Slow Cooker Recipe: Slow Cooked Butterflied Leg of Lamb

Just to let you know, this post was written before I started the paleo diet to help ease my psoriasis. Nowadays I eat a more allergy-friendly diet, but leave these older, non-paleo posts up in case they are useful to readers, as I know not everyone eats the same as I do. Thanks for your understanding. 

One Sunday my husband decided: 'I fancy lamb. I'll go and pick it up and we'll have a big roast dinner.'  What he meant was, he fancied eating a roast lamb dinner and wanted me to cook it for him. So I sent him off with a shopping list and he came back with a butterflied leg of lamb. 

slow cooked lamb slowcooker

It's still (for me) too close to Christmas to be having the oven blaring, juggling trays of roast potatoes and peeling huge quantities of veg so the lamb was going to be cooked very gently, in the slow cooker. And after the success of the burrito-style beef brisket that I cooked without any liquid, I thought I'd give it a go with the lamb. It was, as I expected, completely wonderful. I'm cutting back a little on red meat at the moment, and so if you're going to have it on a rare occasion, you might as well have it like this. 

Slow-Cooked Butterflied Leg of Lamb
Serves 5, with extra for sandwiches (and chopping board pickings)
  • Approx 1kg butterflied leg of lamb
  • sea salt and pepper (I like the Cornish sea salt's 'luxury salt and pepper' with red pepper flakes)
  • pinch of dried thyme
  • Olive oil
  • 1 onion, peeled and sliced
Switch your crockpot on to the 'high' setting. Scatter the slices of onion over the bottom of the crockpot and lower in the lamb. Rub the lamb well with salt, pepper, the dried thyme and a drizzle of olive oil and replace the lid. Leave to cook for 5-6 hours, until the lamb is meltingly tender all the way through. Transfer to a board and shred roughly, basting with a tablespoon or two of the cooking juices (skim the fat off first) or make your own gravy to serve alongside. 

slow cooked lamb


  1. Hello Jo,

    As you know, Him Indoors is an avid meat eater. (I think he and your husband are kindred spirits!) Anyway - this is right up his street. The cooked lamb in your pic looks amazing! I've been trying to find the confidence to chuck a whole big piece of meat into the slow cooker. Kavey of Kavey Eats recommended cooking a whole chicken in the same way. Your post is the final push I needed! Thanks very much!

    Lots of love

    1. HI Snigdha, good to hear from you! You can cook lots of meats in the slow cooker - I rarely have the oven on now, unless I'm making roast potatoes or wedges for a Sunday lunch.... pork beef, lamb, and I can confirm that Kavey's method for cooking chicken is brilliant! I stick a lemon into the cavity before I place in the slow cooker and make sure I have a slosh of white wine in there too now - terrific! Good luck xxx

  2. That's looks very yummy will try tonight and let you know how I get on with it

  3. I am thankful to have found your recipe for the slow cooker(which I also use my slow roaster More I usually modify to that) but since this is the first time of me making lamb because my son wanted to try it, I am sticking to the slow cooker as you have in your recipe. I don't eat beef I'm allergic to(and I grew up on a beef cattle farm) and of course problems with mass produced pork in stores, we generally eat ground turkey or ground chicken. On an occasion, I have made beef dishes for my son but usually just our normal, my son has grown up eating chicken/turkey veggies etc. Anyway, I'm hoping I do this right and it turns out good since I've never made before :) Thank You :) I will let you know how it goes :)

  4. Hello, I am so thankful to have a come across your recipe for cooking lamb in a slow cooker. I usually use my slow roaster for most things and usually modify recipes to using that but, for this since I've never made lamb before I am following your directions right to the T. I personally am allergic to beef I have been my whole life (even grew up on a beef cattle farm) can't eat mass-produced pork that comes from stores because who knows what's in it but they make me sick also. So we generally eat ground or reg chicken ground or reg turkey, that's what my son has been mainly raised on eating and vegetables and healthy foods but my son, whenever he would like something beef I do try to make it here and there. My son wanted to try lamb so, I got a boneless butterfight lamb roast and since I've never made it before I was really worried that I was going to ruin it especially since my mom passed in April this year on my birthday so I can't even call her for guidance :(. I'm thankful to coming across your recipe I feel confident with your direction that it will turn out well and I anticipate a delicious meal once it's done. Thank you for your recipe and I will update after it's done and let you know how I did :)


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