Yeah. Me, too.
Here’s The Thing, though. I am fairly certain my love language is food. And I’m also fairly certain I have conditioned my family and friends to receive my love in this manner. Food is NOT love, but food can be a loving gesture in a world of convenience and fast meals. What’s better than sitting down with friends and sharing a great meal, enjoyable conversation, and choice adult beverage? Not much.
Also, food is effing delicious, so there’s that.
When I want to share the love and keep the temperature in my kitchen down while making the most of my limited energy, I always turn to my crockpot. I used to have major bias towards slow cookers. I grew up with crockpots galore at church potlucks. Everyone clamored for an outlet to plug in their pot before service started so their mystery dish would stay hot and avoid poisoning a whole congregation. It was a sea of crockpots
A couple of decades later, I decided to try to resurrect my slow cooker that was still sitting in my kitchen in the box from our wedding when my truly kind souled cousin gifted us with it. I got brave. I bought the food. I read a couple of blogs. I studied and sweated and prayed to the kitchen gods that it would all turn out beautifully. It didn’t.
I ruined a 5 lb brisket.
$40 of beautiful, succulent, grass-fed meat totally ruined because I didn’t understand fully how to use my slow cooker. I did not sear it. I under-seasoned it. I ADDED WATER. Then I cooked it on high for 4 hours. It was totally inedible, but of course we ate it anyway because we have a strict budget and can’t afford to toss food when it doesn’t turn out well. I nicknamed it the Brisket of Tears, because I wept when I ruined it, and again every time I ate the chewy, gray, tasteless meat.
A couple of years ago, I decided to master the crockpot. I did a massive amount of research. After a week of fretting and praying and hoping that I could pull it off, I made a pork shoulder. It was phenomenal. It gave me confidence. And I went further into the slow-cooker abyss.
When I found a ridiculously good sale on New Zealand grassfed lamb, I knew I could execute it well. My dish would not go the way of the church potluck or failed brisket attempt of 2009. Nope. It would succeed.
This is probably one of the best things I’ve ever tasted. I’m not exaggerating in the least. The flavor of the lamb is complex and finishing the whole dish off in the oven to crisp up the fat made this dish completely decadent.
- 3-4 lbs of lamb riblets or short ribs
- 1/2 cup dry vermouth
- 1/3 cup olive or avocado oil (I prefer avocado bc of the mellow flavor)
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup(ish) fresh mint leaves
- 1/4 fresh basil leaves
- 1/4 cup fresh rosemary
- 4-5 cloves garlic
- 1 medium shallot or small onion, quartered
- 2 tsp tumeric
- 2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp (+) fresh cracked pepper
- 1 tsp (+) salt
- Combine all ingredients (except for lamb) in blender or NutriBullet. Pulse until everything is combined. Pour over lamb and marinate in a ziplock bag or covered dish for 2-12 hours, or if you’re in a hurry, skip the marination and use right away.
- Rub crockpot with a little oil, and put lamb and marinade in. For best results, cook on Low for 6-8 hours. Eight hours is optimal, but do what you can.
- When the lamb is finished in the slow cooker, transfer to a baking sheet and bake on 375 degrees for 20-30 minutes to crisp up the fat and caramelize.
- Garnish with chopped mint leaves and devour immediately.
I served this with a side of saffron infused basmati rice, pan fried mushrooms and sweet onion, along with a fruit-filled salad. There wasn’t even a speck of lamb left on the bones, and we devoured an entire plate in 20 minutes flat.
You will love this. Trust me. Or don’t. But take a chance. And make friends with your crockpot this summer.
It feels good to be baaaaaad,