What’s cooking today: Spiced leg of mutton

What’s cooking today: Spiced leg of mutton
Tony Jackman’s leg of mutton, spiced and roasted slowly. (Photo: Tony Jackman)

This recipe is all about spice and patience. The mature meat of mutton has deep flavour but won’t be rushed to tenderness. All you need is time.

Leg of lamb is the preferred roast for most people who fancy putting a big hunk of sheep in the oven to turn out pink and tender. But a piece of a leg of mutton (it need not be the entire joint) brings its own rewards and can take some spice too.

This fragrant rub is based chiefly on cumin and coriander with a little sweetness from cinnamon and a tart edge from ginger. If you like, you can rub it into the meat the night before, or a few hours before, to give it time to penetrate the flesh.

Unlike with lamb, you’re not looking for rare or medium rare meat. It needs to cook until well done but super tender.


1 mutton leg joint, any size you like

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp ground ginger

½ tsp ground cinnamon

½ tsp white pepper


2 Tbsp butter

1 Tbsp olive oil


Mix the spices together and rub into the mutton leg. Refrigerate if you’re doing this ahead, and bring it back to room temperature before it goes into the oven.

Preheat the oven to 170℃.

Brown the leg in butter and olive oil, and roast in the oven for about three hours or until very fall-apart tender, covered in foil. Depending on the size of the joint, it may take ,onger to become tender. DM/TGIFood

Tony Jackman is Galliova Food Champion 2021. His book, foodSTUFF, is available in the DM Shop. Buy it here

Follow Tony Jackman on Instagram @tony_jackman_cooks. Share your versions of his recipes with him on Instagram and he’ll see them and respond.

SUBSCRIBE to TGIFood here. Also visit the TGIFood platform, a repository of all of our food writing.


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