Slow Cooker (Crock-Pot) Lamb - Greek style

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KatyCooks

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As some of you will know, I recently tried a pulled pork recipe for the slow cooker that I got from here (courtesy of Got Garlic) - thanks again GG! It was a huge success and it got me thinking. Here in Britain we rarely have to worry about warm weather and usually it is not a problem to do long slow cooking in the oven, but a slow cooker is brilliant for long slow cooking that doesn't heat up the kitchen in warm weather.

So, it seems we are heading for some "extreme" warm weather again and I want to do some Greek style lamb in my slow cooker on Sunday.

I'm only cooking for two (though some left overs would be nice). So, any experienced "slow cookers" out there?

I'm thinking either a couple of lamb shanks, or a small leg of lamb (bone in).

I'm going to marinade overnight (just like I did with the pulled pork recipe). If I was roasting, I would "stab" the joint(s) and stuff the holes with slivers of garlic and sprigs of oregano/rosemary. But as I am slow cooking, is that still the way to go? Or should I just smear the joint all over with EVOO and the herbs and garlic?

I want lemon to feature too - but at what point do I add lemon zest and/or juice? Will lemon flavour be lost after many hours in a slow cooker? Maybe I should do a lemon zest and parsley gremolata at the end instead?

What sort of liquid or stock should I use - again, bearing in mind I want Greek style flavours?

All thoughts and suggestions are welcome! :)
 
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Hi Katy, while I'm an experienced slow cooker, I have no experience with lamb. I think your ideas sound really good, and will work fine. Garlic slivers and rosemary, why not? I do a CP pork roast that calls for sticking garlic into slits in the meat. It's cooked dry. I think any broth might work.

Mint, tsatziki sauce, lemon come to mind. I might add the zest and juice toward the end. Looking forward to hearing how it turns out!
 
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Hi DL

Thanks! Mint will definitely be featuring in the salad/dressing that I'm doing (along with Greek yoghurt). And tsatziki is a must! :yum:
 
I also cook Roast Legs of Lamb (bone in) in my slow cooker. I didn't bother with inserting garlic into the lamb after I found that it was too easy for the garlic to fall back out when I was browning the leg of lamb in the pan, and the garlic would burn add add a bitter taste. I now roast the garlic beforehand, and add the roasted garlic puree together with the herbs and the spices which I use to marinate the lamb. Then, I brown the meat and the vegetables first in a pan, then deglaze the pan and add the deglazed liquid to the lamb, the vegetables and all the marinade with all the herbs and the spices in it, in the slow cooker. I add lemon juice at the start, and then lemon zest at the end. Don't use whole lemons or lemon segments, as the pith will make the cooking liquid too bitter.
 
You can use vegetables such as cherry tomatoes, and together with the rest of the vegetables, these will create their own cooking liquid. You can also use a hand blender to mash up a little of the vegetables (once they have softened), to thicken up the sauce.
 
Where do you guys find legs of lamb that are small enough to fit in a slow cooker? The legs I purchase are normally at least a foot in length. Keep in mind I don't own a slow cooker, so maybe they make them larger now than what I remember. Or are you cutting the meat into smaller chunks?
 
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They cut off part of the leg and make it smaller...to fit in a slow cooker 6L at least :)
 
Hi Katy,
I did something similar last weekend. I am Scottish but living here in France so know all about hot and cold weather!!
I have a recipe that my husband just loves.
Brown a couple of lamb shanks ( one each of equal size otherwise HE always gets the bigger one !! ) brown gently in some olive oil a pan and transfer to your slow cooker. Cook off a couple of sliced onions and some garlic according to your taste ( maybe 2-4 ) in the same oil ( add a bit more if you need to ) and then add 2 teaspoons of cumin seeds and a scant 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon.
If you can get preserved lemons then use 2 of them and cut into quarters or otherwise use fresh lemons cut into quarters with 1 tablespoon of sea salt sprinkled over them. Add all this to the lamb in your crockpot,
Now, take 1 big can, 350g of red lentils or Puy lentils even better and add including juice. Of course you can soak and cook dried ones but this IS summer and we are allowed to cheat now and again! I promise no-one will know.
Add with 1+1/2 pints of hot stock. I use Knorr chicken or lamb stockpots. You know, the ones of the handsome chef advertised on TV, a good grinding of black pepper and cook until lamb wants to fall apart. In an ordinary oven I would cook @ 150c for 3-4 hours so you can't go wrong. Serve with the best crusty bread you can find. End of! Perfect
 
Great hints and tips here everyone!

Thanks MysteryMunchies. Duly noted about the burnt garlic! So, I won't stab the meat, I'll just marinade it overnight. (I'm roasting the garlic as we speak). I got a couple of lamb shanks in the end (so no worries about fitting in the pot Steve).

Menumaker, that sounds like a delicious recipe and I will definitely try it out as I love puy lentils. :yum: But not this weekend as I really want to go for Greek flavours.

(No sign of the promised heatwave yet, but I live in hope!)
 
I'd love to see a picture of this when it's done, or even as it's cooking.
 
Two lamb shanks, nestling in their garlicky/herby marinade. :)

(I gave them a bit of a "massage" when I took them out to take the pic but somehow I doubt they are thanking me for it....)
 

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Wow, that's bigger than I pictured it for going into a crock pot.
Thanks for the pic. My mouth is watering and I don't even think I like lamb.
 
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