This leg of lamb recipe is super easy to make and produces tender lamb that will impress any guest. Perfect for holidays or Sunday dinner, make this lamb recipe in your slow cooker or Instant Pot.
It can get a little boring cooking the same beef or chicken for dinner over and over. Do you want something different that’s going to spice up your weeknight dinners? It may seem outdated, but lamb has grown in popularity lately with the push for more protein-centered meals. Lamb is a versatile and tender cut of meat that can be used for a variety of dishes to satisfy any palate.
What’s The Best Cut?
This largely depends on how many people you’re hoping to feed or if you want leftovers. There are three cuts you can choose from when you’re looking to purchase a leg of lamb. Each of these cuts will yield a different result when cooked and will also give you less or more depending on which you choose:
- The Whole Leg: A whole leg of lamb will be between 5 to 6 pounds, which will easily feed eight people or six people with leftovers. What you see here is a 5-pound whole leg of lamb. If you’re looking to purchase a whole leg but you’re feeding less than that, you can have the leg divided up by the butcher or cook it whole and use the meat for other recipes during the week.
- A Butterflied Leg: This cut is the whole leg just cut so the meat is butterflied for ease of cooking. This brings the meat away from the bone so you don’t have to worry too much about undercooking. This will feed roughly the same number of people, but makes it easier for the home cook to portion the meat for serving and saving.
- Lamb Shanks: Shanks are cut off of the smaller end of the leg and are best for individual portions. So if you’re having a dinner party and you really want to make an impression, plating up individual shanks with roasted vegetables or mashed potatoes will make for a beautiful presentation.
Is Lamb Healthy?
Yes actually. Lamb has become more popular recently due to it being an ideal protein source for those who are on low-carb diets or doing paleo or whole30. This recipe in particular is great for those who want all of the flavors without any guilt. It can be used in a variety of dishes like lamb gyros, kebabs, or served simply grilled alongside seasonal vegetables.
Boneless Or Bone-In?
You can use bone-in or boneless leg of lamb in this recipe. It all depends on what kind of dish you want to make and how large your appliance is. For the slow cooker or Instant Pot, using a bone-in leg of lamb can help keep your meat tender and juicy but that doesn’t mean that going boneless will leave your meat dry. My 5-pound bone-in leg of lamb did not fit in my 6-quart slow cooker, I had to use my 8-quart. If it had used boneless leg of lamb, I could have cut easily the lamb into pieces to up to make it fit. That’s one benefit of using a boneless cut. If you’re using a larger bone-in cut of meat, make sure you have an appliance that will fit it. Or just boneless. I do you use boneless, I recommendation wrapping the meat in twine first to keep it together during the cooking process.
A Popular Easter/Passover Dish
Lamb has traditionally been served at many an Easter or Passover supper. So many families have kept this tradition alive because lamb is easy to access and the results are simply delicious. There is so much you can do with a slow-cooked leg of lamb that it will satisfy any of your holiday guests, even your pickiest eaters.
What To Serve This With?
You can always go more traditional and serve your leg of lamb with roasted vegetables and mashed potatoes or mashed cauliflower. Having said that, you could always get creative with it as well. A fiesta salad could be the perfect fresh accompaniment to go with your meal depending on your dietary needs. If you want something a little richer you could always prepare some homemade mac and cheese along with some vegetables.
Other holiday recipes you might enjoy:
- 4–5 pound leg of lamb, fat trimmed
- 1 cup low-sodium beef broth
- 2 tablespoons dried rosemary
- 1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- Salt & pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon oil (to sear the meat, optional)
- Season the lamb generously with salt and pepper.
- Optional sear: Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the lamb and sear evenly on all sides, approximately 3-5 minutes. Let cool to the touch.
- In a small bowl, mix together the rosemary paste ingredients. Rub the rosemary paste mixture evenly all over the lamb.
- Pour broth into the slow cooker. Add the seasoned lamb.
- Cook HIGH 4-5 hours or LOW 8-10.
- Season the lamb generously with salt & pepper.
- Turn the on the pressure cooker to saute. Once hot, add oil and the lamb and sear a few minutes on both sides until browned. You may need to cut your lamb into pieces to make it fit and you may need to do this in batches. Remove lamb and let cool.
- Pour broth into the pressure cooker and deglaze by scraping off any browned bits from the bottom with a wooden spoon.
- In a small bowl, mix together rosemary paste ingredients. Once the lamb as cooled to the touch, rub the rosemary paste mixture evenly all over. Add the seasoned lamb to the pot.
- Select manual setting. Adjust to high pressure & and set time for 15-20 minutes per pound of meat (see note below).When cook time has completed, naturally for about 10 minutes, then quick release for remaining pressure.
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The Instant Pot manual (https://instantpot.com/instantpot-cooking-time) recommends that you cook leg of lamb 15 minutes per pound of meat. I have found that I need at least 20 minutes per pound.
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