Savor the Savory: Zinfandel-Braised Leg of Lamb Recipe

Welcome, fellow food enthusiasts! If you’re looking for a recipe that is both mouth-watering and simple to prepare, then you’re in luck. Today, I am proud to share with you my favorite slow cooker dish – Zinfandel-Braised Leg of Lamb.

The warmth and depth of the zinfandel wine create the perfect base for this dish, complementing the flavors of the juicy, slow-braised leg of lamb. The addition of garlic, bay leaves, and whole allspice give it an extra layer of boldness and complexity.

This recipe is perfect for family dinners or special occasions because it allows you to spend more time with your loved ones while your slow cooker does all the work. Plus, it’s an easy-to-follow recipe that even novice cooks can master with ease.

So come along with me on a culinary journey, and let’s explore the tantalizing world of zinfandel-braised leg of lamb.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Zinfandel-Braised Leg of Lamb (Slow Cooker)
Zinfandel-Braised Leg of Lamb (Slow Cooker)

Are you looking for a delicious and easy-to-make dish that your family and friends will fall in love with? Then look no further than this zinfandel-braised leg of lamb recipe! Trust me; you’ll absolutely adore the tender and juicy meat that’s been slowly cooked to perfection in a flavorful blend of herbs, garlic, and wine sauce.

One of the reasons that you’ll love this recipe is how simple it is to make. With just a few basic ingredients, such as boneless leg of lamb, zinfandel wine, garlic, rosemary, bay leaves, and a few other pantry staples, you can create an incredibly flavorful dish that’s perfect for any occasion.

Another reason to love this recipe is the slow cooking process that makes the lamb so tender and succulent. By using a slow cooker, you can ensure that every bite is infused with the rich flavor of the wine sauce and aromatic herbs, creating a mouthwatering taste that will linger long after your meal has ended.

Finally, if you’re someone who loves to entertain guests or simply wants to impress your family with a gourmet-style meal, then this recipe is right up your alley. The beautiful presentation of the brightly colored lamb covered in the rich red wine sauce is sure to be a show-stopper on any dinner table.

So what are you waiting for? Give this zinfandel-braised leg of lamb recipe a try today and discover for yourself why it’s one of the best recipes out there!

Ingredient List

 Get ready to indulge in the ultimate comfort food with this Zinfandel-braised leg of lamb.
Get ready to indulge in the ultimate comfort food with this Zinfandel-braised leg of lamb.

Ingredients You’ll Need:

For this zinfandel-braised leg of lamb recipe, you’ll need:

  • Boneless leg of lamb: A boneless cut makes it easier to cook and serve.
  • Zinfandel wine: This full-bodied wine lends a luscious flavor to the dish.
  • Garlic cloves and fresh rosemary: These ingredients add pungent aromatic flavors to the lamb.
  • Dried basil, whole allspice, and bay leaves: Aromatics that will infuse the meat with warmth and complexity.
  • Tomato paste and beef stock: Makes up the base of the sauce.
  • All-purpose flour, salt and pepper: Used to season the lamb before cooking.
  • Olive oil: For searing the lamb before slow braising.

This zinfandel-braised leg of lamb recipe elevates slow-cooked lamb with bold spices and a full-bodied wine sauce.

The Recipe How-To

 The tender and juicy meat truly melts in your mouth after cooking in the slow-cooker for hours.
The tender and juicy meat truly melts in your mouth after cooking in the slow-cooker for hours.

Now that we’ve gone through the ingredient list, let’s start preparing our Zinfandel-Braised Leg of Lamb for a delicious and succulent outcome.

Step 1: Season the Lamb

To begin with, season the boneless leg of lamb generously with kosher salt and fresh ground pepper. Then, lightly coat it in all-purpose flour.

Step 2: Brown the Lamb

In a large, heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven, heat some olive oil over medium-high heat. Slowly place the lamb in the pot and brown each side for about 2 minutes until it forms a golden-brown crust. This step will ensure that our lamb is flavorful and crisp later on.

Step 3: Add Flavorings

Next, let’s add some flavorings to our lamb. Add a few smashed garlic cloves, a couple of crushed whole allspice, and a bay leaf or two to the pot, along with some dried basil or any other preferred herbs you like.

Step 4: Braising with Zinfandel

Now, let’s add in our star ingredient – zinfandel red wine – to make this recipe truly special. Pour in 1-2 cups of zinfandel and scrape the bottom of the pot to loosen up any browned bits. This will add extra depth and richness to our dish.

Step 5: Slow Cook

Once you have everything combined in the pot, transfer everything into a slow cooker. Make sure the lamb is submerged in the liquid, then cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours, or on low for 6-8 hours till slowly braised to perfection.

Step 6: Create Wine Sauce

Once done cooking, remove the cooked lamb from your slow cooker but do not discard the liquid. Strain the braising liquid through a fine mesh sieve to remove the bay leaves, garlic and whole spices. Pour the leftover liquid back into a pot on medium-high heat; add a bit of tomato paste (1-2 tablespoon) to create more depth of flavour and reduce the wine by half until it resembles a slightly thickened sauce.

Step 7: Serve

Slice the braised leg of lamb, place it on a serving platter, and pour zinfandel wine sauce on top of lamb slices. Serve it with some roasted vegetables or creamy mashed potatoes, for an outstanding flavor and texture that will please everybody at the table.

There you have it- a succulent recipe that combines fork-tender braised lamb leg in zinfandel red wine sauce like no other.

Substitutions and Variations

 This dish is perfect for a special occasion, such as a family gathering or a romantic dinner for two.
This dish is perfect for a special occasion, such as a family gathering or a romantic dinner for two.

While this zinfandel-braised leg of lamb slow cooker recipe is already bursting with flavor and melt-in-your-mouth meat, there are still variations and substitutions you can try to mix things up. Here are some ideas:

– Lamb shanks: If you can’t find a boneless leg of lamb, you can use lamb shanks instead. The cooking time may vary slightly, but the result will be just as delicious. You could also try a braised short ribs recipe or make a lamb stew with shoulder meat.

– Other red wines: While zinfandel is a great choice for this recipe, you can experiment with other red wines as well, such as cabernet sauvignon or merlot. Just make sure they have similar boldness and fruity notes.

– Vegetables: You can add other vegetables to the slow cooker along with the lamb, such as diced carrots, celery, onions, or potatoes.

– Tomato paste: If you don’t have tomato paste on hand, you could substitute it for a can of diced tomatoes or tomato sauce.

– Garlic and rosemary: Instead of using whole garlic cloves and fresh rosemary sprigs, you could use minced garlic and dried rosemary.

No matter what substitutions or variations you choose to make, the beauty of slow cooker recipes is their flexibility. It’s always fun to experiment in the kitchen and see what new creations you can come up with!

Serving and Pairing

 The bold and fruity flavors of the Zinfandel wine perfectly complement the lamb's savory taste.
The bold and fruity flavors of the Zinfandel wine perfectly complement the lamb’s savory taste.

Once the Zinfandel-Braised Leg of Lamb is cooked to perfection, it’s time to serve and pair it with the perfect accompaniments. This dish pairs perfectly with chunky mashed potatoes or a fluffy white rice pilaf. The sauce from the slow-braised lamb leg is perfect for drizzling over your side dishes.

A full-bodied red wine, such as a Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot or Pinot Noir, pairs well with this flavorful and aromatic lamb recipe. A Zinfandel wine, which was used for the braising process, can also complement the bold flavors of the dish.

For a complete meal, you can add a simple salad of fresh greens, avocados, and cherry tomatoes dressed with a light vinaigrette. It balances out the rich flavors of lamb in this hearty and satisfying meal.

When serving this dish to guests, garnish the lamb leg with rosemary sprigs or minced parsley for an added touch of color and freshness. It will make your presentation look more appealing and enticing to your guests.

Remember that this dish is slow-cooked to achieve maximum tenderness and flavor, so allow sufficient time for preparation. Serve immediately after removing from the slow cooker for best results.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 With a few simple ingredients and minimal preparation, you can create a restaurant-quality meal in the comfort of your own home.
With a few simple ingredients and minimal preparation, you can create a restaurant-quality meal in the comfort of your own home.

As a sommelier and cook, I know that some recipes are best enjoyed fresh out of the oven or slow cooker. However, this Zinfandel-braised leg of lamb is an exception. The lamb is slowly braised in a rich red wine sauce, making it perfect for reheating and eating over several days.

To make-ahead, store the cooked lamb in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days. The flavors will continue to meld together, making each bite even more flavorful. When ready to serve, reheat over low-medium heat on the stovetop.

If you have leftovers that you won’t be able to enjoy within four days, store them in the freezer for up to three months. When reheating from frozen, thaw overnight in the refrigerator and then reheat over low-medium heat on the stovetop until heated through.

When storing any leftover sauce separately from the lamb, it may thicken in the refrigerator or freezer. This can easily be remedied by adding some broth or wine when reheating.

Overall, this Zinfandel-braised leg of lamb is perfect for meal prepping or making ahead for special occasions. It’s truly a foolproof recipe that just gets better with time.

Tips for Perfect Results

 The long and slow cooking process results in a deeply flavorful sauce that you won't be able
The long and slow cooking process results in a deeply flavorful sauce that you won’t be able

To achieve the perfect tender and juicy Zinfandel-Braised Leg of Lamb, I have some tips that will make a big difference in your dish.

Firstly, when seasoning the lamb with salt and pepper before braising it, make sure to sprinkle it evenly over the meat’s entire surface. This will ensure that every bite is adequately seasoned.

Secondly, searing the lamb before placing it in the slow cooker is critical. A quick sear on high heat in a dutch oven or pan will give your meat a nice caramelized crust and seal in the juices, making it tender and juicy.

Thirdly, adding tomato paste to the recipe adds depth and richness of flavor. This ingredient enhances the savory notes of the wine sauce.

Fourthly, ideally, try to use boneless leg of lamb for this recipe instead of bone-in cuts like lamb shanks or shoulder. Boneless cuts can be easily sliced into serving sizes after braising, while bone-in cuts are harder to manage.

Fifthly, keep an eye on the wine stock reduction process to avoid over-reducing it. The wine-stock reduces further after you turn off the slow cooker; it can become overly concentrated if left for too long – this could result in a dish that tastes bitter or has an overpowering taste.

Lastly, remove any fat from the top before reheating if you choose to make it ahead of time. Easily scoop out any top fat using a soup spoon or another utensil before reheating helps retain a healthy flavor without any unwanted greasiness.

Follow these simple tips to achieve an incredibly delicious and perfectly cooked Zinfandel-Braised Leg of Lamb!

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this Zinfandel-Braised Leg of Lamb slow cooker recipe is one of the most satisfying and flavorful lamb dishes you can make. Whether you are a beginner or experienced chef, this recipe is easy to follow and produces delicious results every time.

The combination of red wine and slow-braised meat gives this dish a tender and juicy texture that melts in your mouth. The aroma of garlic, rosemary, bay leaves, and other herbs will fill your kitchen with an inviting smell that makes your mouth water.

Not only is it the perfect centerpiece for a special occasion dinner, but it also makes great leftovers that you can enjoy throughout the week. You can serve it as a main course with a side salad or roasted vegetables for a complete meal.

Lastly, I must mention that this recipe is versatile as well. You can use lamb shanks or beef short ribs instead of boneless leg of lamb if you prefer. The tomato paste in the recipe adds acidity and sweetness to the wine stock for a complex red wine sauce.

Therefore, I highly recommend this Zinfandel-Braised Leg of Lamb slow cooker recipe to all lamb lovers who want to explore new cooking techniques and flavors. It’s worth experimenting with and adding to your list of go-to recipes. Happy cooking!

Zinfandel-Braised Leg of Lamb (Slow Cooker)

Zinfandel-Braised Leg of Lamb (Slow Cooker) Recipe

This is a real change of pace for lamb and for the slow cooker! By reducing the wine before placing it in the slow cooker, you give the dish a more rounded flavor.
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Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 8 hrs
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Calories 712.6 kcal


  • 2 1/2 lbs boneless leg of lamb
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper, divided
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon juniper berries, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon whole allspice, crushed
  • 6 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1 cup zinfandel
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 cups hot cooked egg noodles (about 4-3/4 cups uncooked pasta)


  • Unroll lamb; trim fat. Sprinkle evenly with1/2 t. salt and 1/2 t. pepper. Reroll lamb; secure at 1-inch intervals with kitchen twine. Sprinkle evenly with flour.
  • Heat oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add lamb to pan; cook 6 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Place lamb in electric slow cooker.
  • Add juniper berries, allspice, and garlic to skillet; cook over medium heat 2 minutes or until garlic is lightly browned. Add wine to pan, scraping pan to loosen browned bits; cook until reduced to 1/2 cup (about 3 minutes). Scrape wine mixture into cooker; add basil and bay leaves. Cover and cook on LOW 8 hours or until lamb is tender.
  • Remove lamb from cooker; keep warm. Strain cooking liquid through a sieve into a small bowl; discard solics. Add remaining 1/2 t. salt and remaining 1/2 t. pepper to cooking liquid; stir. Remove twine from lamb, and discard. Break lamb into chunks with 2 forks. Serve lamb with cooking liquid over egg noodles.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 395gCalories: 712.6kcalCarbohydrates: 43.8gProtein: 41.5gFat: 37.1gSaturated Fat: 14.9gCholesterol: 176.8mgSodium: 407.5mgFiber: 2.2gSugar: 1g
Keyword Easy, Lamb/Sheep, Meat, Spring, Winter
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