The beauty of a slow cooker is that you can leave it to it’s job whilst you get on with your day. If you will be rustling up a traditional dinner over the Easter weekend, then lamb is probably on the menu. Leaving it to cook in the slow cooker means it comes out succulent and tender yet doesn’t take any time out of your busy schedule; perfect when all the family are round. This meat also requires little help in terms of preparation.
One thing to bear in mind before you go out and buy your leg of lamb is the size of your appliance. A standard size round slow cooker should be able to accommodate 2kg with the bone removed and shank end trimmed off, but if you prefer the bone to be left whilst cooking then 1.5kg may be more suitable. Cooking time also needs to be adjusted depending on this factor; 1-1.25kg takes roughly 8 hours, and anything around 2kg takes closer to 10. Your butcher will know the most ideal instructions.
To give it an extra flavour boost just pop it in the oven briefly to brown once cooked, whilst you use the juices as a base for preparing the gravy. Serve with a few roast potatoes and seasonal veg and you’re good to go.
- 1 leg of lamb, appropriate size
- Salt and pepper to flavour
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- A few sprigs of rosemary, chopped
- 1 ½ tsp dried thyme
- Glug of olive oil
- 500ml chicken stock
- 50g butter
- 40g plain white flour
- 500ml liquid from slow cooker
- Salt/pepper and herbs to taste
- Pat lamb dry with paper towels to get rid of any excess moisture. Mix together the garlic, rosemary and thyme using a small amount of oil to make a paste. Rub all over the lamb. If you have time, cover and leave to marinate in fridge overnight.
- Place in slow cooker and pour in stock. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
- Slow cook on low for approximately 8-10 hours depending on size, until tender. Half way through the cooking time, quickly turn the lamb around to ensure full cooking.
- When ready, place in deep baking tray and drizzle lightly with remaining oil.
- Bake at 200°C for 20 minutes, or until browned depending on personal preference. When ready, transfer onto plate or board and leave to rest for 15 minutes until serving.
- Whilst the lamb is in the oven, remove the remaining stock from the slow cooker and strain. Separate 500ml of this from the rest to use for gravy base.
- Melt butter in a small pan over a medium heat and gradually mix in the flour and stock at intervals. Whisk if this starts to get lumpy.
- Increase temperature to get a thicker consistency or add some of the extra stock to thin depending on personal preference.
As an optional extra, add a glug of good-quality red wine to your stock mixture to give the meat an extra braising and make it even more moist. You can also substitute the herbs for a handful of fresh mint. Chicken stock makes the juices lighter in colour and less ‘lamby’ but if you prefer a strong taste, the lamb can be cooked without any stock at all as it will still cook in its own juices.
If you are looking to buy a new slow cooker, take a look at our latest reviews here on the best slow cookers for 2018.