The shimmering meadows of the Montenegrin mountains and the grassy pastures of the Welsh valleys are geographically separate in distance and time yet both are re-known for producing succulent lamb. Hidden from view for an aeon, Montenegro has emerged out of the ashes of the old Yugoslavia with its south Slav identity intact and its traditional food now regarded as among the best in Europe, attracting food tourists in their droves. And if one dish epitomises that cultural and culinary identity it is lamb braised in milk.
- 1.5 kg hill lamb shoulder / blade
- 2 litres milk, full fat
- 1 kg potato, whole
- 10 carrots, whole, peeled
- 25 black peppercorns, whole
- 25 g parsley
- 1 tsp salt
- 5 bay leaves
Any old piece of lamb from the supermarket won‘t do this dish justice. If you can‘t get good quality hill lamb, search out a good meat supplier who knows the difference between lamb and mutton, and one continent from another. Alternatively talk nicely to the people behind the meat counter in your local Asian store. The amount of milk needed for the lamb depends on the width of your cooking pot. The meat should be covered. Add spices, as little or as much as your tastes require, and the carrots. Slow cook for four to five hours depending on the size of the piece. A one and a half kilo piece needs no less than four hours over a very low heat. It is done when it falls apart. The potatoes for this dish can be baked or boiled, preferably the latter. Time the cooking to have them ready with the lamb. Mash the potatoes in a large warmed bowl. Cut up the meat and carrots, add to the potatoes. Mix together with some or all of the cooking milk, including the peppercorns. Discard the bay leaves. Serve decorated with parsley.
INDIGENOUS INGREDIENTS = Montenegran Mountain Lamb / Montenegran Milk / Montenegran Potatoes