Slow Cooked Shoulder of Lamb
A wonderful way to cook lamb is long and slow and to do this I love using a slow cooker.
Waking up on Sunday morning to the smell of a cooked roast, gives you a head start for the day.
If you do not have a slow cooker, set your oven to 100 degrees and cook the lamb for 7 hours covered in foil. Do check that your oven doesn’t have a safety feature which turns the oven off after X number of hours.
There is no recipe as such, I add raw sliced onions, carrots and celery to the base of the slow cooker to form a vegetable trivet and on top of that I place a whole shoulder of lamb. Remove any big lumps of visible fat and ideally ask you butcher to crack the shoulder joint for you. This will prevent the joint from rising as it cooks and lifting the lid off the slower cooker. We tend to have the meat cooking for about 7-8 hours depending on the weight of the joint. Just before we go to sleep, we switch the slow cooker on and whoever is up first (usually my son or husband), switches off the lamb. You do not add any liquid to the slow cooker, but when cooked there will be enough of the meats natural juices to make my Herb Infused Gravy.
This cooking method leads to a delicious piece of roasted lamb that falls off the bone. It is great as a roast or for recipes that call for shredded or pulled lamb or the traditional Greek dish of Klefitico.
I usually transfer the shoulder onto a baking tray and cover the meat with foil. That way I can pop the chunky slow cooker pot in the dishwasher and it can be cleaned and packed away before your guests arrive.
I read years ago that you should not add herbs and spices to meat cooked in the slow cooker for a prolonged length of time, as the herbs can add a bitterness to the meat. For this reason I tend to keep the lamb plain. It helps when you are catering for a crowd with children as you can offer a plain meal and a few side sauces for those who are more adventurous.
Our Favourites Sauces to serve with Slow Cooked Lamb are:
Greek Oil and Lemon Sauce: Mix together 1/2 cup of olive oil, juice of 1 lemon, 1 teaspoon of dried oregano, crushed and a 1/2 clove of garlic crushed (optional).
Yogurt Harrisa Sauce – 1 cup of Greek yoghurt and 1 heaped teaspoon of harrisa paste mixed.
Mint Sauce homemade or shop bought.
I hope you will be tempted to pop a shoulder of lamb into your slow cooker or in the oven overnight. You will be surprised how delicious something so simple can taste.