If you’ve never cooked pulled lamb in a slow cooker, try this easy recipe! It makes the perfect plan-ahead meal. Ideal for when time is short and bellies need filling. Serve as ‘Slow Cooker Pulled Lamb Sliders’ in baps with salad, or with the full Sunday roast.
How to Cook a Leg of Lamb in a Slow Cooker
This slow cooker pulled lamb is the easiest way in the world to cook a leg of lamb. You literally put your lamb in a slow cooker, turn it on and forget about it. Perfect for busy days when you’re out having family fun, but want a substantial meal to be ready when you get home.
You can flavour it however you like. Very often I’ll cook it in a slow cooker all on its own with no herbs, extras or flavourings. If you want to make a little gravy you can add an inch or two of water or wine to the pan.
Or you can cook the joint of meat ‘dry’ with no added liquid at all. It won’t burn or dry out, and in fact you’ll still end up with a little puddle of meat juices in the slow cooker bowl at the end of the cooking time.
What Herbs to add to Slow Cooked Lamb?
However, for this particular pulled lamb recipe, I’m using rosemary (a nice woody herb that complements lamb beautifully and won’t disintegrate with the long cooking time) and whole cloves of garlic that turn to a sweet, delicious mush when slow-cooked.
And finally, to make it a little extra special, I stirred in some mint sauce to the gravy at the end. Yum!
Please don’t worry if you don’t have any of this on hand. Just cook your lamb joint all on it’s own and you’ll have a beautiful, tender bowl of pulled lamb meat to use in various recipes.
Choosing a Leg for your Slow Cooker Pulled Lamb
It turns out that lamb legs have a tendency to be rather unwieldy when trying to fit one in the slow cooker.
When you go shopping, look out for a squat dumpy half leg of lamb rather than a whole leg of lamb as it’s much easier to fit in a slow cooker.
If you need to double up the recipe, just buy two of the thigh halves instead of one whole leg. There’s much more meat on the thigh end anyway. You could also use lamb shoulder (so long as it will fit!) or any other cut of lamb.
I like to add a splash of boiling water (or red wine) to the bottom of my slow cooker to kick start the slow cooking process.
It goes without saying that wine will add a whole extra flavour dimension to your pulled lamb too, especially when it’s nice and slow-cooked in those delicious juices!
Cooking Times for Leg of Lamb in Slow Cooker
- HIGH: 4-6 hours
- LOW: 8-10 hours
Slow cookers are extremely forgiving. They work by gently simmering the food very slowly. There is little chance of them drying out, burning or boiling over. Even if you don’t get back to check on your pulled lamb within the cooking times stated.
They are also designed to be left on all day, or all night. So if you’ve purchased a good brand, you have no worries about leaving it on whilst you go to work or sleep. It will safely cook your meal and you don’t need to check it or babysit it in any way.
Some slow cookers have a timer which allows you to set a delay for the start time of your cooking, giving you even more control. Others have a keep warm facility which reduces the temperature after the set cooking time. That means you don’t overcook your meal, but simply keep it warm until you get home.
Imagine coming home to the smell of that slow cooker pulled lamb, all ready to serve straight to the table!
If you’re new to the world of slow cooking, you’re going to love it. It’s such a forgiving way of cooking that allows you to turn the cheaper, tougher cuts of meat into the most delicious meals for you family.
How to Make Pulled Lamb
Once the cooking time is up, the meat should easily pull away from the bone.
You can then carefully remove the joint of meat from the pan and pop it onto a chopping board. Then it’s a case of simply shredding the meat using two forks. Remove any bits of bone or very fatty parts as you go.
In the photo below, I didn’t add any liquid at all to the pan whilst it was cooking. Just look how juicy and tender it is!
How to Make Gravy with Lamb Meat Juices
Lamb is quite a fatty meat and you’ll want to remove most of the fat from the juices in the pan before turning it into a gravy.
It’s really easy to do as the fat floats. I simply grab a soup spoon, and slowly scoop off as much fat as possible. Pour it into a little bowl where it will then harden and you can then either throw it away, or use it for cooking instead of lard, butter or cooking oil.
Don’t pour lamb fat down the sink as it may well block your drains!
You can then follow the recipe below to make my lovely herby lamb gravy, or just pour the juices back over the meat.
If you do the latter (like I am in the photo below), when it cools the juices will turn into a lovely savoury jelly keeping the meat super moist.
I then serve this pulled meat hot or cold, in sandwiches, salads, stir-frys or in a hot dinner with mashed potato and steamed veggies.
It’s such a versatile way of cooking that makes meal prep so easy!
Pulled Lamb Burger Recipe
In the photo below I show my slow cooker pulled lamb, that has been tossed with the yummy mint gravy, in soft white baps. Just delicious.
And just brilliant if you need to feed a crowd and want all the prep work done ahead of time.
Oh, and if there’s any left, the lamb is fantastic cold the next day. I may have finished it up, straight from the fridge. Shh :)
PS if you love your slow cooker as much as me, you may also want to check out my awesome way for cooking a whole chicken in one.
Click here to find my slow cooker whole chicken recipe. Enjoy!
- hot water
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled but kept whole
- 4 sprigs rosemary
- 800 g leg of lamb
- 1 desertspoon mint sauce
- salt and pepper to taste
Place lamb in slow cooker.
Pour an inch of hot water from the kettle into the bottom of the slow cooker and add the garlic and rosemary.
Switch on the slow cooker and let cook for 4-6 hours on high or 8-10 hours on low.
When it is easily shredded with a fork, remove onto a plate and pour the juices into a small saucepan. Remove the rosemary sprigs and discard.
Smash the garlic cloves in the juice to break them up, and add the mint sauce salt and pepper.
Bring the juices to a boil. Cook until the sauce has reduced by half.
Meanwhile, shred all the meat from the lamb joint. Pop into a bowl, and when the gravy is ready pour this over and mix well.