Five stunning slow-cooked lamb dishes

Good things come to those who wait - especially when you have some lamb and a slow cooker. Here are five recipes for slow-cooked lamb to make your mouth water

Published 7th Sep 2015
Updated 7 th Sep 2015


Stefan Kolsch, Crofter's Hot Pot, slow-cooked lamb

Stefan Kolsch's crofter's hot pot

Visit The Scotch Kitchen for more lamb recipes >>


As head chef at award-winning Aberdeenshire-based mail order meat supplier Donald Russell, Stefan Kolsch knows his lamb. This delicious traditional hotpot is the culinary equivalent of a big hug from your auntie.

Time: 2 hrs
Serves: Four
Difficulty: Easy


880g diced leg of lamb
Salt and pepper
15g flour
500ml brown stock (beef or lamb)
1 bay leaf
2 sprigs thyme
2 sprigs rosemary
400g onions (thinly sliced)
200g carrots (thinly sliced)
100g leek (white part, thinly sliced)
2 tomatoes (remove skin and seeds and chop)
3 large potatoes (peeled and evenly sliced)
25g butter (melted)
Chopped parsley to garnish


Preheat the oven to 210ºC/450ºF/Gas7, lightly season the lamb with salt and pepper. Heat some oil in a casserole dish and brown the lamb, pour off any excess oil and dust with a light covering of flour. Place the casserole in the oven and cook, uncovered, for 10 minutes.

Bring the stock to the boil, remove the casserole and pour the stock over it, reduce the oven temperature to 150ºC/300ºF/Gas1. To the casserole add the bay leaf, thyme and rosemary then layer the onion, carrot, leek , tomatoes and finish with the potatoes on top.

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Brush the potatoes with melted butter and season, bring the casserole to the boil on the hob then cover with the lid and place in the oven for 1½ hours or until the potatoes are cooked. When cooked, remove from the oven and again brush the potatoes with butter placing the dish under a preheated grill to brown, sprinkle with the parsley to serve.

Serve with mixed baby vegetables.


Lamb cassoulet

Lamb Cassoulet. Picture: Quality Meats Scotland

Cooking delicious, healthy food doesn’t get much easier than this hearty lamb cassoulet courtesy of Quality Meat Scotland’s Scotch Kitchen. The hardest part will be waiting for it to slowly cook in the oven as the delicious aromas fill your kitchen.

Time: 2hrs 10 mins
Serves: Four
Difficulty: Easy

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2 tbsp olive oil
500g Scotch Lamb neck fillet, cubed
1 large onion, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 rosemary sprigs
400g can chopped tomatoes
2 x 400g cans canellini beans, drained and rinsed
400ml hot lamb stock
25g fresh white breadcrumbs
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
Mixed salad leaves


Heat the oven to 180C, gas mark 4. Heat one tablespoon of the oil in a large ovenproof casserole pan and cook the lamb, onion and celery over a high heat for five minutes or so until nicely browned. Stir in the garlic and rosemary and cook for a minute more.

Add the tomatoes, beans and stock and bring to the boil. Cover and simmer for one and a half hours until the lamb is very tender.

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Meanwhile, mix together the breadcrumbs, parsley and remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Sprinkle over the top of the casserole and return to the oven, uncovered for 15 minutes or so until the top is crunchy and golden.

Serve with a crunchy green salad.


Cyrus Todiwala's Glazed Lamb Fingers

Cyrus Todiwala's slow-cooked glazed fingers of breast of lamb. Picture: Cyrus Todiwala

Lamb breast’s amazing taste and flavour is often underrated, but, given enough time in the oven, it can be a real showstopper. This recipe from TV chef Cyrus Todiwala is really simple, though it might take a bit of time to prepare.

Time: 2hrs
Serves: Six-eight
Difficulty: Easy


2 x 675g unrolled boneless breasts of lamb

For the glaze

3tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2tbsp light soy sauce
2tbsp fish sauce
2tbsp runny honey
2tsp red chilli flakes
Extra runny honey, to drizzle


In a small bowl mix all the glaze ingredients together. Make several slashes on each side of the lamb breast with a sharp knife. Season Preheat the oven to Gas mark 2, 150°C. and line the base of the oven with foil. Brush the lamb with the glaze and transfer directly onto the oven rack. Cover with foil and roast slowly for one hour 30 minutes.

Remove the foil and continue to cook uncovered for a further 10 minutes. Cut the lamb into 3-4 inch-thick slices. Pile onto a large plate, drizzle with honey and serve with a green salad.


Graeme Pallister's slow-cooked lamb tagine

Slow-cooked tagine of lamb neck and shallot fritters. Picture: Graeme Pallister

This recipe created for the Scottish Government’s Eat In Season campaign by Graeme Pallister, chef-patron of 63 Tay Street restaurant in Perth, and former Catering Scotland Chef of the Year, calls for several hours of marinating and a few hours of cooking - plus an optional day of cooling - to produce a sumptuous melt-in-the-mouth lamb tagine that’s well worth the wait.

Cooking time: 4hrs (leave overnight)
Serves: Four
Difficulty: Medium


1kg diced lamb neck
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp turmeric
1 tbsp paprika
1 tsp sweet smoked paprika
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp cumin seeds
3 bay leaves
1 tsp saffron strands
2 large onions, diced
3 cloves garlic, germ removed, finely diced
2 x 400g chopped tomatoes
700ml meat or vegetable stock
50g sultanas
150g dried apricots, halved
1 tbsp clear honey
100g flaked almonds
25g coriander leaves
25g chopped mint
25g chopped parsley

For the fritters

2 shallots, finely sliced
1 tbsp self raising flour
pinch of curry powder
milk to combine


In a large bowl, combine the first eight spices listed with lamb, mix well and leave to marinade for at least six hours, preferably overnight. The following day, heat a large casserole with a tight fitting lid on the stove, add two tablespoons of cooking oil and once almost smoking carefully brown the meat all over in batches. Don’t overcrowd the pan as it will lose its heat and start to stew the meat.

Once the meat is all browned, remove the last batch and add the onions to the pan with a little more oil if required, sauté for several minutes till softened and add the garlic. Two minutes later add the tomatoes, stock, fruits and honey, gently warm through, then add the hogget into the pan and make sure the meat is covered with stock, although it shouldn’t be swimming.

Gently bring to a simmer, place the lid on tightly and put into the hot oven. Leave undisturbed for 2-3 hours. To check if it’s ready the meat should gently fall apart when squeezed and offer no resistance when prodded with a fork.

Allow to cool completely – I prefer this the day after. If you are eating on the same day, try and allow it to cool before bringing it very gently back to serving temperature, otherwise, refrigerate overnight.

For the fritters, heat your deep-fat fryer according to manufacturer’s instructions to 180C. In a bowl, combine the dry ingredients and very gently add small amounts of milk, whisking each time till a firm batter texture.

Drop teaspoons of fritter mixture carefully into the hot oil till golden brown, turning at least once. Serve alongside the warmed tagine with some coriander leaves and fragrant rice if you prefer.


SLOW - shoulder

Slow-cooked shoulder of lamb. Picture: Stefan Kolsch

Shoulder is one of the cheaper cuts of lamb but as Stefan Kolsch, head chef with mail order meat supplier Donald Russell, shows here, a couple of hours in the oven at a very low heat can work wonders. “Use the delicious juices to make gravy, if you like, adding a little redcurrant jelly to taste,” suggests Kolsch.

Time: 3hrs 30mins
Serves: Six
Difficulty: Medium


1 whole shoulder of lamb (1.75 kg)
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
6 sprigs fresh rosemary
6 sprigs fresh thyme
1 whole bulb of garlic, broken into cloves and unpeeled (crush ½ of the cloves with a knife)
2 red onions (quartered)
3 carrots (cut into batons)
2 sticks celery (sliced)
1 large leek, (sliced)
4 or 5 ripe tomatoes (halved)
2 bay leaves
1x 375g tinned tomatoes
½ bottle red wine or 1 x 375 ml bottle dry cider
1½ tbsp plain flour


Allow the meat to come to room temperature. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas 6. Rub the lamb with a little oil, season with salt and pepper and place in a large roasting tin. Place in the oven and brown on all sides for about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and carefully place the rosemary, thyme, garlic, onions, carrots, celery, leek, fresh tomatoes and bay leaves into the roasting tin below the joint. Pour the tinned tomatoes, wine or cider over the top of the joint and cover the tin with a double layer of foil. Return to the oven for 10 minutes, then lower the oven temperature to 140°C/275°F/Gas 1 and cook for 2½ hours or until the lamb is tender and sticky. Check the meat juices run clear.

Remove the joint from the oven, place the lamb on a warm plate (allow to rest for 20 minutes), remove the whole cooked vegetables and keep warm. Serve with the vegetables and gravy, accompanied by polenta or cous-cous and green beans.

• This article was produced in partnership with Quality Meat Scotland 

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