Slow-cooked lamb or mutton with juniper berries, lavender and gin? It sure is different and, oh my god, it worked. Six months later, I still remember the flavor. In fact, I think I could do it again now.
This is my personal pick of all the recipes I’ve come up with in 2021; the one I’m most proud of. If you like mutton or lamb, this is a new way to do it, with the possibility that your guests will demand the recipe. If so, here it is…
This recipe accompanies this column first published in DM168
1 x small leg of mutton, around 1.2 kg (or use lamb)
3 garlic cloves, slivered
10 juniper berries
4 sprigs of lavender
2 onions, sliced
4 bay leaves
2 to 3 cups of chicken broth
½ cup of gin
4 tablespoons of olive oil
250g button mushrooms, halved or quartered depending on size
Salt and white pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 180℃. Brown the thigh on all sides in olive oil in a heavy cast iron casserole dish. Remove the leg and add the sliced onions and garlic and sauté until golden.
Return the thigh to the pot and add the juniper berries, lavender and bay leaves.
Heat the chicken broth and add the gin to it. Pour it around the leg of mutton. Season with salt and pepper.
Put the lid on and braise in the oven for two hours. Add the button mushrooms and return to the oven for another 45 minutes to an hour.
Remove the leg, mushrooms and onions to another container, using a slotted spoon. Skim off any fat on the surface of the braising broth and reduce the broth until it has a nice gravy-like consistency.
Serve garnished with sprigs of fresh lavender. DM/TGIFood
To learn more about Tony Jackman’s book, foodSTUFF (Human & Rousseau), please email him at [email protected]
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