This slow cooker lamb shoulder is perfectly pull-apart tender and made with minimal effort. A simple way to cook delicious lamb!
Looking for the easiest way to prepare lamb for a roast dinner? This slow-cooked lamb shoulder is absolutely delicious, and so simple to make that it's impossible to get it wrong.
This recipe will also leave your oven and stove completely free to cook your favorite side dishes, including our favorite Crispy Roast Potatoes.
Why you'll love it
- Super easy way to cook lamb shoulder
- Tender meat that melts in your mouth
- This cooking method is practically hands off, which gives you more time to work on the side dishes
- Start dinner in the morning, and come home to perfectly cooked meat in the afternoon
- The rosemary and garlic add amazing flavor to the lamb
Lamb shoulder: This is a fantastic cut of lamb. I like to remove large chunks of excess fat from the outside, but as with most cuts of lamb, you can expect quite a bit of fat. That's what makes the meat so tasty!
Lamb stock: Use a lamb stock pot if you can, but stock cubes or ready-made stock also work. You can also substitute for chicken stock, vegetable stock, or even beef stock.
Onion and carrots: We really just use these as a base for the lamb to stand on, but they do add some flavor to the meat, and also to the broth. Use any onions and carrots that you like, I prefer to use brown or yellow onions, and large, chunky carrots.
Rosemary: Fresh rosemary adds a fantastic flavor to the lamb. I highly recommend using fresh herbs in this dish, as dried rosemary just won't be the same.
Garlic: As with the rosemary, I highly recommend using fresh garlic cloves in this dish. It adds so much flavor to the meat, without being overpowering.
You can find full instructions + ingredient measurements in the recipe card at the bottom of this page
Step 1: Remove the lamb shoulder from the packaging. Optionally, remove any large chunks of excess fat from the surface of the meat.
Step 2: Using a sharp knife, cut little slits in the meat, and fill them with a little fresh rosemary and garlic. Season the meat with salt and pepper.
Step 3: Peel and roughly chop carrots and onions, and place these in the bottom of the slow cooker. Add some rosemary on top.
Step 4: Gently place the lamb shoulder on top of the vegetables in the slow cooker, with the garlic and rosemary slits upwards. Fill enough lamb stock to reach the bottom of the meat, but be careful not to submerge the lamb in liquid.
Step 5: Cook the lamb on HIGH for 4-6 hours, or on LOW for 6-10 hours. You will know that the meat is cooked when it pulls apart at the touch of a fork. Lamb shoulder tastes even better when cooked for a long time, so don't worry about overcooking it.
Step 6: Optionally, carefully transfer the lamb and some of the vegetables to a baking dish or sheet pan. Broil for a few minutes, or roast in the oven at 400 F / 200 C for about 15 minutes. This will brown the meat and really enhance the flavors. This step is completely optional.
- Lamb shoulder tastes best when cooked slowly on low heat. If possible, I highly recommend putting this on in the morning and leaving it to cook all day.
- Broiling or roasting the meat after slow cooking is completely optional, but it makes the lamb look and taste a little better.
- It's important that the meat doesn't sit at the bottom of the slow cooker. If you don't have any carrots and onions to place at the bottom of the crockpot, then you can use any other hard vegetables like potatoes or celery, or even make little balls out of aluminum foil.
- It's easy to tell that the meat is cooked, as it will be so tender that it pulls apart when you touch it with a fork. Alternatively, you can also use a meat thermometer inserted in the middle of the meat. The internal temperature should read at least 145 F or 63 C.
I love to serve my lamb shoulder as a traditional roast dinner. Pair it with Instant Pot Mashed Sweet Potatoes or Crispy Roast Potatoes, Instant Pot Broccoli, Honey roasted carrots and parsnips, or your favorite vegetables.
Lamb is also really popular to serve at Easter and Christmas, so consider making this the main course of your holiday dinner.
You can completely change the flavors of the lamb by changing which seasonings and spices you use. Try flavoring the meat with a Moroccan spice mix, mint sauce, or Indian curry-style spices for a delicious twist.
If you change up the flavors and seasonings, you can also enjoy the meat in different ways, like adding it to a curry, wrap, flatbread, or stew.
To make this recipe, you will need a crockpot or any slow cooker that's large enough to fit your lamb shoulder. A standard 6-quart slow cooker is usually large enough, but you might be able to use a smaller size crockpot as well.
Additionally, you will need a sharp knife and a cutting board to prepare the ingredients, as well as an optional meat thermometer to ensure that the meat is thoroughly cooked before serving.
You can store leftover cooked lamb in a sealed container in a fridge for up to 4 days. Enjoy the leftover meat cold, or reheat the lamb in a microwave until it's hot throughout, or add the leftover meat to other dishes like chili, soup, stew, sandwiches, and more.
If you have a lot of leftovers, you can also freeze them for up to 3 months. Thaw frozen cooked lamb in a fridge overnight, and use it how you would use refrigerated cooked meat.
You might also like these recipes
- Slow Cooker Lamb Ragu
- Slow Cooker Pulled Gammon
- Air Fryer Roast Beef
- Instant Pot Pork Roast
- Roast Topside of Beef
- Slow cooker pulled pork
- Instant Pot Pulled Pork Shoulder
If you make this recipe, make sure to post a photo to Instagram with #hintofhealthy!
Slow Cooker Lamb Shoulder
- 2 pounds lamb shoulder
- 2 cups lamb stock (approximately)
- 6 sprigs rosemary
- 6 cloves garlic
- 1 onion
- 3 carrots
- Remove the lamb shoulder from the packaging. Optionally, remove any large chunks of excess fat from the surface of the meat.2 pounds lamb shoulder
- Using a sharp knife, cut little slits in the meat, and fill them with a little fresh rosemary and garlic. Season the meat with salt and pepper.6 sprigs rosemary, 6 cloves garlic
- Peel and roughly chop carrots and onion, and place these in the bottom of the slow cooker. Add some rosemary on top.1 onion, 3 carrots
- Gently place the lamb shoulder on top of the vegetables in the slow cooker, with the garlic and rosemary slits upwards. Fill enough lamb stock to reach the bottom of the meat, but be careful not to submerge the lamb in liquid.2 cups lamb stock
- Cook the lamb on HIGH for 4-6 hours, or on LOW for 6-10 hours. You will know that the meat is cooked when it pulls apart at the touch of a fork. Lamb shoulder tastes even better when cooked for a long time, so don't worry about overcooking it.
- Optionally, carefully transfer the lamb and some of the vegetables to a baking dish or sheet pan. Broil for a few minutes, or roast in the oven at 400 F / 200 C for about 15 minutes. This will brown the meat and really enhance the flavors. This step is completely optional.
- You can also use a smaller or larger lamb shoulder, but make sure that it fits nicely in your slow cooker.
- Store any leftovers in a sealed container in a fridge for up to 4 days. Eat the leftover meat cold, or reheat in a pan or microwave.
Food safety tips
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 145 °F (63 °C)
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat
- Wash hands after touching raw meat
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods