Lamb’s shoulder is a beautifully rich & tender cut of meat. When infused with garlic, fresh rosemary, aged balsamic vinegar, & pure maple syrup, it transforms into something even more amazing.


Recipe adapted from

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EASY. This crockpot lamb is completely hands-off. Add all the ingredients to the slow cooker & let it do all the work! (It’s Dutch oven & Instant Pot-friendly too)

VERSATILE. Shredded slow-cooked lamb shoulder is perfect on a sandwich with feta & arugula or over a pile of mashed potatoes with a fresh green salad…whatever you’re craving!


  • 3 pounds lamb shoulder roast, excess fat trimmed
  • 1 sweet onion, thinly sliced
  • 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
  • 1 sprig of fresh rosemary
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup aged balsamic vinegar
  • ½ cup low-sodium beef stock
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • kosher salt & ground black pepper, to season


Assemble the lamb: Place the lamb shoulder in a slow cooker. If your roast has a fat cap, make sure the fat cap is at the top, facing you, so all the juices melt and flow down through the meat as the lamb slowly cooks. Arrange the sliced onion around the lamb roast. Top with the garlic, rosemary, & bay leaf, seasoning with 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt & ½ teaspoon ground black pepper. Pour the aged balsamic vinegar, beef stock, & pure maple syrup over top.

Slow cook the lamb on low for 6-8 hours, tossing every so often, until the lamb shreds easily with a fork.

Shred the lamb:

Transfer the lamb to a cutting board or plate. Use 2 forks or a pair of tongs to shred the lamb into bite-sized pieces (as chunky or fine as you’d like). Set aside.

Drain off excess fat from the juices in the slow cooker, as desired – I find this is most easily done by pouring the juices into a liquid measure & spooning off excess fat into a bowl or jar to discard later. Add the lamb, and the cooking juices, back into the slow cooker. Stir to combine. Turn the slow cooker on its high setting, with the cover removed. Let everything simmer and combine for 5-10 minutes, allowing the lamb to absorb some of the excess liquid.

Serve, as desired. This balsamic lamb makes excellent sandwiches & sliders (with peppery arugula, crumbled feta, & balsamic glaze), & it’s also great on its own, with mashed potatoes, roasted veggies, or a fresh green salad.


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