Leg of Lamb with Rosemary and Lemon Slow Cooker Recipe

I can not believe that March is over and it's already April. or at least it will be in only a few short hours...
Easter is this Sunday, and so I decided we needed a new lamb recipe. I made this a few weeks ago when my grandfather and uncles were visiting. It's lovely.

The Ingredients.
serves 8

3 pounds whole leg of lamb
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons prepared dijon mustard
1 tablespoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (1 lemon, juiced)

The Directions.

Use a 4-quart slow cooker. In a small bowl, combine honey, dijon, the spices, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Stir with a spoon to form a paste. Smear this paste on all sides of the lamb roast. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours, or on high for 4-5. You can check the doneness with a meat thermometer, if you'd like, but I usually cook until it's super tender and I can cut it with a fork. If your meat isn't as moist/tender as you'd like, you can cut it in half or in chunks and return it to the pot to soak up more moisture. I don't like dry lamb.

The Verdict.

I really liked this! The flavor of the rub is fantastic, and the drippings make a wonderful gravy. Serve with mashed potatoes and a big side of your favorite vegetables. Baaa.

other lamb recipes:

original leg of lamb
leg of lamb with prunes
smoky spiced lamb chops
lamb, olive, and onion tagine
lamb chops (easy.)

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Posted by: Stephanie O'Dea | A Year of Slow Cooking at March 31, 2010

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What they say about this article

  1. So there's no liquid that I would need to use in my slowcooker with the meat?

  2. if you cannot eat lamb can you suggest another meat that the sauce would work well with?

    i can't do lamb or veal. just can't. :)

  3. It looks like you used leg of lamb on the bone. Could you make this with boneless leg of lamb too, and would the cooking time change?

  4. Hi Cove Girl,
    Nope, no liquid required. The lamb gives off juice all on it's own.

    Stephanie, I'd use a beef chuck roast instead.

    Hi Lydia! I've used boneless plenty of times. There isn't quite as much juice given off, but the cooking time doesn't really change. If your meat isn't fork-tender near meal time, cut in chunks, then return to the pot so it can soak in more juice.

    xoxo steph

  5. I've never done lamb before, it sounds interesting and something worth trying. Thanks for the idea and the crockpot recipe!

  6. Anonymous4/01/2010

    God Bless you that you are still here. LOL. This lamb recipe looks so wonderful, but the BF can't stand the smell of lamb cooking let alone cooking in a slow cooker. LOL

    I came looking for a soup recipe for Maundy Thursday soup dinner tonite. Your stuff is always so good!

  7. DAveAll4/01/2010

    excellent. Can't wait to try this. Silence of the lambs - just keep the lid on and you don't hear the screaming. oh, that was sick. sorry. haha. I love lamb.

  8. Anonymous4/01/2010

    I have never had lamb before and I am really excited to try this! One question: Where do you buy whole leg of lamb?

    Thank you!!

  9. I usually get our lamb at Costco. Any butcher would have it, though, and it's on sale right now.

    xoxo steph

  10. Used this recipe on a pork loin today. Mmmm. Just remember that pork loin doesn't give off much liquid and adjust accordingly.

  11. Delicious and impressive one, Steph! :-) You should add the link to Diane's Friday Foodie Fix for lamb that she did a few weeks ago.


  12. Tamara Davis4/02/2010

    I made this with a beef roast, it was so yummy!

    I will have to try it with lamb soon, I should head to Costco soon!

    Thanks for the great recipe.

  13. Carrie4/02/2010

    I made this last night for company and it was a big hit!

    I had 3 crockpots going at once. One for lamb, one for mashed potatoes, and one for banana bread cake.

    I love your blog and book!

  14. Thanks for the tip. I'll definitely have to try this one. Yummy!

  15. Anonymous4/03/2010

    I'm going to have to try this. Sounds lovely.

  16. I should make this! I have another leg of lamb in the freezer, and it's one of those things that we don't prepare just "any old day" because it always seems like it needs to be a special event to eat lamb. Well, it's too small for company, so this sounds like the perfect solution. I LOVE lamb and would make any excuse to eat it!

  17. This sounds like a wonderful recipe to have on hand. I be the long cooking method cuts out any of the 'gamey' flavor some people may find in the meat.

  18. Jacinta6/27/2010

    Hi Stephanie,
    Greetings from Ireland.
    I just came across your site a few weeks ago when my Canadian husband asked me to make pulled pork which or course I had never heard of and thought was a joke until I came accross your site.I love your site and your receipes and will have many a fantastic meal thanks to your posts.
    I love my slow cooker too and think its great for winter or summer.
    I am posting you a fantastic receipe tried and tested many times for lamb shanks in the slow cooker.
    This is always a hit with my family and friends and has never lets me down so I thought you might like it.
    This receipe can be used for lamb shanks or leg of lamb( if using for leg of lamb double all the ingredients for the sauce this will cover most of the leg. )

    lamb shanks cooked in a redwine honey orange sauce.

    4 Lamb Shanks trimmed
    6 shallots or 2 med onions, peeled and sliced into rings
    5-6 cloves of peeled sliced garlic
    1 large orange or 2 small oranges, juiced
    Rind of one large or 2 small oranges
    1 cup of red wine
    1 tble of Worcestershire sauce
    2 tble of honey
    2 tsp of cayenne pepper (I leave this out as I prefer it without but thats just my Irish pallete. If you like a bit of a kick in your dishes add it in)
    1 cup of chicken or beef stock
    3-4 sprigs of rosemary, (can use dried if you need to)
    salt and pepper
    2 tble butter& 1 tble olive oil

    Melt the butter/oil in a skillet on medium/high heat. Add the lamb shanks or leg and brown them on all sides.(if using a frozen leg brown anyway)

    While the lamb is browning, start the slow cooker on low heat with the lid on so it will be warmed up when you add the shanks.

    After the lamb shanks are browned, leave the juices behind in the skillet and add the shanks to the slow cooker. Place the fresh rosemary on top of them. (Note: If you are using dried rosemary, wait and add it with the other spices in a few minutes).

    In the juices left from browning the lamb, sauté the onions until the onions are starting to brown add the orange rind, the garlic. Simmer for another minute then add the red wine, Worcestershire sauce, the honey, cayenne pepper, the beef or chicken stock, the salt and pepper to your liking, and the dried rosemary if you chose not to use the fresh earlier. Mix all the ingredients and bring them to a simmer for about 5 minutes. When finished, pour the sauce over the lamb shanks in the slow cooker and cook covered on low for 6 or 7 hours.Change the temp on the slow cooker to high and cook for 1 more hour

    After the allotted time leave the shanks in the cooker on warm and remove majority of the sauce from the slow cooker to a small pot and reduce the orange and honey sauce until it thickens.This makes a worderful rich glaze to pour over the lamb while serving.

    I serve the honey lamb shanks with creamed potatoes,and butterd peppered boiled turnip, asparagus tips in winter rice and salad in summer. Enjoy.
    Regards, Jacinta Cormier, Offaly, Ireland.

  19. This looks delicious. I'm a novice when it comes to cooking lamb, which my husband loves. Can't wait to give this a try.

  20. i barbecue lamb once a week,this is a great recipe. i don't understand why people don't eat more lamb-it most have something to do with the rhyme "mary had a little lamb" thank you for sharing, your recipe