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)

redros's picture

I used this recipe but used braising lamb and added chicken stock ... left it bubbling in the oven on a low heat all day and it was lovely!

raeliz64's picture

The meat just fell off the bone and then melted in the mouth - lovely!

kymjgolding's picture

This was really lovely, it was so tender and tasty, I blended the remaining sauce and thickened it with a few gravey granules, a great sunday lunch recipe for when you are busy, as you can just leave it cooking without needing any attention.

cath34980's picture

Don't replace the red wine with Chardonnay!! :(

lredhead's picture

Absolutely gorgeous and tender lamb. Followed the recipe but added garlic and half a bottle of red wine and left for 5 hours. The meat fell off the bone and served with roast potatoes and carrots. Heavenly.

dolcevita's picture

Firstly this recipe is confusing. I prepped the lamb as per the video. However the rosemary burned while browning the meat. Had to wash the pot...

The onions also burned while this was in the oven. The lamb was very tender but it wasnt anything special. Definitely one to avoid.

bimbobaby's picture

this was delicious. i did it for my family for sunday lunch. i did as the recipe asked but popped it in the slow cooker over night & let it cook for about 13-14 hours on the lowest setting. the lamb was so tender & just melted in the mouth. i wasn't sure i would like the sauce but it was very tasty! served with mashed carrot & sweede. roast parsnips, roast sweet potato, broccoli, cauliflour & roast potato's. everybody was impressed & i will be doing this again!!

viktory's picture

This dish is very easy to prepare and is meltingly tender and flavoursome. We use a whole leg of lamb and usually cook for an additional 30 minutes of so. Strain the juices and use to make the gravy. The only way to cook a leg of lamb in my opinion.

snaggy's picture

I really dislike lamb, or should I say I used to dislike lamb. Cooked this yesterday and it was delicious. I turned the heat down a bit and cooked it for about 4 1/2 hours, then "carved" it with a fork.

karenmc's picture

I've made this about 6 times now and it never fails me! I do add 100 ml water and 200ml red wine instead of the 300ml wine as it is too rich for my young kids otherwise. Love it!

naomikendle's picture

Really delicious and tender. Have cooked lots of good recipes from this website but this is the first one I have been compelled to comment on. Will definitely cook again, and again...

missy900's picture

Really lovely recipe. Substituted leg of lamb with shoulder, 2 onions instead of 4 and just over half a bottle of red wine (plus thyme and parsley). Cooked on a low heat for around 3 1/2 hours and it was falling off the bone by the end. Served it with jacket potatoes coated in sea salt and butter, topped off with sauce from the lamb.

lalashisha01's picture

Truly delicious and easy to cook.

gillianmcn's picture

Delicious! I added a couple of tablespoons of tomato paste and some carrots and garlic and it worked fantastically.

bikerchickett's picture

Add black olives, garlic and anchovies for a wonderful flavour.

hanricci's picture

This was my first time cooking lamb and it didn't turn out quite as tender as I'd hoped. I used a smaller piece of lamb (0.82kg) but still cooked it for 3 hrs, and wonder if i should have done it for less as it wasn't as tender as the other reviews stated.
I also had to thicken the sauce as it hadn't thickened at all during cooking. It was nice though, and my boyfriend loved it so i'll make it again.

roseew's picture

'Have just cooked lamb as above - but with half bulb crushed garlic -juice of whole lemon and mint leaves from the garden, rubbed over after searing. 'Used half pint of water instead of the red wine - mebbe will use white wine next time - but this lamb is WELL YUMMEEEEE!!!! serving with home made rattatoui (onion, peppers, aubergine n tin of toms, tom pureee and threw in sum oregano) and cauli...... they all seem well impressed! - oh n made the 'Yummy Skrummy Carrot Cake' too - errm think will serve seperately!!!! (just louRve this site!!!!)

roseew's picture

I cooked two legs of lamb as there were 7 of us. I agree with ‘Gbobs’, in that the lamb lost its flavour. It was totally overpowered by the taste of the wine. I thickened the sauce with granules. It was very rich!!! – but nice! 'Will defiantly cook this way again though, as the meat was so tender (as with any pot roast), but will use a little water instead of wine with lemon juice, garlic and rosemary for a milder flavour. (‘Served this with veg and ‘Parmesan’ potatoes, which were SKRUMPSIOUS!!!! Mmmmm)


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