Rich with tender lamb and meaty mushrooms, our slow-cooker risotto will have you wondering why you ever bothered making finicky stove-top risotto. There’s no carefully timed stirring or multiple additions of liquid here – just set the timer and let the slow cooker do the work for you!
1-lb boneless leg of lamb, trimmed and cut into ½-inch pieces
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/8 tsp ground black pepper
1 cup chopped yellow onion
10 oz sliced baby portobello mushrooms
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp plus 2 tsp minced fresh rosemary, divided
1 cup pearl barley, rinsed
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
2 oz Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese, grated
2 tsp lemon zest
3 cups baby arugula
Season lamb with salt and pepper. Mist a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray and heat on medium. Add lamb and sear, turning once, for 1 to 2 minutes per side or until just browned. Transfer to a 4-qt slow cooker.
Return skillet to medium heat. Add onion and mushrooms and sauté, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low. Add garlic and 1 tbsp rosemary and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add to slow cooker. Stir barley and broth into slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for 3 hours, until barley is tender and liquid is absorbed.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, bring vinegar to a boil on medium-high heat. Boil steadily for 5 minutes, until reduced by about two-thirds. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside at room temperature until ready to serve.
Add Parmesan to slow cooker and stir until melted. Stir in remaining 2 tsp rosemary and lemon zest. Fold in arugula until just wilted. Spoon onto dishes and drizzle with balsamic reduction, dividing evenly.