The Absolute Best Cuts Of Lamb To Slow Cook

The symbolism of the lamb can be found everywhere in the Western world. As a paragon of untainted virtue and of stark innocence, you can't get away from it. But you can slow cook it, and it is absolutely divinely delicious when done right.

Slow cooking invokes images of crockpots and slow cookers, but in reality slow cooking can refer to any food preparation type that applies low levels of heat for longer periods of time. This can mean some barbecues, smokers, luau pits, and stews are all technically slow cookers. Of the many benefits of slow cooking food, primarily its effect on tougher meats and its unique ability to meld flavors together are the major draws of the slow-cooking process.

Per Serious Eats, tougher cuts of meat that are high in collagen, a protein that develops in cuts of meat where the animal has a lot of ligaments and joint movement, are perfect for slow cooking as they can withstand long periods of cooking-time and yet still retain their shape while imparting different layers of flavor. Lamb can be cooked both slowly and quickly. As BBC Good Food notes, it's the tougher cuts of lamb that are best for the slow-cooking process and dishes like roasts and stews.

Which cut of lamb is best for slow cooking

When looking for the best cuts of lamb to slow cook in your crockpot, look for cuts that would normally do a lot of work for the animal, as these are the cuts that are the toughest and, thus, best for slow cooking. Luckily for you, because these cuts are tough and require intensive processes to prepare well, they'll most likely be some of the cheaper cuts you can obtain.

Cully's Kitchen lists the lamb shoulder as a prime cut to use for slow cooking because of its toughness and flavor. The shoulder gets a lot of work while the animal is still alive, which means it can take it low and slow. Also, the bones that can be found in the shoulder can impart some wonderful flavors as well, coloring not only the meat but the other ingredients around it. It is recommended that you cook the whole lamb shoulder until the meat is literally falling off the bone.

According to BBC Good Food, the shank, which corresponds to the bottom section of a lamb's leg, is another ideal cut for slow cooking or braising. Further, the "chump" or "rump" is the top part of the lamb's leg, and as you can imagine, is one of the tougher cuts you can buy, making it one of the best lamb cuts for slow cooking whole — either by roasting or on a barbecue.