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The slow cooker chef: Low fat Spanish Lamb braised in thyme, garlic and white wine recipe

slow cooker or crock pot“Let’s try making the Spanish Lamb in the slow cooker. It will be cheaper than using the oven and it might enhance the flavours even more.”

It was better than the oven baked version, with more depth of flavour and the joint remained plump and succulent. This is a great, easy dish for lazy entertaining. Just a few minutes preparation and then you can sit back as it turns into a delicious melt in the mouth lamb. The tantalising sauce tastes as if you have been slaving away for hours.

Cooked a day in advance the dish sang. The fat was easily removed and the meat reheated slowly in the juices. If you are cooking this dish on the day, pour off the juices when cooked and put them in a chilled metal dish that has been sitting in the freezer for half an hour. The fat will congeal quickly and can be skimmed off with a slotted spoon.

Spanish lamb seems like an expensive dish but the by product of flavoursome thyme enriched wine can be frozen in cubes to use as a base for a sir fry, rather than using oil. With a bit of canny padding out you can make a large half shoulder of lamb stretch easily into three decent meals for two hungry people. We ate enjoyed this and I’m planning a stir fry with some and a Mediterranean shepherd’s pie with the rest.

Low fat Spanish Lamb braised in thyme, garlic and white wine recipe

Ingredients (for four – with a starter):

  • I large half shoulder of lamb (approx one kilo).
  • 4g of thyme sprigs.
  • 1 tsp of balsamic vinegar.
  • 4g clove of garlic.
  • 5 juniper berries.
  • Approx ½ bottle of dry white wine poured to a third of the way up the sides of the meat  – do not be tempted to cover the meat. Lashings of ground black pepper.


  1. Line the base of the slow cooker/crock pot with half of the thyme. Put in the joint, balsamic, garlic and juniper berries. Arrange the rest of the thyme around the joint.
  2. Bring the wine to simmering point on the hob and pour it over the joint ( to a third of the way up the joint).
  3. Switch the slow cooker to high until the wine begins to bubble (about an hour).
  4. Turn the knob to low and leave the joint for 1.5 hours and then turn over the joint for a further 1.5 hours.  

The joint can be served immediately but will happily sit on the side in the slow cooker for at least half an hour (keep the lid on). If you wish to remove the fat from the sauce, follow the instructions in the post above. Otherwise serve the suace in a Fat and lean (Jack Sprat) sauceboat.
This dish goes well with roast potatoes, gratin dauphinoise or herby buttered couscous. As it’s quite rich, we tend to stick to simple boiled green vegetables such as runner beans, peas and brocolli.

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  1. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Nick

    It’s actually about four hours as the wine has to get to bubbling point and this takes an hour – see method. The timings are right. All our recipes are tried and tested before publication on the site.

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