* This is a sponsored post for Welsh Lamb *
Tender, juicy and melt in your mouth Slow Cooker Lamb Shoulder is so simple to make, with minimal ingredients, and it makes the best gravy too. All done in the slow cooker! Take the hassle out of roast dinner and cook the Welsh Lamb in the slow cooker and serve with all your favourite roast dinner side dishes.
This is my favourite way to cook lamb, and it couldn't be easier. Slow Cooker Lamb Shoulder is the best of both worlds, as it has a deliciously crispy outside and then when sliced, you get buttery soft meat that just falls apart. You don't even need to really slice it, as you can just pull it apart.
It's a great way to feed a crowd if you have a lot of people to serve for roast dinner, but it also has lots of uses when it comes to leftovers, so don't worry if you can't eat it all straight away. This is such a fool-proof recipe and very forgiving if you need to leave it in the slow cooker a little longer.
Why you will love it
- The perfect easy roast dinner - Don't be put off cooking a lamb shoulder, as this recipe is fool proof. The slow cooker does all the work for you, and there isn't anything you could get wrong.
- Very little prep involved - Apart from browning the lamb (definitely recommended - more on that below), you just dump it all in the slow cooker and let it cook away.
- It makes the BEST gravy at the same time - The juices from the lamb mixed with the stock, onions and carrot make an incredible base for a homemade gravy. It really takes the lamb to another level, so make sure you don't throw it away.
- Leftovers make a delicious sandwich filling - Got more than you can eat right away? Don't worry about that, as leftovers are amazing in a sandwich, or you can make a Leftover Lamb Curry.
- Lamb shoulder - We used a 1.3kg boneless Welsh Lamb shoulder for this recipe. More on Welsh Lamb below. Lamb shoulder is usually fairly tough, and quite fatty (which is where all the flavour is), but cooking it low and slow really breaks it down and makes it nice and soft.
- Oil - This is what the lamb is browned in. We used a good quality olive oil, however sunflower or vegetable oil would work too.
- Onion and carrot - This helps to add loads of flavour to the gravy. You could swap the onion for shallots, which would give a sweeter flavour. Don't worry too much about how they are chopped up, as they are for adding flavour.
- Stock - we used a stock pot and added some water to it. Try to use a really good quality stock pot, as it will really make a difference to the flavour of the gravy. If you can find it, use a lamb stock pot, but vegetable stock will work too.
- Salt and pepper - Season to taste.
- Rosemary and garlic - Rosemary pairs beautifully with the lamb, but you could swap it for thyme if you prefer.
A full ingredients list with measurements is in the recipe card below.
Step by step
One: Heat the oil in a large pan. Add the lamb shoulder and brown on all sides.
Two: Put the onions and carrots in the slow cooker. Place the browned lamb on top of the vegetables.
Three: Using a sharp knife, cut holes into the lamb. Push a slice of garlic and some rosemary leaves into each hole. Season and pour on the stock. Be careful to pour the stock around the lamb, not over the top of it.
Four: Cook on high for 5 hours. Remove the meat from the slow cooker and allow to rest for 30 minutes.
What lamb to use
We used a 1.3kg boneless Welsh Lamb shoulder and we found that it was enough to serve 6 people. Lamb has such an incredible flavour, that a little goes a long way. Cooked low and slow, it just falls apart when cooked and it so juicy and tender. Lamb is such a great source of protein, zinc and Vitamin B12 and has high amounts of omega 3, vitamin E, beta carotene and beneficial fatty acids, so it's a great meat to serve with a Sunday roast.
Why Welsh Lamb?
When it comes to lamb dishes, it has to be Welsh Lamb. We are really passionate about using locally sourced and seasonal products as much as we can, and this is something that Welsh Lamb are passionate about too. Only the best of the best goes into creating PGI Welsh Lamb. They create premium, superior quality PGI Welsh Lamb using the best that Wales has to offer.
Their award winning farmers are famous all over the world for producing lamb that tastes superb. The non-intensive environment in which livestock are reared develops succulent, sweet and tender meat. The sheep in Wales have thrived for centuries on the natural grassland available all year round, in one of the most unspoilt corners of the world, and you can really taste the difference.
The distinctive taste of Welsh Lamb comes from the green pastures of the hills and valleys, a temperate climate, mineral rich soils and unspoilt environment. It all comes together to produce lamb of the highest quality. Find out more at Welsh Lamb, and look out for more recipes using Welsh Lamb coming from us soon.
All the juices that comes from the lamb and the stock and vegetable make the most incredible gravy, so don't let any of it go to waste.
Whilst the meat is resting, skim any fat off the top of the liquid in the slow cooker (don't put it down the drain - let it cool and then put it in the bin) and then transfer the liquid to a saucepan and make a cornflour slurry. Put 3 tablespoons of cornflour in a separate bowl and take a small ladle of liquid and add to the cornflour and stir. Then, pour that mixture in to the saucepan and gently heat through and stir.
Mix in a little mint sauce (my secret ingredient) and then drain the vegetables out and then serve, ready to pour over that amazing Welsh Lamb.
What to serve with slow cooker lamb shoulder
This epic slow cooker lamb shoulder is a must when it comes to a Sunday roast dinner. But, what is a Sunday roast without all the sides? And do we have some side dishes for you! Take a look of some of these that go perfectly with this lamb dish:
- Easy Roast Potatoes
- Buttered Leeks
- Balsamic and Garlic Roasted Cauliflower
- Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes
- Garlic Spring Greens
- Roasted Tenderstem Broccoli
- Easy Cauliflower Cheese
- Slow Cooker Red Cabbage
- The BEST Creamy Mashed Potatoes
- Mustard and Honey Roasted Parsnips
- Vegetable Mash
- Balsamic Roasted Brussel Sprouts
- Garlic and Parsley Roasted Carrots
Store: You can store sliced roast lamb in an air tight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Freeze: You can also freeze it for up to 3 months.
Reheat: Wrap the lamb in foil and heat in a preheated oven at 180°C/350°F/Gas 4 for 15 minutes. Alternatively, reheat in a microwave.
Frequently Asked Questions
You don't have to, but we really recommend it as it adds such a depth of flavour. Depending on the size of your lamb shoulder, it will only take about 5-10 minutes to do all sides. Basically, you want to trigger the Maillard reaction. It is a chemical reaction between amino acids and reducing sugars that gives browned food its distinctive flavour. You don't have to though, and you can just throw everything in to the slow cooker and leave it if you are really short on time.
There really is no rule here, just make sure that the meat you are cooking can fit in your slow cooker. We use a Crock Pot DuraCeramic Slow Cooker and we love it. What I love most about it is that you can put the bowl insert on the hob too. So, we thicken the gravy on the hob, in the slow cooker bowl. You can also sear the meat in it first. I also love that it has a clear lid, as I am so impatient that I want to keep looking and seeing what it is doing. If you don't have a clear lid, then lifting it to see will release lots of the heat and add to the cooking time.
Yes, you can do some of the prep in advance. You can sear the meat and then add the garlic and rosemary and then keep it until the next day and then follow the rest of the instructions. It might take longer to cook as it will be cold straight from the fridge.
You can either cook the slow cooker lamb shoulder on high for 5 hours or low for 8 hours. If you have the time, cook it on low. The cooking time will depend on what slow cooker you have, as they all cook differently. Ceramic slow cookers tend to cook slower than metal ones.
Yes, for best results you should let it rest. To do this, cover with foil and rest the lamb for about thirty minutes. This is a great time to make your gravy.
As long as you use a gluten free stock, and make sure there is no cross contamination, then this can be gluten free.
Yes, you can easily double the recipe and it won't change the cooking time. Just make sure you have a frying pan big enough to brown double the lamb and a slow cooker big enough for double all of the ingredients.
The best way to check that lamb is cooked is to use a meat thermometer. The safe internal temperature for cooked lamb is 62°C/145°F. It should be inserted into the thickest part of the meat that's not touching any bone.
You need to make sure that you scoop out any of the fat from the liquid in the slow cooker before you use it to make gravy, otherwise you will be left with fatty gravy.
• If you want to add even more flavour to the gravy, then once you have taken the seared lamb out of the pan, you can de-glaze it with either some stock of a glug of red wine. Once added to the pan, use a wooden spoon to scrape it and then pour it in to the slow cooker.
• If you have any gravy left over, you can wait for it to cool and then pour it into freezer bags, lay flat and freeze.
• The key to making this lamb really special is cutting the holes in it and stuffing them with garlic and rosemary.
• Make sure you pour the stock in to the side of the lamb, as you don't want to knock the rosemary and garlic out of the lamb.
• If you want to add some more flavour, and make it extra crispy on the outside, then after it has finished cooking in the slow cooker, transfer it to a roasting tin and cook it in the oven for 25-30 minutes.
More lamb recipes
If you’ve tried this slow cooker lamb shoulder recipe, let us know how you got on in the comments below.
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Slow Cooker Lamb Shoulder
- 1.3 kg lamb shoulder
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 carrot - peeled and sliced
- 1 onion - finely sliced
- 350 ml vegetable stock
- 3 garlic cloves - thinly sliced
- 2 g fresh rosemary
- Heat the oil in a large pan. Add the lamb shoulder and brown on all sides.1 tablespoon olive oil, 1.3 kg lamb shoulder
- Put the onions and carrots in the slow cooker. Place the browned lamb on top of the vegetables.1 onion, 1 carrot
- Using a sharp knife, cut holes into the lamb. Push a slice of garlic and some rosemary leaves into each hole.2 g fresh rosemary, 3 garlic cloves
- Season and pour on the stock. Be careful to pour the stock around the lamb, not over the top of it.350 ml vegetable stock
- Cook on high for 5 hours.
- Remove the meat from the slow cooker and allow to rest for 30 minutes.
- If you want to add even more flavour to the gravy, then once you have taken the seared lamb out of the pan, you can de-glaze it with either some stock of a glug of red wine. Once added to the pan, use a wooden spoon to scrape it and then pour it in to the slow cooker.
- If you have any gravy left over, you can wait for it to cool and then pour it into freezer bags, lay flat and freeze.
- The key to making this lamb really special is cutting the holes in it and stuffing them with garlic and rosemary.
- Make sure you pour the stock in to the side of the lamb, as you don't want to knock the rosemary and garlic out of the lamb.
- If you want to add some more flavour, and make it extra crispy on the outside, then after it has finished cooking in the slow cooker, transfer it to a roasting tin and cook it in the oven for 25-30 minutes.