Leg of "Mutton" With Saffron And Rosewater

Serves: 4
Total Calories: 123


1 1/2 cups plain yogurt, whole-milk
1/4 teaspoon saffron threads
1 teaspoon rosewater
1/2 cup flour, chickpea (besan optional)
1 cardamon pod, green
1 cardamon pod, black (optional)
1/2 teaspoon peppercorn, black
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated or 2 blades mace
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon candied ginger, grated fresh
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon butter, unsalted, at room temperature
1/2 leg of lamb (about 4 pounds bone-in), preferably shank end (see Note), trimmed of any papery skin


1. Set a yogurt strainer, or a regular strainer lined with a double layer of dampened cheesecloth, over a small bowl. Add the yogurt to the strainer and let drain, in the refrigerator, until a firm "cheese" forms, about 4 hours you should have about 1 cup.

2. When ready to marinate the lamb, place the saffron in a small bowl and grind to a fine powder with a pestle or the end of a wooden spoon. Add the rosewater, stir, and let stand for 10 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, cook the chickpea flour (if using) in a dry skillet over medium heat until lightly toasted and aromatic, about 3 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally. Remove from the heat and transfer the toasted flour to a medium-size bowl. Add the green and black cardamom pods, the peppercorns, and mace to the skillet and toast over medium heat until aromatic, about 2 minutes, shaking the pan once or twice. Remove from the heat and let cool, then grind the spices in a spice mill or clean coffee grinder and add to the chickpea flour.

4. Using a wooden spoon, mash the yogurt cheese into the chickpea flour to blend thoroughly, then add the dissolved saffron, the salt, cayenne, ginger, garlic, and melted butter. Stir with the spoon or knead the mixture with your fingers until blended and smooth it will be a thick paste.

5. Using a sharp paring knife, make slits about 3/4 inch deep all over the lamb and rub in the paste. Place the meat in a deep bowl, cover, and let marinate, in the refrigerator, for 6 hours.

6. Set up the grill for indirect grilling, placing a large drip pan in the center, and preheat to medium.

7. When ready to cook, place the lamb on the hot grate, then cover the grill and cook the lamb until done to taste, 1 1/4 to 1 3/4 hours for fall off-the-bone tender (Indians like their lamb-and kid-well done) an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the leg (but not touching the bone) will register 170°F for well-done. If using a charcoal grill, add 10 to 12 fresh coals per side after 1 hour.

8. Transfer the lamb to a cutting board and let stand for 10 minutes before carving and serving.

Serves 4

Notes: If you can get kid, use two 1 1/2-pound legs, trimmed of fat and sinews, instead of the lamb. Cook as above but reduce the time to about 1 hour.

Nutritional Facts:

Serves: 4
Total Calories: 123
Calories from Fat: 25

This Leg of "Mutton" With Saffron And Rosewater recipe is from the The Barbecue Bible Cookbook. Download this Cookbook today.

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