The Cottage Smallholder

stumbling self sufficiency in a small space

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.

  Leave a reply


  1. Sorry, but only 3 hours in a slow cooker? Shouldn’t this be more like 8-10 hours? The timings for the conventional oven recipe are the same as the slow cooker recipe.
    Maybe I’ve missed something?

  2. We have cooked this in an old solid fuel AGA many times -the simmering oven is about 100 degrees centigrade and 10 hours is the longest so far -perfect.Probably the recipe friends ask for most.It benefits hugely from 4 anchovy fillets in it.Also the half shoulder with the shank is the deliciousest (is that a word?). A man’s recipe as it takes about 5 minutes to prepare. A sprig of thyme means a whole “branch”.Always remove most of the sauce, freeze and skim off the fat.

  3. I have just made a comment on your recipe 2006. I wonder if you’ll get it? If not, my questions were: did you bruise the juniper berries first? We did. Also, did you crush the clove of garlic or put it in whole? I used paste this time but will use a clove next. I’ve made this for supper tonight (can’t wait!) but didn’t include the anchovies as you haven’t included them in this recipe? Did you decide it was better without? I also had to use dried thyme, hope it has the same effect, but will use sprigs next time.
    Looking forward to supper time…

  4. I love my slow cooker. I cant live without it. Also my rice maker and my stick blender. I shudder to think what I would do with out them… waste lots of food, electricity and my time I expect..

  5. Like Pamela I was wondering whether my remoska could be used for this. I love using the remoska but am thinking about a slow cooker too as you seem to have such success with yours x

  6. I’m inspired by your posts about them and about to take the plunge with a slow cooker so any more recipes and tips gratefully appreciated – and I’ve just emailed my butched to make sure there a shoulder of name for me tomorrow!

  7. kate (uk)

    My husband doesn’t like lamb- such a shame as when it is cooked slowly like this I think it is absolutely delicious!Perfect cold weather food.

  8. This sounds delicious. I wonder if it would work in a Remoska which doesn’t have the temperature control facility?

  9. This sounds lovely. Shoulders of lamb are about as far as my budget will go. so any recipes are a treasured find. Thanks for this, you never disappoint!

  10. I am a slow cooker fan – so will be trying your recipe – thanks for sharing it with us all.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

HTML tags are not allowed.

2,232,282 Spambots Blocked by Simple Comments

Copyright © 2006-2012 Cottage Smallholder      Our Privacy Policy      Advertise on Cottage Smallholder