Mum fed our family generously with humble ingredients and always pulled out the slow cooker to cook a traditional English mutton or lamb for our Christmas dinner.
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1.5kg boneless mutton or lamb shoulder (see tips)
2 teaspoons sea salt
2 teaspoons sweet smoked paprika
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 medium red onions, thinly sliced
1 red chilli, seeds removed, thinly sliced
50g fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
400 gram can whole tomatoes in juice
1½ cups chicken or beef stock
3 fresh apricots, halved, stones removed, or 6 tinned apricot halves
400 gram can chickpeas in brine
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon tahini
3 pinches sweet smoked paprika, divided
pinch of ground cinnamon
pinch of ground turmeric
pinch of ground coriander
pinch of ground cumin
pumpkin Seed Dukkah (recipe below)
Middle Eastern flatbreads
plain unsweetened greek yoghurt
fresh coriander, for garnish
I learned to cook mutton with a Middle Eastern flair in my first role as a chef and tested this recipe out at home on Mum. Cooking it low and slow and using these flavours makes the less popular but underrated mutton bloody fantastic, and pays tribute to Mum’s one-pot wonder mentality.
Drain and rinse chickpeas. Use a small food processor or a stick blender to purée the chickpeas with the remaining ingredients, reserving 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and 1 pinch of the paprika, until very smooth. Taste hummus and season with additional lemon juice, salt, or spices if needed.
Transfer hummus to a small bowl, create an indent in the top with the back of a spoon, and top with remaining olive oil and paprika. Serve at room temperature.
Heat oil in a small saucepan over a medium heat and line a large plate with paper towels. Add pumpkin seeds and fry until golden brown and slightly puffed, stirring as needed. Remove seeds with a slotted spoon, drain on the lined plate, and season with the salt. Let cool then roughly chop and place in a small bowl.
Heat a frying pan on a medium heat. Add coriander, cumin, and fennel seeds, and toast for 1–2 minutes, stirring occasionally, until aromatic. Roughly grind in a mortar and pestle and add to the pumpkin seeds.
In the same pan on a medium-low heat, toast the sesame seeds, stirring often, until the white seeds are a light golden brown. Add to the pumpkin seeds with the turmeric and mix together. Let dukkah cool entirely before using.
Chef's note: Leftover dukkah will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for 3 weeks.