Crispy Mongolian Lamb
I first had this at a Chinese restaurant when I was around thirteen years old. Since then I haven’t seen it on a restaurant menu anywhere – so disappointing as these crunchy succulent little mouthfuls are cheap and easy to make. Even more importantly they’re absolutely delicious!
Add some spice to your Sunday roast: try this crispy lamb with some gently stir fried vegetables and cumin roasties
PREP TIME: 5 minutes COOK TIME:3 hours (+optional overnight marinating time)
DIFFICULTY: moderate SERVES: 2
- 1 small lamb breast (around 350g)
- sesame oil (to baste)
For the marinade:
- 1 medium red chilli (this gives the sauce a nice little kick but still isn’t too hot)
- 1 piece of ginger (about the size of your thumb)
- small handful coriander (stalks and leafs)
- 3 cloves of smoked garlic
- 1 level tbsp Chinese 5 spice
- 4 tbsp cooking sherry
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 100 ml water
TIP: Traditionally this dish is eaten in a similar way to Chinese aromatic duck pancakes- it is served with cucumber and spring onions except it is wrapped up in big lettuce leaves instead of soft little pancakes. I, however, like to serve this as part of a Sunday roast. Try it with some gently stir fried vegetables and cumin roasties.
- Slice most of the chilli into rings, keeping the rest in the fridge for garnish. Peel and grate the ginger, tear up the coriander and without peeling, crush the garlic cloves.
- Add all of the marinade ingredients to your casserole dish and mix together.
- Stab the lamb all over with a small knife (these incisions will help the marinating process) and put it in the casserole dish ensuring that the entire breast is coated in the sauce. Set aside to marinate if you have time.
- Preheat your oven to 150°C (300°F). Meanwhile add enough boiling water to the casserole dish to just cover the lamb.
- Place in the oven for 1 and a half hours. By this point the lamb should be very soft- place the lamb on a chopping board and remove any bones which should pull out very easily.
- Pat the lamb dry and brush all over with a little oil, place on a wire wrack and put it back in the oven for 45 minutes. Meanwhile transfer the marinade from the casserole dish to a small sauce pan. Simmer this down until it makes a thickened but still viscous sauce. Save for later.
- After 45 minutes, the lamb should have started to crisp on the outside. once this has begun, glaze it by brushing with a layer of the sauce and pop back in the oven for a further 45 minutes. It should become dark in colour and even more crispy on the outside.
- Once it has become crispy, remove from the oven and place back on a chopping board. Using two forks, pull the lamb into thick chunks.
- Slice the remainder of your red chilli to sprinkle over the top of the lamb. Serve with the remaining sauce.