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.
So 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?
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.
Yes, they’ve made a movie about both of these things because they can both be just that bad.
Recipe: Slow Cooker Leg of Lamb Greek Gyros
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)
- 6 Cloves of Garlic (smashed)
- 1 1/2 Cups Olive Oil
- 2 Cups Canola Oil
- Kosher Salt
- Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- 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
- 6 Flatbreads
- 1 1/2 Cups Lettuce
- 6 Medium Tomatoes (quartered)
- Chopped Lamb Meat
- 1 Medium Red Onion (chopped)
For Slow Cooker Leg of Lamb
- Arrange lamb in bottom of slow cooker and add in the oregano, rosemary, lemon, peppercorns, and garlic.
- Pour in oil (enough to ensure all of the meat is covered).
- Cover slow cooker and cook at 140 degrees Farenheit for 3-4 hours (depending on desired doneness).
- When done, remove from oil and lay lamb on a plate.
- Sprinkle the lamb with kosher salt and some fresh ground black pepper.
- 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.)
- Add all ingredients to a small bowl and mix well.
- Cover and chill in the refrigerator.
For the Gyros
- Lay out the flatbread.
- Spread some of the lettuce and tomato on the flatbread.
- Top with lamb meat.
- Spoon tzatziki onto the lamb.
- Sprinkle with onions.
- Wrap the bottom 2/3 in foil.
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