Slow-cooked lamb with onions & thyme

Slow-cooked lamb with onions & thyme

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(122 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 1 year old; between 1 and 2 years old you will find it sold as…

  • 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, questions and tips

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11th Nov, 2012
Wonderful! Enjoyed by all. The sauce does need thickening or reducing at the end in my view. I also added a desert spoon full of black currant jam (didn't have red currant jelly) which improved the flavour. Highly recommended!
4th Nov, 2012
Having read earlier comments, coated lamb with seasoned flour before browning which made the sauce deliciously thick. Served with roasted root veg and sweet potato - delicious. Will be come a regular Sunday lunch from now on, my youngest daughter, who professes to not like lamb, had seconds!
30th Sep, 2012
Delicious served with green beans and flageolets (from a tin, rinsed and slowly reheated in water).
30th Sep, 2012
Easy, tasty way to cook lamb. I had twice as much ingredients as I cooked it for a family gathering oh 8. I therefore cooked the lamb for 4 1/2 hours, it was very tender with plenty of gravy. Regarding the gravy I decided to liquidise 3/4 of it which seemed to thicken it nicely. It obviously needs plenty of seasoning too. I will definately cook this again.
vtrangmar's picture
15th Sep, 2012
Cooking this for the sixth time tomorrow, followed others advice and now always add some water instead of all the wine (young kids also). I also use half the amount of onions, as found them too much the first time. Love this recipe, so easy and tasty, have already impressed friends with it, hope to impress father-in-law tomorrow!
riddler's picture
13th Sep, 2012
I cooked this a couple of weeks ago but i replaced the red wine with stock as i'm not a big fan and thyme with rosemary as i couldn't get thyme. It was amazing! The meat fell off the bone it was so tender and the stock had become nice & thick so i just added some water & onion granules to make a gorgeous gravy. I also sliced/shredded the lamb and put it back in the pot to mix with the gravy. The kids loved it and are asking if we can have it every week!
18th Jul, 2012
Made this in my new slow-cooker, first attempt at using it and it worked! I put it on low and cooked it for about 6 hours instead of 3 hours in the oven. My only complaint is that there was too much liquid, but this could serve well as stock for a soup :) Delicious!
8th Jul, 2012
I cooked this in my slow cooker for about 6-7 hrs amazing. fell of the bone. Thickened the sauce with a little flour when frying the onions. will definitely do this recipe again.
18th Jun, 2012
Cooked this for my family. Gave the meat a lovely taste, and kept the meat moist. Would do again!
jpsboro's picture
23rd May, 2012
Loved it, after all the good comments I decided to make it. Easy and tasty.


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