This is another tasty recipe using a cheaper cut of meat. I really like lamb, but it can be quite expensive. The shoulder, however, is very reasonably priced and tasty. I really like slow cooked meat, it’s always wonderfully tender.
Using a slow cooker is a really energy efficient way of slow cooking meat, and means you can be out of the house all day. However, there is a 3lb 5oz/1.5kg maximum on the size of joint you can use in a slow cooker (this does vary depending on the size and model, check your instruction manual to be sure). If you want a crispy finish to your roast just put it in the oven for 20-30 minutes when you remove it from the slow cooker.
I always buy a bigger joint than I actually need so I have plenty of leftovers to make another meal the next day, or to freeze for later. Shepherd’s pie is a great way of using up leftover lamb. In this recipe I also cook extra carrots, and you should have gravy left too, which will save even more time when preparing the shepherd’s pie. I’ll be posting my shepherd’s pie recipe on Saturday, or you could make a lamb hot pot.
For this recipe I used a 1.4kg joint which served 3 adults, with enough leftover to make a shepherd’s pie for 2 greedy people the next day (it could have easily served 3 adults or a family).
For a minty twist on this recipe see my Slow Cooker Minted Lamb Shoulder & Vegetables post, or for the times for slow roasting lamb in a conventional oven check out my Slow Roasted Shoulder of Lamb with Spiced Smoked Garlic Marinade.
Shoulder of lamb – 3lb/1.36kg
Rosemary – a few sprigs
Garlic – 3-5 large cloves (peeled & halved)
Olive oil – ½ tablespoon
Onion – 1 (peeled & quartered)
Carrots – 3-4 large (peeled, halved & quartered)
Potatoes – 4-5 medium (peeled & halved)
Beef stock – 1pint/500ml
Cornflour – 2 tablespoons
Equipment: Chopping board, knife, slow cooker, frying pan, tongs, ladle, jug
- Make several incisions in the lamb, stuffing them with half a clove of garlic and some rosemary, and season.
- Pour the hot stock into the slow cooker (set on high) along with the onion, carrots, potatoes, a sprig of rosemary and a clove of garlic.
- Heat the oil in the frying pan on a high-medium heat. Add the shoulder of lamb and brown well on all sides.
- Place the lamb on top of the vegetables and cook on low for 8-10 hours or high for 4-5 hours.
- About 1-2 hours before the end of the cooking time, ladle out most of the juices from the slow cooker into a jug, so the veg is just covered, and leave to cool.
- [Optional] At the end of the cooking time take the meat out and place on a wire rack on roasting tray and roast in a preheated oven, 180°C/Fan 160°C/Gas 4, for 20-30 minutes.
- Leave the vegetables in the slow cooker on the warm setting until ready to serve.
- To make the gravy: take the reserved meat juices and remove any fat from the surface. Pour the rest of the juices into a saucepan, and bring to the boil.
- Mix the cornflour with 3 tablespoons of cold water, add it to the gravy and reduce until the desired consistency.
- Remove the lamb from the oven, and rest in a warm place for 10 minutes before serving. The meat falls off the bone so this is a great dish to serve at the table.
- Any leftover meat juices should be decanted in a jug and refrigerated once cool. This is a lovely stock for other lamb dishes or gravy. Once the fat has solidified remove it and use the stock the next day or freeze for later. Leftover gravy and vegetables will keep too, and are very handy for making a shepherd’s pie with very little preparation time!