Monday, March 4, 2024

Slow Cooker Leg of Lamb


  Not too long ago, a friend was kind enough to gift me a huge leg of lamb. (Yes, I have pretty awesome friends!) My first thought was "ok.. I've never cooked a leg of lamb before... how am I gonna tackle this?" It sounds a little daunting doesn't it? Seriously, the only lamb dish I've ever made was a stew that I made from cut up pieces of lamb stew meat (which was AMAZING btw) but it wasn't an entire leg roast. 
  But then I thought of the slow cooker. That makes easy work out of a pot roast or a pulled pork, right? How hard can it be? I'm sure it would be the same thing with lamb. So that's exactly what I did! This recipe is the same exact thing as one would do for a beef roast, and it all works perfectly with lamb. Potatoes, carrots, onions, fresh and/or dry herbs, and few seasonings.. that's all there is to it!
  This is the perfect thing for your Easter holiday meal, but it would be equally good for any week night dinner. No muss no fuss! Doesn't seem so daunting now, does it?!
 So the next time a friend gifts you a four-pound leg of lamb, now you know what to do! 
1 4lb leg of lamb 
1 onion, roughly chopped
4 or 5 potatoes, cut into quarters or eighths 
1 lb carrots, peeled and cut into chunks (can also use baby carrots)
a few springs fresh thyme or a tsp dried thyme leaves
1 few sprigs fresh rosemary or a big pinch of dried rosemary leaves
a good pinch each of salt and pepper
2 or 3 bay leaves
5 or 6 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup of chicken broth
a few splashes of Worcestershire sauce
1 cup of red wine, or a few splashes of good balsamic vinegar

Place all ingredients in a large slow cooker.
Cover and cook for 8 or 9 hours on low. 
Remove all items from the slow cooker to a large serving platter.
Discard sprigs of herbs and bay leaves.
Slice the meat. It will be fall-apart tender.
Using a ladle, spoon away some of the fat from the liquid in the pot.
Make a slurry of about 1/2 cup COLD water or chicken broth and a couple tbs flour. Vigorously stir the slurry into the liquid and turn the slow cooker to high. Let it thicken for about a half hour or until desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper. Pour gravy over all and serve.
If you want to, you can brown the lamb on all sides in a hot pan before you add it to the slow cooker. That makes a deeper richer flavor, but it's still delicious even if you don't. I didn't feel like washing a pan this morning, so I just threw everything into the slow cooker, boom, done.
Instead of cooking all day on low, you can cook it on high for 4-5 hours. Personally, I think low and slow is the better way to go. It really takes a while for that meat to break down and fall off the bone.
Use any kind of root vegetables you like. I used carrots and potatoes because I had them on hand, but feel free to use parsnips or turnips, anything you like!
When you make the gravy, be sure to use COLD water or broth to make the slurry. If you use hot water or just throw flour into the hot liquid, the flour will clump and you'll have lumpy gravy. Nope!


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