Slow-cooked lamb with onions & thyme

Slow-cooked lamb with onions & thyme

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(95 ratings)

Ready in 3.5 hours


Serves 4
Five ingredients, one pot, no effort. This meltingly tender lamb dish is satisfyingly rich, and virtually cooks itself

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal731
  • fat39g
  • saturates19g
  • carbs21g
  • sugars0g
  • fibre4g
  • protein63g
  • salt0.87g
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  • half a leg of lamb (about 1¼kg/2lb 12oz)



    A lamb is a sheep that is under one year old, and is known for its delicate flavour and tender…

  • 1kg onion (about 4 large ones)



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • handful of thyme sprigs


    This popular herb grows in Europe, especially the Mediterranean, and is a member of the mint…

  • 300ml red wine
  • large handful parsley



    One of the most ubiquitous herbs in British cookery, parsley is also popular in European and…


  1. Firstly, prepare the lamb. Heat oven to 160C/fan140C/gas 3. Wipe the meat all over and season well. Heat 3 tbsp of olive oil in a large heavy flameproof casserole, add the meat and fry all over on a fairly high heat for about 8 mins, turning until it is evenly well browned. Remove to a plate.

  2. Thinly slice the onions. Add to the pan and fry for about 10 mins, until softened and tinged with brown. Add a few of the thyme sprigs and cook for a further minute or so. Season with salt and pepper.

  3. Sit the lamb on top of the onions, then add the wine. Cover tightly. Bake for 3 hrs. You can make to this stage up to 2 days in advance, then reheat for 45 mins.

  4. To finish off, strip the leaves from 2 thyme sprigs and chop them with the parsley. Scatter over before serving.

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Comments (127)

botleypark402's picture

The family loved it. Did it in the slow cooker. Apart from adding some garlic I stuck to the recipe and it was delicious. Will definitely make again and serve with mash to soak up the sauce.

horsey_66's picture

Scrumptious. Added some fresh rosemary too. Used one red onion and quite a few banana shallots. Part-cooked for 2.5 hrs the day before, then for another hour and a half on the day. Diluted what was left of the juice with more wine. Served with creamy mash and petit pois. So tender, tasty and simple to make.

liezeldutoit's picture

Amazing! Made this for friends over Easter, served it with some roasted potatoes and aubergines and rocket salad on the side. I will make this again as soon as I can think of an occasion

redcowpie's picture

Fantastic Lamb !!!! leave it to seal a little bit longer than suggested and it seems to taste even better. Would highly recommend this recipe.

beccamoore123's picture

We found this incredibly greasy and fatty. Perhaps I had a very fatty leg of lamb but would much prefer to drain that fat off. The was just lamb fat mixed with wine, urgh.
I do agree the lamb was super tender though.

chrismryan's picture

Excellent dish. I cooked this at the weekend, roasting the lamb on Saturday for our Sunday dinner. I forgot about the lamb being in the oven, so it actually got about 4 hours cooking instead of 3 but the results were still superb. The juice had reduced a lot but I simply put it into a small saucepan and added water. The results were great. I will be doing this one again !

freediva's picture

OMG! Make it, eat it, enjoy it!
This was fabulous and so easy.

janerowe's picture

Does anyone know the cooking time in a slow cooker?

redcowpie's picture

The best lamb I have ever cooked, such a simple recipe producing great flavours.

joxerp's picture

how long would it take to cook a whole leg of lamb?

laserenidad's picture

The best lamb EVER!! I did it with a boned leg, which was already rolled but next time I will do it with an opened-out one as I think it needed seasoning inside. Cooked it a bit longer than suggested as I wanted to shred it. Added some quince jelly and some extra wine to the sauce at the end and served it shredded on a bed of creamy mash with peas in the mash and the sauce. It was FABULOUS!!

archiescroft's picture

Did this today with a leg of Scottish Lamb... 4 hours at 130 ish.. Best lamb and sauce I have ever had the pleasure of cooking... Thank you!

katyawillems's picture

Hi - can I do this recipe in the slow cooker?


katyawillems's picture

Hi - I'd really like to do this recipe in a slow cooker. Do you think it would work?


fr4nzi's picture

Added garlic... Phenomenally tender!

techno_bimbo's picture

An absolutely fantastic recipe. I've made it several times now, sometimes using the standard recipe, sometimes using Rosemary & garlic, sometimes adding a dollop of redcurrant sauce. It's always so tender & tasty.

bosleyp's picture

We used the conventional oven temp, but reduced the onions to about half-quantity. After 1 hour, added (raw) carrots and turnips, chopped to about 1" cubes. Then carried on cooking for about 1 1/2 hours until ready to roast pots and parsnips, leaving all in for another hour. Kept lamb etc warm while I boosted oven temp to crisp pots a bit.
Served with broccoli.
Definitely on the future menu list.

allie80's picture

Really delicious, lamb just falls off the bone and is very tender. Made moussaka with the left over meat and juices and it really made it lovely and rich.

nbarrow08's picture

i made this last night, but did make a few changes... firstly because i read all the comments and secondly i cooked it in the slow cooker for 10 hours. i added lamb stock to the wine (about 3/4 pint) and only added 2 large onions. (this is because i wanted to make sure it still tasted of lamb and the wine and onions didnt take over!!) i also thickened at the end and served with crushed new potatoes, broccolli and baby carrots.... must say it was beautiful and was very much enjoyed by my family and friends :)


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