Slow Cooker Leg of Lamb for Out of this World Greek Gyros

by Pamela

slow cooker leg of lamb, slow cooker recipes, greek gyros, how to cook a boneless leg of lamb

You’ve probably used your slow cooker to make chili, pulled pork and even the occasional pot of steel cut oatmeal, but did you ever think of using it to cook a boneless leg of lamb? What – you’ve never cooked a boneless leg of lamb? This slow cooker recipe will take the fear out cooking this delicious cut of meat. Oh, and if it’s the flavor of lamb that’s kept you from making this protein, this cooking method might just be the magic ticket that will make you try (and like) lamb. Plus, by cooking (or poaching actually) it in olive oil you’ll get a juicy and tender piece of meat every time. Oh, and this meat is perfect for making up those Greek gyros you’ve been going out to eat.

I recently received a little care package, okay it was kind of a big care package. Superior Farms sent me some of their American lamb to try out. They were kind enough to send me some ground lamb, which will probably end up in lamb meatballs, a rack of lamb, that I’m pretty sure will be separated and grilled, and a boneless leg of lamb, which brings me to today’s post.

A while back, I made some olive oil poached lamb chops in my slow cooker. They were so good I couldn’t resist doing it again. But this time I thought I’d make slow cooker leg of lamb using the oil poaching method. It seems a lot of people get freaked out by leg of lamb (boneless or not). So this oil poaching method is perfect for those of you that are hesitant to cook this delicious cut. Here’s a little roasting lamb cheat sheet from Superior Farms that may help you the next time you pick up some lamb and you want to roast it.

roasting lamb chartSo if you’re trying to figure out how to cook a boneless leg of lamb…look no further. Once you make it like this, you may never go back to oven roasting it. As with all slow cooker recipes, once you toss all the ingredients into the pot and put the lid on it, you’re free to go about your day and not have to think about your dinner until it’s time to eat. What’s not to love about that?

Slow cooker recipes - Greek gyros

Because I decided that Greek gyros would be the end result for this cut, I used lots of Greek inspired ingredients in the oil. Things like garlic, fresh oregano, lemon, fennel,rosemary and black pepper. All of these seasonings end up adding their flavors to the meat because fat (the oil) is such a good flavor conductor. Cooking the meat in the oil is another reason why you don’t have to rub the seasoning on the meat and let it sit for several hours to get their flavors into the meat (yes, that means you don’t need to plan 2 days ahead for what you’re going to eat for dinner). Am I convincing you that slow cookers rock and oil poaching is a fantastic way to cook in it? (By the way, oil poaching is another way of saying confit.)

Yes, I am fully aware that these Greek gyros are NOT the same Greek gyros you get from Greek restaurants. Nor are they the same as the gyros you get from those little carts at 2:15 in the morning after the bars close. But my recipe will give those a definite run for their money and you can make them whenever you want.

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Recipe: Slow Cooker Leg of Lamb Greek Gyros

Ingredients

For Slow Cooker Leg of Lamb

  • 2 1/2 Pounds Boneless Leg of Lamb (cut into thirds)
  • 3 Sprigs of Fresh Oregano
  • 2 Small Sprigs of Fresh Rosemary
  • 1/2 of a Lemon (cut in half again)
  • 18Peppercorns
  • 6 Cloves of Garlic (smashed)
  • 1 1/2 Cups Olive Oil
  • 2 Cups Canola Oil
  • Kosher Salt
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper

For Tzatziki

  • 1/2 Cup Peeled and Shredded Cucumber
  • 1/2 Cup Greek Yogurt
  • 1 Clove Garlic (grated)
  • 1 Squeeze Lemon Juice
  • A Few Grinds of Freshly Ground Black Pepper

For Gyros

  • 6 Flatbreads
  • 1 1/2 Cups Lettuce
  • 6 Medium Tomatoes (quartered)
  • Chopped Lamb Meat
  • Tzatziki
  • 1 Medium Red Onion (chopped)

Instructions

For Slow Cooker Leg of Lamb

  1. Arrange lamb in bottom of slow cooker and add in the oregano, rosemary, lemon, peppercorns, and garlic.
  2. Pour in oil (enough to ensure all of the meat is covered).
  3. Cover slow cooker and cook at 140 degrees Farenheit for 3-4 hours (depending on desired doneness).
  4. When done, remove from oil and lay lamb on a plate.
  5. Sprinkle the lamb with kosher salt and some fresh ground black pepper.
  6. Heat a non-stick pan until hot and sear the lamb on both sides. (If you want a crisp outer crust, but this step is not necessary.)

For Tzatziki

  1. Add all ingredients to a small bowl and mix well.
  2. Cover and chill in the refrigerator.

For the Gyros

  1. Lay out the flatbread.
  2. Spread some of the lettuce and tomato on the flatbread.
  3. Top with lamb meat.
  4. Spoon tzatziki onto the lamb.
  5. Sprinkle with onions.
  6. Wrap the bottom 2/3 in foil.
  7. Serve.

Quick notes

If your slow cooker only has a low and high setting, your cooking time will be a little less. The low setting is generally set to be around 200 degrees Farenheit. Check your meat for level of doneness by inserting a sharp knife into the chop and looking at the color of the meat.

Preparation time: 25 minute(s)

Cooking time: 3 hour(s)

Number of servings (yield): 6

Culinary tradition: Greek

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17 comments

Kelly Kimbrough August 26, 2014 at 9:10 pm

I made this tonight and it was delish. My husband loved it, and even better my 4 year old. I allowed my daughter to build the gyro herself and she loved that par too. I’ll definitely keep this in the rotation.

Pamela August 28, 2014 at 7:31 am

Hi Kelly, I’m so happy to hear that you liked this! I’m even happier to hear that your 4 year old approved…that’s a tough one to impress! (I’ve got a 4 year old nephew.) CHEERS!

Michael January 27, 2014 at 1:43 pm

I am a 22 year old Iowa boy and I’m dating a beautiful Italian/polish girl from Chicago. Where we live, we don’t have the great/awesome eats like Chi-town has. I love food and exploring new foods. Knowing how to make delishous dishes/cuisines and whatnot that aren’t in town makes it even better. I plan on using your recipe and hopefully it turns out great!

Pamela January 27, 2014 at 2:57 pm

Hi Michael, good choice on the Polish girl ;) (yes, I’m Polish too). I think it’s great that you’re looking to cook some delicious food for the two of you. I can totally relate to living in an area with great food and moving to one where that stuff isn’t readily available. Making it yourself is the only way you’re going to get it. I think you’re really going to like the gyro’s. Check out some of the comments, below the post, for any hints or tips from others who have made the recipe.

If you have any questions or are looking to make something that you can’t find on the site, don’t hesitate to send me an e-mail. ENJOY!!!

Nicole January 23, 2014 at 7:28 am

Made this yesterday and it turned out wonderful. I was VERY skeptical at first, but forged ahead. I did only use one cup of each oil, instead of 3.5 (total). It was more than enough. I was worried it would turn out greasy, but it did not at all. I didn’t have fresh lemons or peppercorns, so I used lemon juice, dried herbs, and ground pepper b/c I couldn’t get out b/c of the weather. Still wonderful. I am glad I crisped it up in the pan afterward also. Made it perfect. Thank you!

Pamela January 23, 2014 at 8:04 am

Hi Nicole, I’m so glad to hear you liked this recipe! I know it looks a bit odd but basically it’s lamb confit (cooking in fat). This sounds like the perfect thing to make with that horrific weather you’ve been having back East. I hope you have leftovers. :) There’s another recipe on the site for cooking lamb chops this way too. Coming soon is a recipe for duck confit. Stay warm!

betty September 12, 2013 at 6:50 am

lamb is my favorite meat.your recipe was so different i had to give it a try.AWESOME, AWESOME ,AWESOME, is all i can say…..i almost ate all the lamb before i made the gyros..the were delic too.thanks for sharing.

Pamela September 12, 2013 at 11:43 am

Thanks for the kind words Betty, I’m so glad that you liked it. :) I’m pretty hooked on making big cuts of lamb in the slow cooker. It’s a bit easier on the cleanup too.

lina March 22, 2013 at 11:15 am

Hi, I bought a boneless leg of lamb on sale and am now pleased with the prospect of an easy tasty recipe-thank you for posting this.I love the look of this recipe but one thing concerns me. Does adding the whole lemon add any bitterness because of the pith? I had a bad outcome because i did this once with another recipe and it ruined the whole dish. But maybe it wouldn’t happen because of the oil. Another ?, is the leftover oil too icky to use again another way?

Pamela March 22, 2013 at 12:50 pm

Hi Lina,

Nice score on the leg of lamb! I didn’t have a problem with using the whole lemon in this recipe, but I completely understand your concern (I’ve had that happen to me too.) You could just use the lemon peel in this recipe if you like. Just use your regular peeler to peel off the outer layer. If you get any pith on it, just use a non-serrated paring knife to scrape it off. Then just toss the peel into the crockpot. You could also then give the lemon a good squeeze, so you get some of the lemon juice in there.

The oil isn’t too icky to use again, which I know sounds kind of weird. Just strain it through some cheesecloth, to get the bits of whatever out of it, and you can use it for frying up pretty much anything. I like to use it when frying up veggies. I don’t keep the oil long, and usually keep it in the fridge, because the wayward ‘stuff’ that stays in the oil can go bad and get you sick.

Let me know what you think when you make it. ENJOY!

Terri January 16, 2013 at 3:59 pm

I found this site totally by accident! I made this dish tonight and it was amazing! I slightly overlooked my lamb but it was still tender and tasty!!!

Pamela January 16, 2013 at 7:44 pm

Hi Terri,

I’m so happy you found the site and like the slow cooker lamb. I hope you’ll be back and try more recipes. If there’s something you’d like to see, let me know. I love ‘cleaning up’ old favorites, making complicated dishes easier, creating new dishes and playing around with different ingredients.

Bob Jones June 28, 2012 at 9:48 pm

I’ve never shredded a cucumber. Would it be easier if I placed it in a food processor?? Thanks. Your recipes are WONDERFUL. Can’t wait to try them. Especially this one. I LOVE GYROS.

Pamela June 29, 2012 at 7:04 am

Hi Bob,

You could use the shredder disc on your food processor for the cucumber, but because it’s such a small amount, I just shredded it using the large holes on a box grater. Much less to clean up.

I’m so glad to hear you like the recipes! You just made my day.

Stephanie June 19, 2012 at 7:54 pm

I’m so glad you posted this! I’m totally using your tzatziki sauce! ^_^

Valerie Hammond June 18, 2012 at 9:27 am

Just stumbled onto this website today,already have some great ideas to shake things up a bit.

Thanks

Pamela June 18, 2012 at 4:00 pm

Hi Valerie,

I’m glad you found the site and have found some things you like. I’ve got more good stuff coming up. If you have any recipes you’re looking for, please let me know.

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