Speedy Slow Cooked Lamb may sound contradictory but when you’ve forgotten to defrost your meat the night before, and 2pm rolls around, you no longer have 6-8 hours of slow cooking time. Not to worry, you can still achieve tender, juicy lamb and have dinner ready by the time you come home.
Slow cooked lamb & root vegetable bowl
I’ve recently started to buy boneless lamb leg from Costco. One $30 leg makes about 8 meals, a really good deal! I split the leg in two and froze the other half for a later date. The first time I made lamb in the slow cooker I had it on low for 3 hours and 1 hour on high and the leg came out a flavourful and juicy. For the second half of the leg, I reversed the process and cooked the lamb for 4 hours on high and 1 hour on low and the result was very different. The leg fell apart into tender strands and chunks, and my mouth watered as I pulled the meat apart. I added different root vegetables each time, they give another layer of flavour and are nice and soft after being cooked in lamb juice. Squash, potatoes, parsnips – you can’t go wrong!
Pulled lamb taco with peach salsa, guacamole and hot banana peppers & onions
The pulled lamb was so versatile! We used the meat for tacos on Taco Tuesday and in a carb-free root vegetable bowl. I plan to blend the remaining vegetables with my canned tomatoes and add the leftover meat to make a lamb ragu sauce – stay tuned for those photos!
Boneless leg of lamb (depending on the size of your slow cooker) approx 3 pounds
Zest from half a lemon
1 tablespoon olive oil plus more for drizzling
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary
2 tablespoon fresh mint
4 garlic cloves, trimmed and peeled
¾ cup dry red wine
½ cup low sodium beef broth
2 pounds root vegetables scrubbed and chopped into 1 inch cubes
(I've used various combinations of sweet potato, yellow potato, parsnips and butternut squash)
Heat a large cast iron pan on medium high heat.
Rub lamb with olive oil and a sprinkling of sea salt. Sear each side for 30 seconds. Remove lamb and place on plastic cutting board. Deglaze the pan with ¼ cup of red wine.
In a food processor, combine lemon peel, garlic, olive oil, ½ teaspoon sea salt, ½ teaspoon ground pepper, mint and rosemary. Process and spread paste over lamb, making sure to get into all the little crevices.
Place lamb in slow cooker along with sauce from the deglazed pan, root vegetables, broth and ½ cup of red wine.
Cook on high for 4 hours, then for 1 hour on low.
Remove lamb from slow cooker and pull apart using a carving fork. Using a slotted spoon, remove root vegetables.
Reserve juice for gravies or for cooking quinoa.
Serve lamb alongside root vegetables or in a taco.
Root vegetables can be blended into a tomato sauce and lamb can be added to make a ragu.
I leave the skin on the root vegetables to add flavour to the lamb, with the exception of the butternut squash which has to be peeled.
Cooking lamb in the slow cooker is a delicious meal to make on a winter’s eve. There is nothing more comforting then walking in from the cold and being greeted by the smell of savory lamb, all ready to be served!
What is your favourite meal to make in a slow cooker?
Growing up, my mother would often serve Habitant Pea Soup and this was always one of my favourite lunches. Every so often, I have a craving for pea soup so when I found a recipe in my America’s Test Kitchen Slow Cooker Revolution cookbook I was all over recreating my favourite childhood soup.
I picked up a ham hock from the local butcher and had some delicious leftover ham steaks from Thanksgiving. I shredded and cubed the ham a bit thicker than the recipe and the result was everything I dreamed of and more. Chunky salty pieces of ham swimming in a creamy, smoky split pea soup; the perfect comfort food to warm your soul on a chilly fall evening.
Homemade apple cider is so easy to make! Just throw all the ingredients in your slow cooker and four hours later you will have a big batch of fresh, healthy cider to warm you up on a chilly fall night. Making cider for a dinner is also a great idea as your guests will be warmly greeted by the a wonderful apple aroma and for a quick dessert, add a scoop of vanilla ice cream for an apple pie float – guaranteed to impress!
5 apples quartered with skin on (recommend 3 McIntosh, 2 Honeycrisp)
3 tangerines – quartered with skin on
1 inch piece of ginger – roughly chopped
2 tablespoons mulled spices
¼ cup raw honey
sea salt to taste
Place the apples, tangerines, ginger and spices in a slow cooker and set on high for four hours.
After four hours, place a large bowl in a sink with a colander over top and pour the contents of the slow cooker through the colander. Use a potato masher to mash any remaining juices out through the colander.
Pour juice into a large pot and place on the stove over high heat. Bring to a boil and add honey and a pinch of sea salt to taste. Add more honey if you prefer a sweeter cider.