Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Slow cooker recipe corner – Shoulder of lamb with tomatoes and butterbean mash

Every recipe that I post on this blog is one that I have cooked myself and enjoyed. There would be no point otherwise, would there? But occasionally, I post a recipe which it is IMPERATIVE that you go and make immediately and this is one such dish. Honestly, it’s really, really good.

I’ve had the slow cooker for a couple of years now (thanks, Mum!) and initially I thought it would end up being used for stews and chilli. But it turns out that is a fabulous way to slow roast cheaper joints of meat (shoulder of lamb enter, stage left.) After twelve hours at a low heat, the meat is melt in the mouth tender. We’ve done pork shoulder in there as well and I have a mind to try pork belly pieces at some point.

Anyway, I adapted this recipe from this blog here, and she in turn adapted it from a James Martin recipe. It’s lovely the way that works, isn’t it? Chinese whisper recipes – each new person adding a little something. Or perhaps taking a little something away. It’s one of the great pleasures of food blogging. Actually, the main thing I’ve found using the slow cooker, is to reduce the amount of liquid specified in any given recipe, so that is the chief difference here.


Half shoulder of lamb, bone in
Tsp of vegetable oil
Onion, finely chopped
Garlic clove, crushed
Large tin of tomatoes
Tsp sugar
Large tin of butterbeans, drained
2-3 sprigs of rosemary
2-3 sprigs of thyme
2 bay leaves
Beef or chicken stock cube
100ml red wine (I used port to no ill effect)
100ml water
2 tbsp Worcester sauce

Serves 2 (with leftovers) – 3, 12 pro points per portion (if divided 3 ways)

First the easy bit. Into the slow cooker, lob every ingredient apart from the lamb, the oil, the onion and the garlic. Swoosh it around a bit. Add a pinch of salt and a good scrunch of pepper.

Now, season the lamb and in a large, non-stick pan, brown it on all sides. This will create a lot of smoke and may well set off your smoke alarm. Ensure an assistant is on hand to waft a teatowel around and open all windows.

When browned, remove the lamb from the pan. Add the oil for a little lubrication and then cook the onion and garlic for about 5 minutes until golden. Tip them straight into the slow cooker, do another bit of swooshing and then place the lamb on top. Cook on a low heat for 10-12 hours. When cooked, the bone should slip straight out of the tender meat.

Set the lamb shoulder to one side to rest. Extract the butterbeans from the sauce and blitz in a food processor, or roughly mash. If you have time, cool the remaining gravy and skim off any fat that rises to the surface before reheating to a brisk boil and reducing slightly. Serve the meat with the butterbean mash, a good ladle of gravy and perhaps a couple of vegetable side dishes.


  1. Chinese whisper recipes - love it! :) Not a big fan of lamb but this sounds lovely :)

    1. It is good - such a lively, rich gravy. I wonder if it would work with some other type of meat?

  2. I love, love, love lamb - and can't wait to do this recipe. By the way, have I told you quite how much I love lamb? lol

    1. Lol - three loves does confirm you as quite the lamb fan!

  3. Hi there. This week's Food on Friday is all about lamb! So it would be great if you linked this in. This is the link . Have a good week.

  4. Lovely dish. Thanks for linking it in to Food on Friday: Lamb. I have just signed up to follow you on Google Reader. A follow back to Carole's Chatter would be wonderful – or are you already following? Cheers