"A Sunday lunch favourite in my home when I was growing up, this recipe is one I cook regularly when I have friends coming around," writes Pathak. "Making a simple spice paste to rub over the lamb infuses the meat while it roasts, and in case there isn't enough flavour going on, I stud the lamb with herbs and garlic.… Low and slow is what makes the meat meltingly tender. It will taste even better if you can roast it at a lower temperature.
For every 25 F lower, add on an extra hour of cooking time. By the time it's ready, you won't even need a knife."
Excerpted from The Indian Family Kitchen by Anjali Pathak. Appetite by Random House edition published 2016. Published in Canada by Appetite by Random House, a division of Random House of Canada Ltd., a Penguin Random House Company. All rights reserved.
Servings: 6 to 8
1 leg of lamb, about 4 1/2 pounds
5 garlic cloves, peeled, 2 for spice paste
4 rosemary sprigs, cut into small pieces
2 tablespoon mint leaves
1 fresh red chili, seeded if you wish, sliced
2 onions, finely sliced
2 1/4 cups hot lamb or vegetable
stock or water
Salt and pepper
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
2 teaspoons fennel seeds
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
2 teaspoons Creole mustard
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
Preheat the oven to 275 F. Make some deep cuts into the meat at evenly spaced intervals and poke a finger in the cuts to check that they are wide enough for the herbs and spices.
Slice the remaining garlic cloves for stuffing into the holes in the lamb.
Rub the spice paste all over the lamb, making sure you get some into the holes.
Fill the holes with the rosemary, mint, chili and sliced garlic.
Toss the onions into a deep roasting tray, one that will fit the lamb snugly.
Season the lamb well with salt and place on top. Pour in the hot stock or water, cover with foil and slow roast in the oven for 5 hours. Baste every hour with the spiced stock.
Remove from the oven and carefully place the lamb on a plate, cover with foil and leave to rest. The meat should be falling off the bone. Transfer the spiced stock to a saucepan (this is your gravy) and skim off any fat. Boil until reduced and thickened to your liking. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper before serving with your spiced lamb.