Why not spice up your Easter this year with a centrepiece alternative to your usual roast lamb? Will Bowlby of Kricket London, which has restaurants in Brixton, Soho and White City, shares with us his recipe for lamb raan.
Will said: “I think the Indian equivalent to a roast is the lamb raan. A leg of lamb on the bone braised in vinegar and whole spices until completely tender, with a sauce made from the reduced liquor, cream, saffron and garam masala. Serve with mustard greens and curry leaf roast potatoes.”
1 lamb leg
4 tablespoons ginger and garlic paste
2 tablespoons Kashmiri red chilli powder
A pinch of sea salt
2 fresh Indian bay leaves
3 star anise
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 teaspoon cloves
1 cinnamon stick
400 ml (14 fl oz/generous 11⁄2 cups) white distilled vinegar
about 1.6 litres (56 fl oz/62⁄3 cups) cold water
500 ml (17 fl oz/2 cups) double (heavy) cream
A generous pinch of saffron strands, soaked in a little warm water
3 tablespoons garam masala
1. Rub the meat with the ginger and garlic paste, chilli powder and a pinch of salt and leave overnight to marinate.
2. Preheat the oven to 200oC (400oF/Gas 6).
3. Transfer the leg to a deep ovenproof pan, add the remaining spices and vinegar, then pour in the water (it should just cover the meat). Cover the pan and cook in the oven for 30 minutes.
4. Lower the oven temperature to 160oC (320oF/Gas 3) and cook for a further 4–5 hours until the meat is falling off the bone.
5. Remove from the oven, take the meat out of the braising liquid and allow to cool. The meat is cooked when you can easily pick it from the bone. Transfer the braising liquid to a heavy-based saucepan and boil over a high heat until it has thickened and the flavours have intensified. At this point, strain the liquid into a separate pan, reduce the heat and add the cream, saffron and garam masala. Reduce for a further five minutes, adjust the seasoning to taste and set aside to cool.
6. When you are ready to serve, heat a large frying pan (skillet) over a high heat and sear off the lamb to get a nice crispy exterior. Add the braising liquid to the pan and spoon the liquid over the meat until it coats it nicely. Serve the meat whole, in its braising liquid.