As the name indicates, this dish requires planning ahead. That said, the long cooking time is offset by simple preparation, with melt-in-the-mouth textures and deep flavours the pay-offs. Start this recipe two days ahead to marinate and roast the lamb.
- 150 gm Greek-style yoghurt
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp garam masala
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp ground chilli
- 1 lamb shoulder, bone in (about 1.7kg)
- 80 gm ghee
- 4 onions, thinly sliced
- 50 ml vegetable oil or ghee
- 1 onion, thinly sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 500 ml hot chicken stock (2 cups)
- ½ tsp saffron, soaked in 50ml warm water for 10 minutes
- 250 gm thick plain yoghurt
- 1 cup mint (firmly packed)
- 1Combine yoghurt, ginger, garlic, spices and lime juice in a bowl and season to taste. Slash lamb at intervals, rub all over with yoghurt mixture and into the incisions, then wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight to marinate.
- 2Unwrap lamb, place in a roasting pan and bring to room temperature (1-1½ hours). Preheat oven to 120C. Meanwhile, heat ghee in a frying pan over medium-high heat, add onion and fry, stirring occasionally, until crisp and golden brown (8-10 minutes). Season to taste, cool briefly, then scatter onion over lamb. Add 500ml water to roasting pan, cover with foil and roast until meat is fall-apart tender (11-12 hours). Pour pan juices into a jug, skim off excess fat and season to taste.
- 3For saffron pilaf, heat ghee in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, add onion and garlic and sauté until tender and translucent (5-6 minutes). Stir in rice to coat, then add stock, saffron and its soaking liquid and 250ml hot water. Season to taste, bring to the boil, cover with a tight-fitting lid, then reduce heat to low and cook without uncovering for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, stand without uncovering for 5 minutes, then uncover and fluff up with a fork.
- 4For mint yoghurt, process ingredients in a food processor and season to taste.
- 5Pile pilaf onto a platter, top with lamb, scatter with coriander, mint and green chilli, and serve with pan juices, mint yoghurt and lime wedges.
Drink Suggestion: Spicy grenache Drink suggestion by Max Allen