The title for this post is almost long enough to be its own post, but I want you to know that I considered "The Easiest Lamb in History" as an alternative, but thought that could give people the wrong idea. I also resisted adding "(Paleo, Delicious)" at the end. This dinner is so good. I'm digesting it as I write, and there are leftovers in the fridge and I already can't wait to eat them. Plus, I had an event after work tonight and didn't get home until 8:30, and I still had everything here ready to go by 9:00, after 10 minutes of prep this morning. It's a winner.
I'm going to try something new with this recipe--you can tell me if you hate it, but most of this post isn't going to have specific measurements. I don't measure when I cook--ever--and this makes me a terrible baker, but I'm a decent cook. If you're new to cooking, or even if you're not, try just trusting yourself and throwing some stuff together. It's going to come out fine, which might give you more confidence to try throwing things together in the kitchen more often, and that makes cooking a lot easier and a lot more fun. If I had to get out my measuring cups every time I was making dinner for my family, we would do nothing but eat out. Just sayin.
For the Lamb:
One boneless leg of lamb (I bought mine from Costco and it came from Australia! I don't even know how much it weighed. Buy whatever size you want, they don't vary that much.)
Rosemary (use fresh if you have it, but I didn't and dried was fine)
Red wine (for the gravy)
For the Cauliflower Rice:
Cauliflower (see below--the crumbled kind is easiest, but a head or florets will also do if you don't mind using a food processor)
For the Green Beans:
French green beans
Nutritional Yeast (this might be another ingredient you're not familiar with, but it's sold at most grocery stores and easy to find on Amazon. Look in your spice aisle, or in a "healthy" section where they keep things like chia seeds and flax meal. It has a cheesy, breadcrumb-y sort of flavor/texture, and it's great on these green beans.)
In the morning: Roughly chop your onion into big chunks and place them on the bottom of your crock pot. In a small bowl, mix 2 parts mustard with one part honey (you don't need a ton--eyeball 2-3 tbs of mustard and half that much honey). Open your leg of lamb and place it on a cutting board. Using a sharp knife, cut slits in an x-pattern across the fat layer on the outside of your leg of lamb. Then, take your honey-mustard mixture and rub it across the entire surface of the lamb, making sure to get it in the slits, and rub any leftover on the inside of the leg of lamb. Tuck the edges of the lamb back into a "closed" roast shape. Sprinkle rosemary over the surface. Place a small bowl upside down in your crock put and set the leg of lamb on top of the bowl (the lamb is going to collapse off the bowl at some point during the cooking, but lifting it off the bottom lets it get that roasted crispy outside all the way around the roast, instead of just on top). Turn your crock pot on low for 8-9 hours (I left mine for 8.5 and it worked out fine, but I'm sure it was done at 8). When I got home and looked at the lamb I thought it was going to be terrible, because it looked very dark and overcooked. But fear not, it was delicious. Tender and juicy and so, so good. This is what my crock pot looked like in the evening (this is not what you would call an "appetizing photo"):
To be fair, Dan had already eaten a chunk of the meat at this point. Just trust me--if you see that and are discouraged, do not despair. It's probably delicious.
Next, turn your oven on to 400 and grab your cauliflower, green beans, a cookie sheet, and a large frying pan. If your cauliflower is in head or floret form, you need to throw it in to the food processor and pulse it a few times until you end up with crumbles. But, I recently discovered that this product exists in the world, which makes cauliflower rice a snap and doesn't require the use of a food processor (which is, I think we can all agree, the worst kitchen appliance):
If you've never tried cauliflower rice, I really recommend giving it a whirl. It's surprisingly delicious, and great with rich meats like lamb or pork (or..anywhere else you would eat rice, but this combo is especially good).
Put your frying pan on the stovetop and throw a few glugs of olive oil in there (enough to almost cover the bottom of the pan). Turn on your burner to medium-high heat. While that's heating up, dump your green beans out on your cookie sheet and drizzle another few glugs of olive oil over the green beans. Toss the green beans in the olive oil to coat them evenly and salt them to taste (I choose to salt mine generously, because delicious). Sprinkle nutritional yeast generously across the top of your green beans and throw them in the oven.
Dump your cauliflower in your hot frying pan--you want your cauliflower rice to get charred, because that develops a really delicious flavor. So keep the heat on the higher end, but obviously if things are getting too smokey turn down your burner. No need to set off the smoke alarm.
Again, to get that good char on your cauliflower, you don't want to stir it too much. Let it sit and sizzle a little before you give it a good stir. Throw some salt in there, too.
While you're letting your cauliflower and green beans cook, take the lamb juices from the bottom of your crock pot and throw them in a small saucepan or frying pan with a heavy splash of red wine (note: if you don't believe red wine is paleo then I don't want to be your friend, but you could probably go without the red wine and still enjoy this meal).
Turn your heat up to medium-high under your soon-to-be-gravy, and let it boil until it's reduced by about half. The pictures above are a before and after...stir it a few times as it's boiling to make sure the bottom isn't burning, and turn down the heat if it is (or if it looks like your pot is going to overflow).
Give your cauliflower rice a good stir, and keep doing that every 2 minutes or so until it's cooked and charred. You can see a color difference between cooked and uncooked cauliflower (cooked is more of a yellow-y color) and you'll be able to see the browned, charred, delicious spots. Take it off the heat when it looks like this:
Check on your green beans, and stir them once if the bottoms are getting too burned. Although, again, I like these at least a little burned. If you have a lot piled on your sheet (like I did) you probably want to stir once. If you have more of an even, single layer, you probably don't need to stir. They're done when they look like this, after about 20-25 minutes in the oven:
Once everything is done cooking, put down a scoop of cauliflower rice on your plate and lay some lamb pieces over the top. I pulled the lamb apart into chunks with my fingers. Ladle gravy over the top of your cauliflower rice and lamb, and plate your green beans. Enjoy!
As a final "make your life easier" note, I like to package leftovers for a meal like this at the same time I'm plating dinner. I'll just lay my plate out next to 3 or 4 tupperware containers, and put each component into the tupperware the same time I'm putting it on my plate. This was dinner for me and Dan tonight, plus three full leftover meals in the fridge. Easy peasy!