Updated: Jul 19
Slow cooked meats are an art form, juicy, fall off the bone tender and beautifully spiced, these meats are absolutely delicious.
Leg of lamb, or mutton, is in a class all by itself. Every region of the world has its specialized recipe, but the common theme is how much these meats are loved. They are usually served during festive occasions like weddings or births. The preparation of the leg to be cooked is always done with pomp and show and the chef is always proud of their dish. This recipe is no exception.
The first time I made this dish was a few years ago and I clearly remember it as being spectacular. the meat is drop-off the bone tender, the flavor was divine and the dish was a massive hit with with my clients. The spices are mild but flavorful, enhancing the flavors of the meat rather than drowning it out. The rose petals add beautiful floral notes that compliment the warm spices, and the yogurt serves as a tenderizer for the butter soft meat. I serve this meat with a soft bread that can be rolled, lavash or rumali roti, fresh lettuce both to roll the meat for those with gluten allergies and for crunch, a pomegranate and mint raita for the fresh pop of the seeds, spicy schug for those who want a pop of flavor. This is a meal by itself, one that I absolutely adore.
This is a wonderful cookbook of ancient and modern cuisine from Pakistan. A beautiful cookbook, with gorgeous photographs and packed with lots of recipes. The author has kept to the traditional flavors and traditions. This is a wonderful cookbook and one for anyone who would like to enjoy this cuisine.
For more recipes from this cookbook, click here.
For the spice mix:
1 1-inch cinnamon stick
10 green cardamom pods
1 1/2 tablespoons corinader seeds
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1 small piece mace
3-4 dried Kashmiri chilies
1 teaspoon anise seeds
2 tablespoons desiccated coconut
15 almonds1 tablespoon white poppy seeds
2 tablespoons dried edible rose petals
For the marinade:
1 large onion, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons oil
1 1/2 teaspoon garlic paste
1 1/2 teaspoon ginger paste
Juice of 1 lime
1 cup yogurt
Salt, to taste
4-5 lb leg of lamb (or mutton) cut into 3-4 pieces
3 tablespoon oil
Water or chicken stock, as needed
Dry roast all of the spice mix ingredients, except the rose petals, individually till they are aromatic and lightly colored. Cool and grind into a fine powder in a coffee or spice mill. It is ok if the poppy seeds do not get ground up completely, they add a nice pop to the sauce.
Heat the oil in a frying pan and sauté the onions on medium heat till lightly colored. Remove and cool. Add to a small blender with the garlic, ginger, lime juice, yogurt and salt and grind to a smooth paste.
In a wide bowl, mix the onion paste with the ground spices. Score the meat with a sharp knife all over. Rub the spice paste into the lamb getting it onto the scores and pockets. Marinate for at least 3 hours, but overnight is strongly preferred.
Heat the oven to 350 F.
After marination, rub off as much of the marinade from the meat as possible. Fry the meat on high heat in oil to seal the outsides till it is browned all over. You can do this in batches. Do not overcrowd the pan, the meat will not fry but stew.
Add the meat and all the marinade to an oven proof pot. Add water or stock till the meat is just submerged. Bring to a boil on the stove and place in the oven for 3 hours. Check the meat and rotate it every 45 minutes. In the 3rd hour the liquids may dry out, add a touch of water or stock as needed. The meat should be well cooked and drop off the bone when ready. Taste and adjust salt if needed.
Cool and shred the meat with your fingers. Mix in with the cooked curry paste.