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Slow-cooked lamb With Onions and thyme

5 Mins read
sliced pork steak topped with white sesame fresh pepper seeds along 1

You’re in for a treat! Imagine falling-off-the-bone lamb, slow-cooked to perfection with onions and thyme. It’s a culinary adventure you’ll want to repeat.

Whether you’re a seasoned cook or a kitchen newbie, you’ll find this guide invaluable. We’ve got you covered with step-by-step instructions, tips, and pairing suggestions.

Let’s get your taste buds dancing with this delicious slow-cooked lamb recipe!

Gathering the Ingredients for Slow-Cooked Lamb With Onions & Thyme

You’ll need to gather all the necessary ingredients for the slow-cooked lamb with onions & thyme before you start cooking. First off, acquire a good cut of lamb, preferably shoulder or leg. It’s not just about the meat though, you’ll also need a bunch of fresh thyme, a handful of garlic cloves, salt, and pepper for seasoning.

Don’t forget the onions, they’re crucial for this dish. A couple of yellow ones will do. A bottle of dry white wine is also in order, as it will provide a nice tangy contrast. If you’re feeling adventurous, grab some rosemary and a lemon for an extra burst of flavor.

Lastly, ensure you’ve got olive oil on hand. A well-prepared chef makes for a well-prepared dish.

Now, you’re ready to start cooking!

Step-by-Step Guide to Preparing the Lamb

First off, you’ll need to gather all the necessary ingredients before we start with the actual preparation process. Once you’ve done that, start by preheating your oven to 150°C.

flat lay christmas steak plate with pine cones decor copy space

Next, heat some oil in a pan over medium heat, season the lamb with salt and pepper, and brown it on all sides. Remove the lamb from the pan and set it aside. In the same pan, sauté the onions until they’re soft and golden, then add the garlic and thyme, stirring for a couple of minutes until fragrant.

Now return the lamb to the pan, add the stock, and bring it to a simmer. Finally, cover the pan with a lid or foil, and place it in the oven to slow-cook for about 3 hours.

Cooking Process of Slow-Cooked Lamb With Onions & Thyme

During this phase, you’re going to see how the meat transforms into a tender, flavorful dish. Place the seasoned lamb in the slow cooker, atop a bed of sliced onions and freshly picked thyme.

You’ll then pour in a mixture of stock and wine, just enough to barely cover the meat. Now, all you’ve got to do is set the timer and let the magic happen. The low, slow heat will break down the tough fibers, turning the lamb into a succulent masterpiece.

Hours later, you’ll lift the lid, and the rich, mouth-watering aroma will fill your kitchen. One taste, and you’ll know it’s been worth the wait. Remember, good things take time, and this slow-cooked lamb is no exception.

Tips and Tricks for Perfecting Your Slow-Cooked Lamb

To really perfect your dish, there are a few insider tips and tricks you should keep in mind.

First, don’t rush the browning process. It not only gives the lamb an attractive color but also deepens the flavor. Use a heavy-bottomed pan to ensure even heating.

sliced pork steak topped with white sesame fresh pepper seeds along

Secondly, when you’re slow-cooking, resist the urge to lift the lid. You’re letting heat escape and possibly extending the cooking time.

Lastly, remember thyme’s flavor intensifies the longer it cooks, so don’t be shy with it. Use fresh thyme for a robust flavor that’ll permeate your lamb.

There’s no one-size-fits-all in cooking, so feel free to tweak these tips to your taste. With patience and practice, you’ll master your slow-cooked lamb.

Pairing Suggestions for Slow-Cooked Lamb With Onions & Thyme

You’ll want to consider some pairing suggestions to compliment your savory dish and enhance your overall dining experience.

A robust red wine, like a Cabernet Sauvignon or a Syrah, pairs beautifully with the rich flavors of slow-cooked lamb. The bold tannins in these wines balance the fattiness of the meat, while their fruity undertones compliment the sweetness of the onions.

For side dishes, you can’t go wrong with roasted vegetables or a simple salad. The earthiness of the veggies or the freshness of the salad will provide a nice contrast to the heaviness of the lamb. And don’t forget a good crusty bread to mop up the delicious sauce!

With these pairings, you’re sure to create a meal that’s both satisfying and memorable.

sliced pork steak topped with white sesame fresh pepper seeds along

Slow-cooked lamb With Onions and thyme

You're in for a treat! Imagine falling-off-the-bone lamb, slow-cooked to perfection with onions and thyme. It's a culinary adventure you'll want to repeat.
Servings 4


  • half a leg of lamb about 1.25kg/2lb 12oz
  • 1 kg onion about 4 large ones
  • handful of thyme sprigs
  • 300 ml red wine
  • large handful parsley


  • Method
  • STEP 1
  • Firstly, prepare the lamb. Heat oven to 160C/fan140C/gas 3. Wipe the meat all over and season well. Heat 3 tbsp of olive oil in a large heavy flameproof casserole, add the meat and fry all over on a fairly high heat for about 8 mins, turning until it is evenly well browned. Remove to a plate.
  • STEP 2
  • Thinly slice the onions. Add to the pan and fry for about 10 mins, until softened and tinged with brown. Add a few of the thyme sprigs and cook for a further minute or so. Season with salt and pepper.
  • STEP 3
  • Sit the lamb on top of the onions, then add the wine. Cover tightly. Bake for 3 hrs. You can make to this stage up to 2 days in advance, then reheat for 45 mins.
  • STEP 4
  • To finish off, strip the leaves from 2 thyme sprigs and chop them with the parsley. Scatter over before serving.


What Are Some Suitable Substitutions if I Don’t Have Thyme?

You’re pondering about thyme substitutes, aren’t you? No worries! If you’re out of thyme, you can use oregano, basil, or marjoram. They’re similar in flavor and won’t drastically change your dish. Happy cooking!

Can I Prepare This Dish Using a Different Cut of Lamb?

Absolutely, you can prepare this dish with a different cut of lamb. Just adjust the cooking time accordingly. Shoulder or leg cuts are fantastic options that’ll still yield a tender, flavorful result.

sliced pork steak topped with white sesame fresh pepper seeds along 1 1

How Long Can I Store the Leftovers and How Should They Be Reheated?

You can store leftovers in the fridge for up to 3-4 days. When you’re ready to reheat, warm them gently in a covered pan over low heat until they’re heated through. Don’t let it dry out.

Are There Any Dietary Considerations I Should Be Aware of When Serving This Dish?

You’ve asked about dietary considerations. If you’re serving guests with dietary restrictions, remember that this dish contains meat, so it’s not suitable for vegetarians or vegans. Also, check for any potential onion or thyme allergies.

What Are Some Side Dishes That Would Complement This Slow-Cooked Lamb With Onions & Thyme?

You’re asking about suitable side dishes. Roasted root vegetables, creamy mashed potatoes, or a simple green salad would all complement your main dish beautifully. A fresh mint sauce would also add a nice touch.


So, you’ve mastered the art of slow-cooked lamb with onions and thyme. Remember, the secret lies in allowing the flavors to meld together slowly. Don’t rush it, let the slow cooker do its magic.

festive holiday dinner with roasted ham food photography

Your patience will reward you with a delectably tender lamb that’s bursting with flavor. Pair it with a robust red wine and savor every bite.

Enjoy this culinary adventure and don’t forget, the best meals are those enjoyed with loved ones.

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About author
Meet Sue Perera, the culinary aficionado behind our captivating recipe hub. An imaginative and talented young woman, Sue has an unwavering passion for all things food – especially those aromatic wonders, cinnamon and thyme. Her deep-seated love for these two unique spices inspired the birth of this website, but don't be fooled – her culinary repertoire extends far beyond these two ingredients.
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