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Pierna de Cordero Rosa

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Soberbia receta turca para una pierna de cordero sellada y cocida en una salsa rosa.

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Esta es una muy simple pero deliciosa forma de comer pierna de cordero al estilo turco.  La descubrí en un libro de Clifford Wright, un autor estadounidense de libros de cocina único, que es a la vez un estudioso de la cocina y un historiador de la cultura, muy versado en cocina mediterránea.  Muestra como preparar yoghurt natural para que lo puedas cocer por horas sin que se corte.  Una lección que beneficiaría a muchos cocineros hindús.

Pierna de Cordero Rosa
1.5kg 3lbs pierna deshuesada amarrada
3-5 dientes de ajo rebanados
Sal y pimienta
1 tazá puré de jitomate
5 pimientas gordas
1 taza yoghurt estabilizado hecho con:
1 litro/quart yoghurt 
La clara de un huevo grande
1 cuchara maizena

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Para hacer el  yoghurt estabilizado, vierte tu yoghurt en una olla...

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... agrega la maizena y la clara de huevo.  Con un batidor mézclalo bien.

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Hierve a fuego bajo 5 minutos.  Eso es todo.  Deja que se enfríe y refrigéralo para usarlo después.  Sólo necesitaremos la mitad de esta cantidad para nuestra receta.

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Con un cuchillo delgado y afilado haz incisiones profundas en la pierna de cordero deshuesada y amarrada.

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inserta dientes de ajo pelados en cada incisión.

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Sazona con sal y pimienta.  En una olla pesada calienta una cuchara de aceite de oliva ...

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... y sella la carne por todos lados, dándole vuelta hasta que esté completamente dorada.

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Prepara el yogurt y el concentrado de jitomate.

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Añade el concentrado tal y como lo harías en un ragú napolitano Neapolitan ragù, ya sea cuchara a cuchara ...

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... o todo de un jalón si tienes prisa y no te importa prescindir de ese sabor caramelizado del jitomate.

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Vierte el yoghurt estabilizado y disfruta el contraste entre el rojo y el blanco.

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Machaca las pimientas gordas y añádelas a la olla.

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Sella la olla con papel aluminio o con una masa rápida de harina y agua.  La idea es sellarla hermèticamente.  Deja que hierva antes de sellarla, séllala y déjala en la llama más baja, o en un horno como a 100ªC por 2 horas.

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Nunca debes exceder los 100C° para que la pierna se mantenga rosa sin importar cuanto tiempo la cocines.

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Rebánala y descubre el gloriosamente jugoso interior, sazonado con el ajo al vapor y nadando en la salsa rosa ligeramente ácida.

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Disculpa la pobreza de la estilización en la comida pero para cuando esto estuvo listo tenía tanta hambre, que no pude animarme a sacar el instrumental para una mejor foto.  Una receta verdaderamente deliciosa y muy simnple a pesar del largo tiempo de cocción.

Recomiendo encarecidamente el libro Real Stew de Clifford Wright.

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If you do this recipe at home please let me know how it worked for you by submitting a comment or send me a picture if you can. Thanks!

25 comentarios

  • #1
  • Comment by Luci
Wow, Francois, what a beautiful recipe!  Always looking for innovative and tasty ways of cooking meat, and this looks very promising.  Hope you enjoyed this!
Low-temperature cooking can be incredibly rewarding. This looks delicious, but one question. What is "stabilized yogurt"
  • #3
  • Comment by Kate
As a little girl, whenever my mother would cook lamb I'd send the afternoon and evening gagging from the smell of it cooking.

I've found only one recipe that I could stand being around, or even consider eating. (Lamb shanks braised in a sweet/sour sauce).

...but that's all changed now.  I can almost smell that sauce... and the sight of that perfectly juicy, rosy, tender lamb is making me hungry.   

Now I've got a Lamb question:  Does it matter very much if the lamb you buy for this recipe is frozen?  I have very little problem getting local lamb that's fresh, but I have heard my mother say that she usually prefers the taste of the New Zealand lamb that we can buy frozen at the butcher over that of the Canadian lamb which we can get fresh from local farms.   Again, not being a lamb eater, I'm a bit in the dark about how much freezing affects the final texture of the meat.  

Finally:  Francois, your site is a constant inspiration to me.  Thank you, thank you, a thousand times thank you.  The photos and the careful explanations of cooking technique as well as your candor when you make a mistake keep me checking your site every day, hoping for a new FX kitchen adventure!  You make me laugh, cry out in envy and drool like a baby who's teething.  Please, don't ever stop.  :)
  • #4
  • Comment by Paulina  C. L. Tognato
François, I don't know the composition of five allspice berries.
Please, could you give me those names?
Thanks for all!!!!!!!!
  • #5
  • Comment by zeina
Hi, great website. I have been reading every article for a year now.
The recipe seems delicious. When I cook with yoghurt I use the whole egg without separating the yolk and the white, and pass them all with the yoghurt and the cornstarch through a sieve so I don't have to whisk, the result is also satisfying.
Thank you for the great work you are doing!!  
  • #6
  • Answered by fx
Luci, this is a very simple and really beautiful confort food recipe. I loved it!
  • #7
  • Answered by fx
iamnotachefyet, the stabilized yogurt is the thing I make at the beginning with the cornstarch/maizena and egg white. It ought to be mandatory for any yogurt-based sauce in my opinion!
  • #8
  • Answered by fx
Kate, thank you for your appreciation, I think if my little article brought you back memories of one of your mother's favorite dishes, that says a lot! For lamb, I am no expert but at the end of the day what matters most is the sort of life and food the lamb had. If your local farmer keeps his lambs under lock and key and feeds them industrial refuse, they won't be as good as proper lambs raised outside even if the latters are frozen. What you might do is call up a local gastronomic restaurant (fine dining), early in the morning, and ask them where they suggest you buy your lamb. They certainly have more contacts than you can have to locate the best lamb available in your area, and restaurant purveyors will often sell to individuals if you come and pick it up at their facility. Otherwise look at some farmers' market and ask people how they raise their lambs. Good luck!
  • #9
  • Answered by fx
Paulina, here is all about allspice: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allspice
It has many names, probably 5 names in Portuguese only, I am sure you can find it in Brazil, it is quite popular!
  • #10
  • Answered by fx
Zeina, thanks for visiting regularly! The sieve is a very useful tool to mix ingredients thoroughly.
  • #11
  • Comment by Peter Johnson
A stupid thing - and I do cook.  The allspice, crushed, do they become soft whilst cooking or do the need to be strained?  Thanks
I just love this site!
Hey FX!

Great recipe! The color of the lamb meat looks very appetizing. I am an eager follower of fxcuisine, and as a Turk myself, appreciate when you bring the delicacies of the Turkish cuisine to attention. Next time you wanna cook Turkish, I would suggest one of thousands of eggplant variations!

PS: Was it a matter of chance, that you cooked Turkish, after Turkey squeezed past Switzerland to qualify to the quarter-finals :)?   
  • #13
  • Comment by Bart
I made this recipe tonight and I was a bit disappointed with how it turned out.  There were a couple of issues which I thought detracted from how good it could have been.

First, I always meticulously and fastidiously trim off almost every bit of fat from a leg of lamb when I prepare a leg of lamb.  This is because I think lamb fat is horrendously foul.  In doing this, I always end up with bite-size or big-bite-size chunks of lamb that I then sauté and braise or else thread onto skewers for grilling.  Since the leg in this recipe is to remain whole, I was only able to trim off the outer layer of fat and thus the intramuscular fat remained.  Some of the bites of lamb thus had this nasty fat attached, and those were bites I wish had never entered my mouth.

Second, the sauce in this recipe is fairly boring.  It tastes of yogurt, tomato, and allspice.  Those aren't bad things in and of themselves -- it's just that it's not a very complex flavor and I was looking for more.  I ate it and was thinking, "You know, this tomato sauce would be better if I had first sautéed some whole garam masala in some ghee, then added some ground cumin and coriander, and then some ginger-garlic paste, then added the yogurt and tomato sauce, let it simmer, and finished it with some chopped mint and cilantro."  Hmm... maybe I'm being too honest about what I *wanted* to eat instead of what I ended up eating!

However, I will retain the stabilized yogurt formula forever.  It's of no surprise that it uses two of what I call "magic ingredients" in the kitchen: eggs and corn starch.
Paulina, you can find allspice here in Brazil by the name 'Pimenta Jamaicana'. At least in Rio, you can find it in Zona Sul (substitute for whichever upscale supermarket exists where you live), in little disposable grinders
  • #15
  • Comment by Hamza
Bart, stop your whinning. It sounds like you wasted your time in the kitchen. This is Anatolian cooking, simple flavors and comforting food. The recipe is fine. Next time, troop down to your favorite Indo-Pak restaurant and leave good enough alone. If you want an orange, don't eat a grape and then complain it didn't taste like an orange.
  • #16
  • Answered by fx
Peter you can leave the crushed allspice in the sauce, no worry.
  • #17
  • Answered by fx
Ahmet, but I love Turkey and would very much like to receive hot tips about the best, most atmospheric and authentic place to get a kebab with roasted eggplants in the great city of Istanbul! Let me know if you have any tips and thanks for your appreciation. We love Turkey here no matter how well they played the ball against Switzerland!
  • #18
  • Answered by fx
Bart, thanks for your detailed feedback. Indeed there are many ways of cooking a simmered leg of lamb, and an Indian would have included much spice and garlic to make a richer sauce. What attracted me to the recipe was the simplicity of the flavors and its proximity to Neapolitan ragù.
Hi Meister,

Needless to say looks great, just i'd like to rectify the yoghurt bit. This is a method called "meyane" and it is a traditional base for thickening soups etc., generally we do not separate the egg white from the yolk. And cornstarch is not usually added as coagulates for future reheating (but looking at your work there is no possibility of this for you :))also cornstarch generally reserved for desserts. Beat the eggs (numbers depends on the quantity) and beat in to the yoghurt as simple as that. Tricky part is the heating, say for example you want to make a yoghurt soup beat the ingredients and add the warm stock ladle by ladle while gentle stirring over a very low heat. Basically same scientific method anything with eggs and yoghurt or butter(for example say sauce Hollandaise)low heat fast stir does the trick. Once the mixing done you can increase the heat slowly and boil if neccessary. Egg yolks usually gives the heartiness. Keep up the great work, you are a 5 star cook.
  • #20
  • Comment by Samantha
What an awesome recipe!!! I made this for my husband on
Valentines and we both loved it. I have made something similar a long time ago from a cookbook I can't locate at the moment (Sultan's Kitchen). What I loved about this recipe was the the stabilized yogurt, that really helped out. Although admittedly I did not have enough time to let it sit at 100C for many hours and had to up the temperature in the last half hour to get it done more quickly. But wow what a great recipe. Thanks!!

Samantha Newman
  • FX's answer→ Samantha, I am happy to hear this one worked for you! Next time try the slow baking version, not difficult if you prepare everything the night before, then just get out of bed to place it in the oven at dawn, and take it out for a Sunday lunch!

I just made this last night for my Turkish husband, and he told me that his mother would be jealous of my skills. High praise indeed! Thanks so much for this recipe-from me and the husband.
Any idea what the Turkish name for this recipe is?
  • FX's answer→ Sorry I don't remember the Turkish name. High praise indeed, the best a wife can ever get for home cooked meal I think!

  • #24
  • Comment by Xavier
It may be my fxcuisine week, but here is one other dish I made tonight. It came out almost perfect. I like the principle of the stabilized yogurt and I will reuse it in other dishes for sure. I may add more spices next time to balance the tomato flavor which was maybe to prominent tonight.

Thanks again !
  • FX's answer→ Great, glad you managed to make this! Yes the tomato can be a bit sickly sweet (écoeurante), perhaps a bit of chile might liven it up?

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