Persian Lamb

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The Final F1 Cook of 2022

The F1 Championship remained in the middle-east for its finale as it moved over to Abu Dhabi. For the final F1 cook, I decided to do Persian Lamb. Not strictly a dish from the UAE but many of the flavours included in this dish are synonymous with the region in general. 

For this cook, I bought a milk-fed lamb quarter from Basco Fine Foods. I have been using them for around 1 year now and everything I have had from them has been top quality. I was really excited about trying this milk-fed lamb. 

Milk-fed lamb, called in Spain ‘Lechazo’ or ‘Cordero Lechal’ is a young lamb still at its milk feeding stage. Traditionally, milk-fed lamb is roasted in a wood-fired oven with salt, oil and a touch of water to allow this prime cut to speak for itself. The result is an incredibly soft textured meat, crispy golden skin that is creamy in texture, melting in the mouth with some gamey notes.

Preparation and Cook

This one was going to be a slow-cook with 3 distinct phases:

  1. The overnight marination
  2. The smoking of the lamb
  3. The braising of the lamb

After marinating the meat overnight, I took it out of the fridge about 1 hour before I wanted to start cooking. This is to bring the meat up towards room temperature before starting the cook.

For this cook, I was using the Weber Smokey Mountain (WSM). I now use charcoal (as opposed to briquettes) to do my slow cooks, which does take a bit more effort to maintain the pit temperature.

When doing the slow cooks I typically will smoke the meat for 2-3 hours to get some of that lovely smokiness into the meat, and then I wrap or braise until the meat is ready to come off. For this cook, I was looking to cook the lamb until the internal temperature was at least 203°F. I actually took the meat to 208°F, which I often do. I do find just taking the meat that little but further really does improve the overall tenderness.

The Verdict

This was a tremendous cook to finish on. I love lamb in general but the milk-fed lamb blew me away. Add onto that the fantastic middle-eastern ingredients used in this recipe it really was off the scale.  I would definitely cook this again and would highly recommend anyone reading this to try the milk-fed lamb.

I served this with flatbreads and garlic yogurt. So so delicious!!!

Persian Lamb

Milk-fed lamb marinated overnight, then smoked for 3 hours before a slow braise until the succulent lamb falls away from the bone. Served with flatbread and garlic yogurt.
Servings 4 people
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 8 hrs

Ingredients

For the Rub:

  • 2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Grated Nutmeg
  • 1 tsp Ground Cardamon
  • 1 tsp Rosebuds
  • 1 tsp Sea Salt
  • 1 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1 tsp Tumeric

For the Braising Liquid:

  • ½ tsp Saffron
  • 3 Dried Limes
  • 3 tsp Rosewater
  • 1 Onion (roughly cut)
  • 1 Zest of an Orange
  • 2 Bay Leaves (dried)
  • 2 Springs of Fresh Thyme
  • 1 litre Lamb Stock
  • 2 tbsp Fresh Parsley

Instructions

  • Start by combining the cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, rosebuds, salt, black pepper, and turmeric. Rub the mixture over the lamb so it is well covered. Next, wrap the lamb tightly in clingfilm and place it in the fridge overnight.
    Rubbed Persian Lamb
  • Whilst you are prepping your smoker, remove the lamb from the fridge and unwrap it from the clingfilm. This is to let the temperature rise a little towards room temperature before you start cooking.
  • Aim to start the Lamb off in the smoker at 235°F. Once approaching this, place the lamb on the smoker and add some wood chunks. I used Olive chunks for this one, but would equally be as happy using Cherry or Apple wood chunks.
  • Leave the temperature at 235°F. If you need it to cook quicker you can increase the temperature. Just leave it in the braising mixture until the internal temperature reaches a minimum of 203°F. For this one, I took it to 208°F.
    Persian Lamb
  • Once it is ready remove the Lamb from the smoker and the braising liquid and wrap tightly in foil. I then place the meat into a coolbox which helps maintain the temperature.
    Cooked Persian Lamb
  • Whilst your meat is resting, strain the braising liquid into a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Cook at a simmer for around 30 minutes, slowly reducing the braising liquid. Whilst reducing the liquid this is a good time to cook or warm through the flatbreads.
  • Unwrap your lamb, and pull the meat with a fork. It should just fall away from the bone. Take a 2nd fork and shred the meat (as fine as you like it), then add 2-3 tablespoons of the reduced down braising liquid and mix through, before plating.
    Persian Lamb
  • Sprinkle over some Parsley. You can also optionally drizzle some of the reduced braising liquid over your pulled lamb once on the flatbread. Enjoy!!!

Notes

This was based on a recipe from the New York Times Cooking website.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Middle-Eastern
Keyword: F1, F1 Cooks, Lamb, Milk-fed Lamb, Rosewater

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