Slow-cooked leg of lamb studded with slivers of garlic and sprigs of rosemary is nothing if not a showstopper. Make this for a traditional Easter dinner to really impress. If done properly, it takes a long time but it’s so worth it!
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Tips for making lamb with garlic and rosemary
- When slicing the garlic, try to make the ends pointy (see picture below) so it’s easier to insert the pieces into the meat.
- Don’t worry if pieces of garlic are sticking out of the meat. These bits brown and become deliciously chewy, while the garlic inside the lamb steams and becomes very soft and sweet.
- Cut the rosemary into 3/4″ pieces and keep the leaves on the stem. The woody stem makes it easier to put the rosemary into the lamb and it makes it easier to take out before serving.
- Sear the lamb before putting it in the slow cooker. This step is optional but it adds great flavor to the meat and the juices. It also creates an attractive browning on the roast, so it looks better and tastes better if you brown it.
- Use the juices from the slow cooker to make a delicious gravy.
Notes on ingredients
Any cut of lamb will work with this recipe. I used bone-in leg of lamb because I feel like the bone gives the juices more flavor and that’s what was available. Just make sure that the bone is short enough to fit in your slow cooker. You can see in the picture below that the bone was cut through but left attached with some meat so it could be folded into the slow cooker. Boneless leg of lamb is definitely easier to carve though so the choice is up to you! Lamb shoulder would also work well.
Salt the lamb a day in advance of cooking it. This allows the salt time to flavor the meat all the way through and not just the outside. The salt helps the meat retain moisture when cooking so this will help your roast be as juicy as possible.
Slow cookers are often called Crockpots which is a brand name. Many other companies make them too, such as Hamilton Beach, Crux and Ninja. I highly recommend getting a programmable slow cooker. You can set the amount of time you want it to cook and it will switch off when it’s done.
Personally, I use Crux 6-Qt. Programmable Slow Cooker. It’s the perfect size to cook meals for 4 people. It was made specifically for Macy’s and at the time of writing, it is unavailable. However, Crock-Pot 6-Quart Countdown Programmable Oval Slow Cooker is very similar.
I originally purchased my slow cooker to make meals postpartum. Before Sophia was born, I made 2 weeks’ worth of meals and put them in the freezer. Each day we would just pull one out, dump it in the slow cooker, and not have to worry about dinner. It was a lifesaver!
Carving bone-in leg of lamb
- Allow the lamb to rest for at least 15 minutes. This allows the juices time to absorb into the meat and makes it so much easier to carve.
- Place the leg on the carving board with the bone pointing away from you. Slice the meat thinly parallel to the bone.
- Turn the joint onto the flat side. Make slices by cutting straight down to the bone, then carve along the bone to remove the slices.
- You can remove whatever is left on the bone with a fork, or simply pull it off with your hands. This one-minute video is an excellent demonstration.
Lamb and PCOS
Lamb contains high levels of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids have been proven to help reduce testosterone levels in women with PCOS. Reduction in testosterone levels helps improve unwanted hair growth and male pattern baldness. If possible buy grass-fed lamb. Levels of omega-3 are dependent on the lambs’ diet, particularly their finishing diet.
Serve slow-cooked lamb with Low GI Boiled Baby Potatoes, Oven-Roasted Spring Asparagus, and Sugar-Free Mint Sauce. For a low-carb option, cauliflower mash makes a great accompaniment. Sky High Chocolate Souffle Cake makes for a very impressive dessert to finish off a wonderful meal.
Slow Cooked Lamb with Garlic and Rosemary
- Slow cooker (Crockpot)
- Chopping board
- Sharp knife
- Medium pot
- 4 lb leg of lamb bone-in
- 2 tbsp salt
- 5 cloves of garlic cut into slivers
- 3 sprigs of fresh rosemary cut into 3/4" pieces
- ¼ cup chicken stock
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 tbsp cold water
- Generously salt the lamb. Using a small knife, make holes in the lamb and insert slivers of garlic and sprigs of rosemary. Leave in the fridge overnight to allow the flavors to infuse into the meat.
- Remove the lamb from the fridge and allow to come to room temperature, about an hour.
- Brown the lamb on each side in a skillet, about 3-5 minutes per side. The garlic and rosemary will brown too.
- Remove the lamb and place it in the slow cooker. Add the chicken stock to the skillet and bring to a boil, scraping up all the brown bits. Add this liquid to the slow cooker.
- Cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 4 hours. Allow to rest for at least 15 minutes before carving. Remove the stems of rosemary from the lamb before carving.
- If you are short on time, season the lamb with salt, then stud it with garlic and rosemary. Place in the slow cooker with the chicken stock for 4 hours on high. It won't have the same depth of flavor but it will still taste pretty good!
- Strain the juices from the slow cooker into a pan making sure to remove any woody rosemary stems. Place on medium heat.
- In a cup mix the cornstarch and water. Gradually add this to the juices while mixing constantly. Bring to a boil then simmer until thick, about 5 minutes. Serve with lamb.