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Slow Cooked Lamb – Sticky, Spicy & Delicious

This Slow Cooked Lamb is perfectly spiced, sticky and melt-in-your-mouth tender.  While it does require a longer cook time, it is super easy to make, and once you’ve prepped it, there’s not much else to do. Bonus feature – you can even cook it the day before, and it will remain perfectly moist and utterly delicious!

Spicy Sticky Slow Cooked Lamb

While lamb dishes always take centre stage at any Easter Feast, this sticky, spicy slow cooked lamb offers a deliciously exotic take on a much-loved traditional favourite. I think what I love most about this recipe is that along with being absolutely divine it is surprisingly easy to make, and forgiving.  It’s also very hands-off, so you can prep it and simply leave it to cook.

And for a truly memorable Easter celebration, this lamb dish works well with side dishes like Crispy Roasted Potatoes with Salted Lemon and Roasted Carrots with Sticky Tahini Yoghurt .

The Spice Route

The flavour profile of this sticky, slow cooked lamb is inspired by North Africa. The rub features Harissa Paste, which is a spicy staple of Maghrebian cuisine native to Tunisia, Morocco, Mauritania, Algeria and Libya.

It’s a gorgeous, warming blend of roasted red peppers, chilli, garlic, caraway seeds, coriander seeds and cumin in an olive oil base.  And while it is optional, the minted Tzatziki offers a fresh creamy contrast to the sticky honeyed sweetness of the glaze of this slow cooked lamb.

Too Hot To Handle?

While some like it hot, if you have kids or would simple like to tone down the heat, you can replace the Harissa paste with a milder chipotle paste, or omit the heat entirely by using a roasted red pepper pesto. It is still utterly delicious and deeply satisfying.

Slow Cooked Lamb

Bone-In Slow Cooked Lamb

For this recipe I’ve selected a bone-in leg of lamb. Cooking with the bone in imparts more flavour, and once the bone is heated, it slow cooks the lamb from the inside while the oven cooks it from the outside. The result?  Deliciously juicy and flavourful falling-off-the-bone tender lamb.

Why Your Lamb Needs to Rest

When you’ve been smelling the delicious aroma of the slow cooked lamb emanating from the kitchen, it’s tempting to want to carve it the minute it comes out of the oven. Don’t do it! This will result in all the delicious juices spilling out onto your chopping board.

Most recipes will include the instruction to ‘rest the lamb’.  The reason for this is that during cooking, the meat proteins heat up and force all the juices to the centre.  By allowing it to rest once it comes out of the oven, it allows the juices to be redistributed uniformly, and when you do shred and serve it, it remains deliciously moist throughout.

You can also watch the recipe video.

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Did you try out this deliciously tender Slow Cooked Lamb? 

Please leave us a comment – tell us what you loved and whether you’ll be making it again.

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You can also check out the recipe video!

Special Occasion Slow Roasted Lamb by Chef Jess Bunn

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make this gluten-free?

This dish is gluten-free provided you use gluten-free chicken stock.

Can I make this Kosher for Pesach?


Ensure the lamb is certified kosher and substitute the dairy yoghurt used to make the tzatziki, with a pareve coconut yoghurt.

What is Skyr?

Skyr is technically classified as a cheese because it contains rennet, but has the same consistency as strained yoghurt and is eaten in the same way as yoghurt. It has a milder flavour than yoghurt, is higher in protein and lower in fat, sugar and carbs.

Special Occasion Lamb by Chef Jess Bunn
Spicy Sticky Slow Cooked Lamb
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Special Occasion Lamb by Chef Jess Bunn

Slow Cooked Lamb – Sticky, Spicy & Delicious

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 8 reviews

  • Author: Jess Bunn
  • Total Time: 5 hours 30 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 8 - 10
  • Diet: Gluten Free


This Slow Cooked Lamb is perfectly spiced, sticky and melt-in-your-mouth tender.  While it does require a longer cook time, it is super easy to make, and once you’ve prepped it, there’s not much else to do. Bonus feature – you can even cook it the day before, and it will remain perfectly moist and utterly delicious!



  • 1 Lamb leg, bone-in, roughly 1,8kg / 4 lbs

Spicy Rub:

  • 1 Tbsp Cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp Paprika
  • 1 Tbsp Dried Oregano
  • 4 Cloves Garlic
  • 1 tsp Fine sea salt
  • 90g Harissa paste, or Chipotle paste or use red pepper pesto for a milder alternative

Cooking & Glazing

  • 500ml Chicken or beef stock
  • 1 Sliced onion
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp Honey
  • 1 tsp Cumin seeds

Tzatziki: Optional*

  • 200g Yoghurt – preferably a thick style like Greek or Skyr
  • 1 English cucumber, washed well
  • 5g Mint, finely chopped


  1. To make the rub, place the cumin seeds, paprika, and oregano into a pestle and mortar. Then grind with the pestle until fine. Add the garlic cloves and find sea salt and then pound with the pestle until the mixture becomes a slightly chunky paste. Stir in the Harissa paste.
  2. Score the fat and underside of the lamb with a sharp knife, cutting about half a centimetre into the meat. Rub the Harissa mixture all over the lamb, and then ideally set aside covered in the fridge for a few hours or overnight to marinade. This step can be omitted if short on time.
  3. Remove the lamb from the fridge and allow it to come to room temperature.
  4. Preheat the oven to 150C (300F).
  5. Slice the onions and add them to a deep roasting tray. Place the lamb on top of the onions. Pour the chicken stock around the lamb, and then cover in foil.
  6. Roast at 150C (300F) for 4.5 – 5 hours, until the meat is super tender and shreds easily. Baste the lamb occasionally with the pan juices to keep the roast moist. The above steps can be completed in advance and the lamb glazed and reheated on Easter.
  7. Once soft and falling off the bone, remove the foil. Mix the glaze quantity of cumin seeds into the honey, then drizzle the honey mixture over the lamb fat. Place the lamb into the oven uncovered, turn the heat to 190C (370F), and roast for a further 30-40 minutes, until glazed, crispy and sticky.
  8. While the lamb glazes, make your Tzatziki, if you’re using it. Slice the cucumber down the middle, from top to bottom, and then use a teaspoon to scoop out the seeds. Cut the cucumber into strips, then dice into cubes. Toss the cubes in a generous pinch of salt and set aside for 5 minutes in a sieve or colander. The salt with draw excess water from the cucumber; preventing the Tzatziki from becoming watery. Lightly squeeze the cucumber to drain off any remaining liquid, then add to the yoghurt with the finely chopped mint. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  9. Remove the lamb from the oven and allow it to rest in a warm spot while you bring the lunch together. Shred the lamb, then serve with roasting juices, and your Tzatziki, if using.


Tzatziki is a great accompaniment to this slow cooked lamb but you can skip it and simply serve the lamb with the lovely roasting juices as a jus if you want something more traditional.

Tips for jus: You can use a spoon to scoop excess fat from your pan jus. Alternatively, pour the pan juices and onions into a shallow bowl and pop into the freezer. Once solidified, remove the fat from the top, and then heat the sauce in the microwave. The sauce can be strained to remove the onions, served as is with sticky onions flecked throughout, or blended for thicker caramelized onion gravy.

If you have the time, do marinade the lamb overnight as it adds another level of sublime flavour to this Easter dish.


  • Prep Time: 30 min
  • Cook Time: 5 hours
  • Category: Main
  • Method: Roasting


  • Calories: 440.35kcal
  • Sugar: 8.71g
  • Sodium: 622.92mg
  • Fat: 26.25g
  • Saturated Fat: 11.25g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 12.9g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 14.96g
  • Fiber: 3.15g
  • Protein: 34.83g
  • Cholesterol: 119.88mg
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25 Responses

  1. There is certainly nothing more comforting than lamb. It brings back amazing childhood memories for me. 🫶🏻🫶🏻

  2. Easy to follow and the ORIGINAL. no matter your skill level you will smash it out the park following this.

  3. Genius meal with very little prep. I appreciate original delicious healthy easy recipes like this. My family loves it so much – your recipes are amazing

  4. This is the lamb recipe of your DREAMS! the flavor is insane, it gets so tender, and that final step gives you a beautiful sweet crunchy glaze. I made this for a big crew on Easter and people couldn’t shut up about how much they loved it saying things like..”I thought I didn’t like lamb but THIS!”

    I did the long slow roast the day before, let it cook, put in the fridge and then finished it off the next day to save time and it came out evenly warmed, glazed, and so juicy.

  5. Probably THE best lamb I’ve made! We COULD NOT stop eating!!! And super easy and simple to create! LOVE!!

  6. This was absolutely delicious. I subbed the harissa for red pepper pesto due to also feeding a toddler who does not like the texture of meat and she loved it. We all loved it. I’m not a fan of lamb myself but this I could’ve eaten the whole pot!
    Served it with couscous (used some of the cooking juices to liven up the cous cous) and the tsatskiki.

    Truely sublime

  7. Thanks! I appreciate that you tried to give the U.S. conversion, but it looks like some things were overlooked. 🙂

    #1) 1,8kg (1,800g) is apparently 4 pounds (lbs)
    #2) 150C is roughly 300°F
    #3) 190C is roughly 350°F

    Looking forward to making this tomorrow with a small spice adjustment to half harissa and half tomato paste!

  8. This is the best Lamb I have ever made and tasted! Can’t believe how simple it was as well. My family and friends couldn’t believe I made it. Thank you for the amazing recipes 🙂

  9. I have not tested it but I don’t see why not. You would need to braise it, so the stock may need to be increased to cover the lamb leg. Turn the lamb to ensure even cooking after a few hours. I estimate 6-8 hours in the slow cooker (would depend on your model and the size of the joint). Check it every 1.5 Hours to see how you are getting on. Once falling off the bone, pop into an oven tray with about 2cm of liquid from the braise and roast on high in the oven for the glazing step. The braising liquid can be strained and reduced to make a sauce.

  10. Us too! Please share with us when you try this recipe. We would love to know how it turns out 🙂

  11. Thank you so much Judy for leaving this comment. We love to keep the whole family happy 🙂

  12. Thank you Amanda for taking he time to comment these kind words. We are so happy to hear that you could keep your guests happy!

  13. Wow! We always love to hear what you decide to change in the recipe to make it perfect for your taste. We are just so happy to hear that your enjoyed the recipe!

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