Paleo Slow Cooker Teriyaki Lamb

2013-07-13
If you are familiar with my site, you have probably noticed that there are some ingredients that I tend to use more frequently than others.  One of those ingredients is a protein that I have only really started to appreciate in recent history.  Better late than never I suppose!  Lamb is amazing, and this recipe in particular is one of my new favorites.  It was so easy, so simple, and so delectably delicious.

I had never combined lamb with this type of Asian flavor inspired marinade, and I am so glad that I didn’t shy away from experimenting!  The inspiration for this recipe came from a Penzey’s Spice Catalog, and initially called for lamb chops.  However, lamb chops can be expensive, and take a more hands-on approach with the cooking process.  I decided to buy a boneless leg of lamb at Costco, trim the fat, and simply add it to the crockpot with the “marinade.”

Teriyaki sauce is typically comprised of sweeteners like brown sugar, white sugar, and sometimes even sweet rice wine.  Delicious?  Yes.  Paleo?  No.  My solution?  Modify!  The recipe had suggestions for making your own teriyaki, so I just substituted the rice vinegar for apple cider vinegar and honey for the brown sugar in the recipe.  I also substituted coconut aminos for the soy sauce.  However, if you are not totally Paleo and simply want to cut sodium in your sauce, low sodium soy sauce is a great choice as well.  I am a true lover of Teriyaki sauce, and I did not miss a thing about the “original”! 

The original recipe had directions to marinate the chops for the few hours, then grill them.  I made the marinade in a zip lock bag, added the lamb, and then let it sit in the fridge for an hour before putting it in the slow cooker.  However, if you are in a hurry, no need to take the time to let the meat marinate in the fridge.  Simply mix the marinade ingredients in your slow cooker, add the lamb, then start it up.  Eight hours on LOW or 4 hours on HIGH will be ample time for the flavors to soak into the meat.

A note about cooking time: If you have the time, I recommend cooking the lamb on LOW.  The long, slow cooking time really helps to breakdown and tenderize the meat.  However, if you are in a time-crunch (and are able to come back and check the slow cooker), start it on HIGH for 2 hours, then switch it to LOW.  Remember that each hour on HIGH = 2 hours on LOW. 

Additionally, this dish is even better the next day!  The leg meat was not only fall-apart-tender, but also flavorful and juicy!  I paired it with baked sweet potatoes, but this would also pair extremely well with some cauliflower rice.  This recipe is also perfect no matter when you prepare it.  Make it on Sunday and enjoy it throughout the week, or start the crockpot in the morning and enjoy a house full of delicious aromas and a fantastic meal by dinner.  Buen provecho!

Ingredients

  • 1 (2-4 lb) boneless leg of lamb, trimmed of some of the excess fat
  • 2 tbs apple-cider vinegar
  • 2 tbs coconut aminos
  • 2 tbs raw honey
  • 3/4-1 tsp powdered ginger
  • 3/4-1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbs coconut oil (or organic olive oil)
  • 2 tbs water
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

Instructions

  • 1. Rinse leg of lamb, pat dry, then trim off large pieces of excess fat
  • 2. In ziplock bag (or directly in slow cooker) combine remaining ingredients, stirring until honey is mostly incorporated/dissolved
  • 3. Place all liquid and lamb in slow cooker
  • 4. Cook on LOW for 8 hours, or HIGH for 4 hours
  • 5. Enjoy!