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The Best Lamb for Slow Cookers

Lamb is an excellent meat for slow cooking because cheaper cuts can be used which then take on the different flavours added. From middle eastern spices to traditional herbs, we explain all about using lamb in slow cookers.

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As with beef the most tender cuts of lamb come from the top of the back of the animal. This is because those muscles do little work compared to those lower down the animal. These tender cuts are too expensive for slow cooker use.

Less expensive and more suitable for slow cooking are middle neck, scrag end and the lower part of leg which are all suitable for cubing and serving in a variety of lamb based meals. Lamb shank is well known and served on the bone. Initially it is a tough meat but slow cooking does a superb job of tenderising it. Don't forget lamb mince either, which is used in several slow cooker recipes including moussaka and shepherds pie.

If you want to pot roast lamb then shoulder is probably the best cut to choose. Ask your butcher to bone, prepare and tie the joint to save time.

Lamb meat is normally about 8 months to one year old and this is the most tender meat. The younger the animal the paler the flesh will be. Older meat is referred to as mutton and is now difficult to find but it is eminently suitable to slow cooking.

Lots of flavours compliment lamb well. The obvious herbs to use are rosemary, dill mint and thyme but oriental spices such as ginger, cinnamon and saffron are also excellent. The Moroccans and Greeks use lamb frequently in their cooking and often add fruits such as prunes and apricots along with honey for a delicious flavour, garlic is also often used.

No mention of lamb would be complete without reference to a slow cooked lamb curry. Lamb seems to be one of those meats which blend perfectly with a lightly flavoured curry. Use cubed neck of lamb for the best results.

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