Leg of mutton, or raan as it is known in India, is one of my favourite dishes to make. It starts with overnight marination in complex spices, and then a long slow braise, 3-4 hours, and the recipes can be complex, but I love when the fork-tender meat comes out on the table and my guests dig in with joy. This is one of those complex recipes, but one that is truly worth the effort.
Chef Floyd takes this recipe to a superlative level. The meat is marinated in a mix of Indian spices and Mexican smoky chipotle chillies creating a unique flavour profile that is wonderful. The fork-tender meat absorbs the spices that explode on your palate. The gentle smoky heat from the chillies lingers making you crave more. This is one of those special dishes that I love, one that I do not make often enough. I served this with rumali roti, also called handkerchief bread, and Gingered fig chutney and Burrani. They worked in perfect harmony to finish a beautiful meal.
This is one of those cookbooks that I looked at for a long time and finally decided to get. It is a wonderful cookbook filled with flavours from across the globe. Each recipe turns out superb, but be prepared to get lots of new ingredients on your shelf and spend some time in the kitchen. I highly recommend this book for those who are looking for those different flavours.
For more delicious recipes from this cookbook click here.
3-4 lb whole leg of lamb, bone-in, membranes and fat removed
1 1/2 chipotle chillies
1 1/2 tablespoons coriander seeds
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
1 1/2 teaspoons black peppercorns
1 1-inch piece cinnamon stick
1 black cardamom pod
3-4 green cardamom pods
3 whole cloves
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
8 large garlic cloves, chopped
2 tablespoons ginger paste
1 cup yoghurt
1 small bunch of cilantro, leaves and stems
2 tablespoons oil
15 shallots, sliced thinly
Mint, for garnish
Roomali roti or lavash bread
Raita, especially Burrani raita
Fig chutney or any other sweet-spicy chutney
Dry roast the whole spices, chipotle chillies, coriander seeds, fennel seeds, pepper, cinnamon stick, green and black cardamom pods, and cloves on low heat individually till each is aromatic. Cool. Grind to a fine powder in a spice mill.
Fry the shallots on low heat in the oil till a deep golden, about 5 minutes. Add the ginger, garlic and sauté till aromatic and the ginger no longer is raw. Add the spice paste and toss well frying the spices for 30 seconds. Cool.
Add the fried shallot mix to a small blender and add the yoghurt, cilantro and salt. Purée to a smooth sauce.
Remove the membranes and fat from the lamb. Make deep scores in the meat down to the bone. Rub the paste all over the meat, getting the paste into the deep scores. Marinate in the fridge for at least 12 hours, but 24-36 hours is better.
Preheat an oven to 375 F.
Place the marinated lamb with all the marinade in a Dutch oven or an oven-safe pot. Roast for 3 1/2-4 hours, turning the meat every 30 minutes. During the end of the roasting period keep an eye on the liquid in the pan and top with 1/4 cup of water if needed. At the end of 4 hours, the meat should be falling off the bone very easily and you should be able to shred it between your fingers.
You have a couple of ways to serve the meat.
you can serve the meat on the bone on a large plate. If you do so, concentrate the sauce a bit to a thickness that coats a spoon heavily. Pour over the meat and garnish with mint.
I like to shred the meat off the bone and cook it in the sauce for 10 minutes breaking the chunks apart. I serve it on a shallow platter topped with a bone shaft and garnished with mint.
Serve with the bread, raita and chutney on the side.