Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Slow cooked roast lamb

Slow Cooked Roast Lamb

Looking for something a little different from your slow cooker? If variations on beef stew are getting a little boring, try a whole joint of meat!
A whole leg of lamb, bone and all, achieves many things: (1) massive quantities of falling off the bone tender lamb which will not only provide you dinner, but (2) prepare you for a week of lunches and dinners as either sandwich meat, pizza topping, salad topping, stirred through pasta, all of the above or just on its own.
And (3) create the by-product of the most delicious stock left at the bottom of the pan. I poured this into ice cube trays and froze for small portions  of stock that you can throw into almost any dish for some added volume to the flavour.
And it only needs a few little ingredients for a marinade, no pre-browning of meat... I'm sold. Just make sure your slow cooker is big enough to fit the leg in before you start!

To start- take and peel one large brown onion. Slice the whole onion thinly into rings. 
 Place the onion rings as a little bed for the lamb to sit on in the slow cooker. This helps to keep the lamb tender by keeping it slightly away from the heat, and also flavours the sauce. 
Now for some simple ingredients for your marinade. One lemon, 5 cloves of garlic, a sprig of rosemary, and a handful of mint.

 Peel the garlic, squash with the side of a knife, then chop them up.

 Take the rosemary off the stalk, and place into a bowl with the garlic.
 Grate the zest off the whole lemon, and add to the mix
Then mix in the juice of half the lemon along with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. 
Pick the mint leaves off the stalks, tear in half, then add to your marinade. Add some salt and lots of pepper. Place your lamb into the slow cooker on top of the onions, then smear the marinade all over the leg of lamb. 
 If you feel like it, you can make some tiny cuts into the skin of the lamb and push some garlic cloves in. If you have time, you can leave this to marinade for a few hours. 

 You are more than welcome to just cook the leg of lamb on its own, but I can't quite resist throwing some baby potatoes in to soak up all the juice and liquid. I have placed 6 around the edge of the lamb leg.
Almost there- just make up one cup of vegetable stock, and pour in the base
Along with a good splash of red wine- another cup of it. The liquid doesn't need to be too deep as the lamb will release quite a bit during the 8+ hours of cooking it needs.
There we have it- I'll be shocked if that takes you anything more than 10 minutes to throw together. 
Place the lid on, and turn your slow cooker onto low. Then go to work, or out for the day, or for a 10 hour hike.  
 Cook for 8-10 hours on low, or 6 hours on high. Once you get home, remove the lid and breathe it in.
 Look at all that great stock! Make sure you keep this and use it in other dishes. 
While the lamb has been cooking, the potatoes have soaked up all of the flavour, and are also really hot- so make sure you don't burn your tongue if you're eating them straight away (as I did).
Slice the potatoes and serve with the lamb in any way you like. Mint jelly is always a winner to serve it with too.

Slow Cooked Roast Lamb 

1 leg of lamb, bone in- around 1.8kg
1 large brown onion
1 lemon
5 cloves of garlic
Sprig of rosemary
Handful of mint
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup vegetable stock
1 cup red wine
6 potatoes (optional)

1. Peel onion, and slice thinly into rings. Arrange these on the base of the slow cooker as a 'bed' for the lamb to sit on.
2. To make the marinade, combine crushed cloves of garlic, mint and rosemary leaves torn up, zest of one lemon, juice of half a lemon, olive oil, salt and pepper. 
3. Coat lamb leg in marinade (leave to marinate for a few hours if you have time). Place lamb in slow cooker on top of onion bed.
4. Place potatoes in slow cooker.
5. Pour stock and wine into the slow cooker.
6. Cook on low for 8-10 hours, or high for around 6.
7. Once cooked- serve, and reserve the stock to either make a gravy, or freeze into small tabs to use in all of your cooking.

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