Slow-cooker lamb with rice

Dinner this past Sunday was one of those dinners that just begs to be shared with others. I wished that I could invite you all to dinner that night – I admit I am not one of those people that appreciates or loves lamb or really meat for that matter, but even I enjoyed this meal!
Since I can’t feed you all virtually, I can at least share the recipes and maybe one day you will attempt this yourself – your families will thank you, yum yum yum.

Here’s what dinner looked like on the plate:

Leg of lamb dinner

On the menu:
Appetizers:
– Homemade guacamole + chips
– Green salad with tri-color bell peppers

Main:
– Slow-cooked leg of lamb
– Golden raisin apricot rice “pilaf”

Since there’s a lot to share here, let’s jump right in:

Homemade Guacamole
(Serves 4 people with some leftover)
Ingredients:
2 medium-large avocados, ripe
1/3 red onion, diced
1/2 tsp of salt
1 lime (or 1.5 if you like it more tangy)
1 small tomato, diced (optional)

Slice open your avocados and remove the pits. In a medium bowl, place avocado, onion, salt and mash together with a large fork until you reach desired consistency. Using a spoon, stir in tomato (if using), squeeze lime juice on top, and stir to incorporate.

Voila!! You are now guacamole-master, and your family will ask where you bought this “AMAZING STUFF”. Smile smugly and wait for them to inhale your masterpiece, then whip out the real deal – the MAIN DISH:

Slow-cooker Leg of Lamb
Serves at least 4 – 6 adults comfortably

Ingredients:
1 3.5 – 4 pound leg of lamb (We buy this Australian Kirkland leg of lamb from Costco) 
1 Tablespoon canola oil (or other light vegetable oil)
3-4 cloves garlic, crushed
salt and pepper to taste
1.5 teaspoon cinnamon
1.5 teaspoon ground cardamom 
1.5 teaspoon allspice
2 teaspoons dried rosemary (or fresh if you have it!)
1/2 lemon
1 14.5 or 15 oz. can of diced tomatoes (I use Muir Glen No Salt Added)

Rinse your leg of lamb. At this point we typically trim off the excess fat, which you are welcome to leave on if you prefer your lamb more juicy/rich. Cut your lamb into about 4 pieces.
Rub the lamb pieces with the salt and pepper and the rest of the spices. Ensure you get the spices everywhere.

In large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add crushed garlic and rosemary. Wait for garlic and rosemary to release fragrance and start to brown, then add lamb pieces to skillet to brown. Wait a few minutes until the lamb starts to brown on the side that is face-down in the skillet, then turn the pieces to the other side and brown for a couple more minutes on second side.

Place lamb pieces in slow cooker, add about 1/2 cup of water and squeeze 1/2 lemon on top.

Turn slow cooker on 4.5 hours on High, or 7.5 hours on Low.

About 1 hour before your lamb is scheduled to be done, add the diced tomatoes to the lamb.

Once lamb is done, remove, enjoy!

Golden raisin apricot rice “pilaf”
Ingredients:
1.5 cups basmati rice
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cardamom
black pepper (to taste)
1 Tablespoon canola oil
3 cups hot water
(Optional toppings):
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
1/2 cup toasted almond slivers

Rinse rice a couple of times in warm water.
In pot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add raisins, apricots, and spices EXCEPT for salt, and stir with wooden spoon for about 30 seconds.

Add rice to the mixture and stir for another 30 seconds, then add 3 cups of water and wait until the mixture boils. Once water boils, reduce heat to low-medium, cover pot, and allow rice to simmer.

Cook for about 20 – 25 minutes, or until there is no more water in the bottom of the pot.
Remove rice from heat, fluff with fork, and put aside until ready to serve.

If you plan on adding the pine nuts and almonds as a topping, heat about 3 Tablespoons of canola oil in a small skillet, then starting with the pine nuts, place them in the oil until browned. Remove from oil and repeat with the almonds.
Tip: Remove the nuts from the oil as SOON as they start getting brown, since they can burn quickly in the hot oil.

Once ready to serve, sprinkle the nuts on top of the rice.

I hope you attempt at least one of these recipes – let me know if you do!

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3 Responses to Slow-cooker lamb with rice

  1. Pingback: Slow-cooked herb chicken with vegetables « halistic

  2. Pingback: Must. Stop. Eating. Guac. « halistic

  3. Pingback: Food in our house: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde « halistic

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