamb
- 2-3 lb lamb shoulder
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 tbsp Asian stir fry oil
- 4 cloves minced garlic
- 1/4 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!