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n1. (Cookery) the flesh of sheep, esp of mature sheep, used as food
(Clothing & Fashion)mutton dressed as lamb an older woman dressed up to look young
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003
Leg of Mutton refers to the puffed sleeves that start tapering elbow downwards to cling to the wrist. This billowing sleeve found great favour in the medieval ages ( at least that’s what I imagine watching movies of Henry and his many wives). But I prefer to call my specialite de maison “Raan e Khyber” Leg of Mutton when I serve it to my foreign guests.
My Leg of Mutton is not a patch on the real Raan e Khyber which is not really strange at all considering that my leg is not of the lamb but of the goat. And nor is it from the Khyber pass but obtained from the local meat shop who in turn gets it on the hoof from Gujerat. Good meat, it is said walks to your door – it is only an animal too ill to walk that is transported. Now with logic like that, and considering the many miles the animals have to walk, it is no wonder that the meat is tough !
Which is why most people prefer to buy the shoulder which is still relatively tender or better still from the ribs .
But I love the strong , rich flavour of meat – the redder the better and my arteries be damned. And nothing quite compares with a rich aromatic mutton spiced with the flavours of the Orient. So I called up Ashok the Meat Man at Grant Road Market, early this morning and asked him to deliver me a nice 1 1/2 kg of meat.
Like all the butchers and meat men, Ashok gets his meat from the abbattoir at Deonar, which is said to be the largest in Mumbai . With a blue stamp of approval from the Inspector of Meats, you can be sure of the quality of the meat. Though the word mutton applies to sheep meat, in India it refers to goat meet. Sheep meat is supposed to be more fatty and greasy and apparently doesn’t lend itself well to goat’s meat which perfectly complements the spices that dress it up. You can also distinguish legs of lamb from legs of goat by the short bushy tail at the end of the goat’s tail.
I asked for a cut that is best described as French Style roast – but of course Ashok sent me the rest of the leg which I also cooked along with the raan.
So I finely ground 250g of red onions and stirred it into 250 g of whipped curd. To this I added 1 tbspn of garlic ginger paste, 1 tbspn of fresh garam masala, 1 tbspn of red chilli powder, 1 tbspn of turmeric powder, 1 tspn of salt and rubbed it on the meat . After it sat under the watchful eye of the crow greedily eyeing it from behind the kitchen window for about two hours, I seared the meat in a huge big wok with about 4 tbspns of oil. After the meat was well seared, I transferred the joint into a roasting pan, covered it with tin foil and allowed it to roast in a hot oven 180 C for about two hours.