Mazandarani lamb with apricot purée and saffron tomato salsa

  • Main
  • easy
  • 4
  • 60 minutes, plus overnight to marinate and strain the tomatoes


First published in 2022
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Lamb rump

Saffron tomato salsa


Apricot purée

To garnish

  • orange oil, or a good quality extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 small mint leaves
  • 1 pinch of black lime powder

Begin the day before to give the lamb time to marinate overnight. Score the fat on the rumps then liberally sprinkle with salt all over. Leave in the fridge for 30 minutes


Meanwhile, place the rest of the ingredients in a small pan and heat, stirring regularly, to cook out the tomato paste and bring all the flavours together (around 5-10 minutes). Leave to cool. Once the lamb has been cured for 30 minutes, wash off the salt, rub with the marinade and return to the fridge to marinate overnight


The tomatoes for the salsa also need preparing the day before. Line a sieve with muslin cloth or kitchen paper and set it over a bowl. Grate the tomatoes and place them in the lined sieve, then leave in the fridge overnight to strain out the liquid


The next day, soak a pinch of saffron in 50ml of almost boiling water and set aside for 5 minutes to infuse. Place the strained grated tomatoes into a bowl, then season them with the vinegar, salt and a splash of the saffron water (reserve some saffron water for the raisins). Set aside

  • 1 pinch of saffron
  • 10ml of white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 pinch of salt

To make the marinated golden raisins, cover the raisins and orange peel with boiling water and leave them to rehydrate and infuse with the orange for 5-10 minutes. Drain before serving and dress with another splash of saffron water and some orange oil (or olive oil)


To make the apricot purée, place the apricots in a pan with and cover with water. Bring to a simmer and poach the apricots until they're completely soft throughout – the time this takes will depend on how ripe the fruits are, but start checking after 5 minutes. Drain the apricots, remove the peel and stones, then roughly mash them. Place them into a pan along with the citrus juices and cardamom pods. Heat until the liquid has reduced by a third and the fruit has completely broken down – around 5-7 minutes. Remove the cardamom pods, then transfer to a blender and blitz to a smooth purée. Set aside


To cook the lamb, preheat an oven to 180ºC/gas mark 4 and light a barbecue or place a large frying pan over a medium heat. Begin cooking the lamb rumps skin-side down (wiping off some of the marinade from the fat first). Slowly render the fat down until a deep golden brown then flip the rumps over and place in the oven for 8 minutes. Leave to rest in a warm place for 5 minutes before carving


To serve, add a spoonful of the apricot purée and golden raisins to each plate. Sprinkle the purée with a little black lime powder. Carve each rump in half and divide between plates, then top with the saffron tomato salsa, a final pinch of salt and some extra orange (or olive) oil. Add a sprig of mint cress to finish

  • 4 small mint leaves
  • 1 pinch of black lime powder
  • orange oil, or a good quality extra virgin olive oil
First published in 2022
Share recipe