Greek lamb stew recipes

Greek Lamb Stew

  1. Preheat the oven to 150°C, gas mark 2. Cut the meat into 6cm pieces.
  2. Heat a large lidded flameproof casserole dish and add a tablespoon of oil. Brown the meat all over in batches, then remove and set aside.
  3. Add the remaining oil to the dish, stir in the onions and cook for 2-3 minutes until beginning to soften. Leaving the top intact, split the chilli along its length, this adds flavour to the stew without too much heat. Stir in the chilli, sliced garlic and rosemary, and increase the heat. Pour in the wine and simmer for 3-4 minutes. Stir in the chopped tomatoes and reduce the heat.
  4. Return the lamb and juices to the dish, stir through the black olives and bring to a simmer. Season, then cover and cook in the oven for 1 hour 30 minutes, or until the lamb is really tender.
  5. Remove the chilli and rosemary, and discard. Set the stew aside to cool.
  6. To Serve, bring the stew to a simmer on the hob. Add the pasta (make sure its broken into small pieces otherwise it will stick together in lumps) and cook for 3-5 minutes until tender, and the lamb is thoroughly heated. Ladle the stew onto plates and serve scattered with the feta and mint sprigs.
  7. Delicious with a fennel and orange salad

Shhh, don’t tell Nigella!

Nigella’s slow cooker Greek lamb stew in white wine recipe

I have a confession to make. Lamb shanks really annoy me. They cook beautifully in the slow cooker but they’re a kind of nouveau-riche meat. They used to be a tasty but cheap cut, savoured by the savvy cook in the know and scorned by those in the money. Then the gastropubs got hold of them and it was downhill all the way from there. Sigh!

However, when a pair of friendly-looking lamb shanks (it’s not their fault after all) turned up on the reduced shelf at Sainsbury’s, I had to have them. I was going to cook them quite traditionally in red wine but we had a half bottle of white going begging and I remembered a fantastic lamb recipe I’d last cooked a few years ago which I thought might work a treat in the slow cooker. And so I give you “Nigella’s slow cooker Greek lamb stew in white wine recipe”. It’s a beaut (and very easy!).

Thank you Nigella – yet again! This one’s adapted from my well-thumbed copy of How To Eat. Just, shhhh, don’t tell Nigella!

Ingredients for 4:

2 tbsps olive oil

2 lamb shanks

250g onions (about 1 1/2 cups), finely sliced

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 stalks celery, chopped finely

leaves from 1-2 sprigs thyme

1 tsp dried oregano

1 bay leaf

1 small carrot, chopped into pennies

1 400g/14 oz tin of chopped tomatoes

100 ml (or 1/3 cup + 1tbsp) lamb stock or water

1/3 bottle (i.e. 250 ml or 1 cup) dry white wine

500g/ 1lb fusilli or macaroni

fresh parsley, oregano or basil to garnish

Directions:

Pre-brown the lamb shanks in a frying pan or skillet using the olive oil. Put the lamb and all other ingredients down to the wine into the slow cooker. Cook on Low for 8-10 Hours or High for 4-5.

About half an hour before you want to eat, turn the slow cooker to High if it isn’t already. Cook your pasta in a separate pan of water until a couple of minutes before you would normally drain it. We’re talking just before al dente – you know the stage where you persuade yourself that it’s just about edible if you’re ravenous but you risk getting tummy ache later because the starch is still slightly undercooked? That’s where you want it because we want the lamb juices to have some scope to soak into the pasta. Drain your pasta well and quickly add it to the lamb stew, giving it a vigorous stir and immediately replacing the lid.

About 5-10 minutes later, check your pasta for doneness. Ours took about 10 minutes. Once your pasta is cooked to your liking, remove the lamb shanks to a plate. The meat will fall off the bones easily. Break or cut rather than shred the meat into bite-size morsels and return to the stew and pasta mix. Stir in the fresh herbs and serve.

Nigella puts a bowl of 300g/ 1 cup crumbled feta on the table for diners to add to their bowls but we just didn’t fancy it that particular day.

Serve with a good, green salad.

Verdict:

Wow, this was tasty and our guest that night really appreciated it. Lamb cooked in white wine tastes lighter and sweeter than when cooked in red. I felt it allowed the flavour of the meat to shine out more. The herbs, both fresh and dried, were a summery addition to a winter-hearty dish and the pasta soaked in all the lovely lamby juices. The last time I cooked this I served it in the garden in July but it was just as perfect in March. I think lamb shanks may be forgiven!

Flavorful, succulent, fall-apart tender boneless leg of lamb, seasoned Greek-style with loads of garlic, rosemary, oregano and citrus. Let your slow cooker do all the magic as this lamb leg cooks along with pearl onions in a special wine broth. Watch the how-to video toward the end of this post, grab all my tips and step-by-step below. (Don’t have a slow cooker? No worries! See braising instructions.)

Turn this awesome leg of lamb into a Greek feast! Side options: Greek roasted potatoes; Lebanese rice; Spanakopita; Traditional Greek Salad; Greek Green Bean Salad; Fasolada; Tzatziki Sauce; and Creamy Hummus.

If it’s Easter, Christmas, or whatever big occasion requiring an impressive centerpiece kinda dish, I often do my roasted leg of lamb with potatoes. It’s tasty and just glorious to look at (you can check it out here.)

But, if you’re new to working with lamb, it can be intimidating to start with a big bone-in lamb leg. Good news is, you don’t have to!

Boneless leg of lamb can be just as impressive a dish. And in this recipe, we let the slow cooker do all the heavy lifting. Because, let’s face it, who doesn’t love the ease of dumping everything into the crock, push a button, walk away, and return to a hot, fall-apart piece of meat ready to serve?!

A few Tips for this Boneless Leg of Lamb Recipe

I have three tips here for you:

1. Bring to room temperature, if possible. If you have the time, remove lamb from your fridge and season with salt and pepper then let it rest at room temperature for a bit (bring it to room temperature if possible.) This allows for efficient and even cooking (I know, we are using a slow-cooker, but it still helps, if you have the time.)

2. To Sear or Not to Sear? It’s true that searing (or browning) the lamb before cooking is not a strictly necessary step, but it creates a beautiful crust and a deeper flavor! For me, it’s worth the little extra effort.

3. Flavor the Lamb Well. Many people dismiss lamb because it’s “too gamy,” they say. The common mistake they make is that they don’t appropriately flavor it. In this recipe, we give our leg of lamb proper TLC with some favorite Greek flavors–loads of garlic, rosemary, oregano, fresh thyme, citrus and quality extra virgin olive oil.

Step-by-step: Boneless Leg of Lamb in the Slow Cooker

1. First, once you trim the fat off the leg of lamb, season only with salt and pepper. (If you have the time, let the lamb rest at room temperature for up to 1 hour.) Brown lamb in a cast iron skillet that’s been coated with a little bit of extra virgin olive oil.

2. Now, let’s add more flavor. When lamb is cool enough to touch, using a small knife, make a few slits all over and insert slices of garlic. Add the remaining minced garlic in a small bowl and mix with spices (I used rosemary and sweet paprika), fresh thyme, lemon juice and olive oil to rub all over the lamb. (That’s right, loads of flavor!)

3. Prepare your slow cooker (crock pot). Add pearl onions to the bottom of the pot, then add the liquid (wine and broth) and top with the spiced lamb.

4. Now let the slow cooker do its magic! Cover slow cooker and set on high for 4 hours or on low for 6 to 7 hours or until lamb is super tender that it falls apart at the poke of your fork!

Transfer to a serving platter and add some of that beautiful juice on top or to the side!

Don’t have a slow cooker? You can make this in your Dutch oven or heavy pot! (Braising Instructions)

You can absolutely still make this boneless leg of lamb even if you don’t have a slow cooker. You can use a Dutch oven or an oven safe heavy pot to braise the leg of lamb instead. Important note: You will need to increase the liquid amount from 1 1/2 cups to 3 1/2 cups. Here is how it goes:

1. Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Brown the lamb as stated in the recipe, but this time use your Dutch oven or large oven-save pot. Remove lamb, and once cooled, make slits and add garlic slivers then apply the garlic spice rub just as directed in the recipe.

3. Place pearl onions in Dutch oven (or prepared oven-safe pot). Add 1 1/2 cups red wine and 2 cups broth.

4. Add lamb to the Dutch oven. Bring to a boil for about 7 to 9 minutes, then cover and transfer to the oven for 2 to 2 1/2 hours or until lamb is very tender. IMPORTANT: be sure to check periodically and add a little more liquid as needed. When lamb is finished, liquid will have reduced to about 1/3 of what it was when you started.

Turn it into a Greek feast! What to Serve Along

If you’re having a special dinner party, this boneless leg of lamb can make a great centerpiece along with other Greek/Mediterranean dishes like:

Greek Roasted Potatoes

Lebanese Rice

Traditional Greek Salad

Greek Green Bean Salad

Fasolada: Greek Bean Soup

Watch the Video for How to Make this Boneless Leg of Lamb in Slow Cooker

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Flavorful, fall-apart tender boneless leg of lamb, seasoned Greek-style with loads of garlic, rosemary, oregano. Let your slow cooker do all the magic as this lamb leg cooks along with pearl onions in a special wine broth.

See notes if you need braising instructions instead. And be sure to check out all the suggestions for what to serve along.

Scale 1x2x3x

Ingredients

  • 3 lb/ 1.360 kg Bone less leg of lamb, fat trimmed
  • Kosher salt
  • Black pepper
  • Early Harvest Greek extra virgin olive oil
  • 12 garlic cloves (6 thinly sliced and 6 minced)
  • 2 tsp / 2.3 g dry rosemary
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme (from 4 or 5 springs)
  • 1 tsp dry oregano
  • 3/4 tsp sweet paprika
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 lb pearl onions, peeled (or shallots, if you prefer)
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium broth (beef or chicken broth is fine)
  • Parsley for garnish

Instructions

  1. Pat lamb dry and season generously with kosher salt and black pepper on all sides (if you have the time, set it aside at room temperature for up to 1 hour, otherwise continue on)
  2. Coat the bottom of a large skillet (I used my cast iron skillet) with a little bit of extra virgin olive oil. Heat skillet over medium heat until oil is shimmering but not smoking. Add the lamb and brown well on all sides (increase heat to medium-high if needed); about 7 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool enough to handle.
  3. Cut a few slits into the lamb on both sides and insert a slice of garlic in each of the slits.
  4. Now make a wet garlic spice rub for the lamb. In a small bowl, combine the minced garlic, rosemary, thyme, oregano, and paprika. Add lemon juice and 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil. Coat lamb on all sides with the garlic spice rub.
  5. Add pearl onions (or shallots) to the bottom of a large slow cooker (crock pot). Add wine and broth, then add the spiced lamb on top.
  6. Cover slow cooker and set on high for 3 to 4 hours or on low for 5 to 6 hours until lamb is fork-tender and you can easily pull it apart.
  7. Transfer to a serving platter adding the cooking juice on top or to the side to serve along. (See sides to serve along in the notes)

Notes

  • Cook’s Tips: Start with quality lamb from a trusted source or butcher, it makes a difference. And remember, slow cookers vary, so do check on your lamb occasionally as it might be ready sooner or latter than indicated in the recipe.
  • Tips for What to Serve Along. You can turn this into a Greek feast! Here are some ideas: Greek potatoes (recipe here); Lebanese Rice (recipe here); Greek Salad (recipe here); Greek Green Bean Salad (recipe here); Tzatziki sauce (recipe here); Classic Creamy Hummus (recipe here)
  • Don’t have a slow cooker? You can make this in your Dutch oven or oven-safe pot. The answer here is: braised lamb leg. Important note: You will need to increase the liquid amount from 1 1/2 cups to 3 1/2 cups. Here is how it goes: Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees F. Brown the lamb as stated in the recipe, but this time use your Dutch oven or large oven-save pot. Remove lamb, and once cooled, make slits and add garlic slivers then apply the garlic spice rub just as directed in the recipe. Place pearl onions in Dutch oven (or prepared oven-safe pot). Add 1 1/2 cups red wine and 2 cups broth. Add lamb to the Dutch oven. Bring to a boil for about 7 to 9 minutes, then cover and transfer to the oven for 2 to 2 1/2 hours or until lamb is very tender. Make sure to check periodically and add more liquid as needed. Remember that ovens vary and your lamb may take a shorter or longer time to cook. When lamb is finished, liquid will have reduced to about 1/3 of what it was when you started.
  • Leftovers? Refrigerate leftovers in a tight-lid glass container for 3 to 4 nights or freeze for later use. Warm thawed leftovers in a medium-heated oven; be sure to add enough liquid to your pan and cover with foil till warmed through.
  • Visit The Mediterranean Dish Store for all-natural and organic spices and our Greek extra virgin olive oils!

  • Category: Meat and Poultry/Entree
  • Method: Slow Cooker
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean

Keywords: Boneless Leg of Lamb, Slow Cooker Leg of Lamb, Greek Lamb

GREEK LAMB STEW

Preparation

    1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Into the largest saucepan or casserole you have that will go into the oven, pour 3 tablespoons of the oil. Brown the meat in batches over high heat and remove to a plate nearby. Pour the remaining oil or add more, add the onions, sprinkling a little salt over them and cook then until soft and translucent. Add the garlic, celery, thyme, and oregano. When the smell of garlic wafts up, remove half the mixture. Add the meat to the mixture in the pan, cover with the remaining half, add the bay leaves, carrots, tomatoes, stock and wine. Bring to a boil, remove scum, and let bubble for 3 min. Then cover, transfer to the oven, and bake for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, or cook on a very low heat. The meat should be tender and yielding. Remove the carrots and bay leaves, too, if you want. Season, to taste, with the salt and pepper. Let the stew cool and keep it in the refrigerator until you want it. Take it out of the refrigerator a good 1 to 2 hours before you cook it again. Skim the fat off the top. Make sure the stew is piping hot. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. When it boils, add the salt and then pasta. Cook this until it’s nearly but not quite cooked; it should have a couple of minutes still to go. Then drain the pasta and add it quickly to the bubbling juices in the casserole, making sure first that there are enough bubbling juices. You don’t want the meat to be drowned, but you want enough for the pasta to be covered. The pasta will absorb some of the liquid as it finishes cooking, of course. In a couple of minutes, the pasta should be cooked. Crumble some feta and put in a bowl with the chopped parsley, oregano, or basil. Stir to combine and then leave the spoon with it, so that people can sprinkle the herb-spiked cheese over the stew as they wish. Ladle the stew into shallow soup bowls.