Breast of Lamb Slow Cooked with Onions


I really enjoyed watching Simon Hopkinsons The Good Cook very relaxing watching though inducing serious kitchen envy, now trying to work out how I might squeeze a sofa into our kitchen.

Like his popular book Roast Chicken and other stories the series showed  simple recipes  with a focus on a core ingredient lovingly and precisely cooked

My favourite bit was when he described a newly discovered  recipe for aubergine and said he was genuinely sad he has only just found out about this way of cooking it and had been missing out all these years. Felt the same way when I found out about slow roasting tomatoes.

One of the recipes from the serieis  I knew I had to try straight away was Baked Lamb Breast with Onions , just my kind of recipe really minimum effort and using a cheap cut of meat . I have cooked it once before following a Lawrence Keough recipe to make Lamb Rashers for a salad , seeing Simon Hopkinsons slow cook it I wondered why I had not thought to do it before.

I had to roll and tie the Lamb Breast myself ( first time tying a joint of meat) but then it is simply a matter of putting all the ingredients into a pot to slow cook ( or in my case a slow cooker on low for 6 hours)  I am lazy ( unlike Mr Hopkinson whose precision and attention to detail I enjoy – it’s that restaurant standard) and rarely bother to brown meat first before cooking, usually find the sauces caramaise enough to colour the meat.

After cooking the meat was fall apart tender with silky soft onions and delicious sauce I served the whole thing over some polenta with some grilled tomatoes to make the most of the sweet gravy.

My version of Simon Hopkinsons Lamb Breast Slow Baked with Onions ( Original Here)

serves 4

1kg lamb breast, boned, rolled and tied with kitchen string
salt and pepper
 2 very large onions, thinly sliced
1 bay leaf
1 tbsp sherry vinegar
2-3 tbsp anchovy essence (or several finely chopped anchovies),

  1. Preheat the oven to 150degC ( use the low setting on your slow cooker)
  2. Season the breast of lamb with salt and pepper
  3. Put half the the onions in the base of a cast iron pot ( or in the slow cooker)
  4. Put the lamb breast on top
  5. Add the bay leaf sherry vinegar , anchovies ( or essence)
  6. Put in the rest of the onions on top
  7. Cut a circle of greaseproof paper slightly bigger than the diameter of
    the dish. Dampen it, lightly grease one side, and press it onto the
    onions (greased side down).
  8. Put the lid on the casserole dish or slow cooker  Put on the lid cook in the oven for about
    three hours ( 6 hours in the slow cooker) After an hour ( 3 hours for slow cooker), remove the dish to see whether the onion
    mixture has reduced
  9.  Scrape down the side of the dish if the onions have stuck. Replace the
    paper and lid and place the dish into the oven again.
  10. After cooking remove the lamb breast from the onions and allow to rest for 20 minutes, then slice and serve with the onions heaped on a mound of polenta .


Simon Hopkinson has a great recipe for using up the leftover lamb , slices dipped in breadcrumbs and fried with a picant garlic mayyonaise but we didn’t manage to save any leftovers so I will definitely need to cook the breast of lamb again


  1. and a turntable! I love that he has a turntable at the ready for scratchy lovely lofi music too.
    The photography on that show is spectacular.
    I love Simon. If only Simon and Nigel would get together and hold a dinner party and let me be a fly on the wall.

  2. I love this recipe. Classic example of a rich meal cooked simply from a few ingredients. My boyfriend loves lamb, I will try this soon!

  3. I tried this myself, it’s great. I’m thinking of trying it in the slow cooker like you have – did you not fry the onions a little first?

      1. Thanks, mine is in the slow cooker now! I’ve added some Indian spices so I’m intrigues to know how this one turns out.

  4. Becky, what a delicious meal. This sounds wonderful. This is my first visit to your blog, so I took some time to browse through your earlier entries. I’m so glad I did that. I really like the food and recipes you feature here and I’ll definitely be back. I hope you have a great day. Blessings…Mary

  5. Hey Becky – picked up a lamb breast yesterday and was searching for a way to cook it in my slow cooker when I found your recipe!

    Thanks, and I look forward to perusing your blog for more delicious recipes 😉

  6. Sounds excellent. I have put mine in the slow cooker about an hour ago. Can’t wait to try it. I added a few sprigs of rosemary out of the garden, and fried the rolled breast in a bit of sunflower oil first as well.

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