Portland Hogget Rogan Josh

Literally meaning "red juice", the rogan josh is a typical example of the rich, warming curries from India's northern Kashmiri border. With a generous dose of the region's signature red chilli powder, it's the perfect dish for cold winters nights. 

It gets its name from the red tempered ghee that finishes off the dish. It is traditionally coloured using Ratan Jot, the dried root of an Alkanet plant. Don't worry if you are unable to find this though, a slice of beetroot or even a dash of natural red food colouring gives the same effect. 

The wonderful, rich flavour of our Portland hogget in this stands up to the heavy, warming spices bringing an extra dimension of sweet, lamby flavour. 

We have made ours using the neck fillet. This creates a perfect dish for two. A boned and diced shoulder would work just as well and feed more people. 

Ingredients

  • 1 x Portland hogget neck fillet 
  • 3 x table spoons vegetable oil 
  • 1/2 x Cinnamon stick 
  • 3 x Black cardamon pod 
  • 3 x Green cardamon pod 
  • 1 x Bay leaf  
  • 1/2 x teaspoon of Black peppercorns 
  • 2 x Small onions, finely diced 
  • 1.5 x teaspoon garlic paste 
  • 1.5 x teaspoon ginger paste 
  • 1 x teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 x teaspoon coriander powder 
  • 1.5 x teaspoon Kashmiri chilli powder
  • 4 x tablespoon natural yoghurt 
  • 2 x teaspoons ground roasted fennel seeds
  • 2 x teaspoons garam masala 
  • 200ml x Chicken or vegetable stock

For the tempered butter 

  • 50g x unsalted butter or ghee 
  • 1/2 x teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1 x small piece of cinnamon 
  • 2 x cloves 
  • 1 x slice of beetroot or a splash of red food colouring 

To finish 

  • 2 x teaspoons finely chopped ginger
  • 1 x handful of roughly chopped coriander 

Method 

1. Cut the hogget into large chunks and set aside

2. Heat oil in a heavy based pan on a medium to high heat. Add the whole spices (cinnamon stick, black and green cardamon, pepper corns, bay leaf) to the pan and let them cackle and sizzle for a minute or two flavouring the oil

3. Add the diced hogget to the pan and cook for a couple of minutes until it is nicely brown all over. Remove from the pan and set aside

4. Add the diced onions to the pan. Cook on a low heat until very soft and golden (about 20mins) 

5. Add the ginger and garlic paste to the pan and cook for 5mins  

6. Add the ground coriander, cumin and Kashmiri chilli powder. Stir into the onion mixture and let cook for a couple more minutes

7. Return the hogget to the pan. Stir to coat with the onion spice mix

8. Start adding yoghurt to the pan. This is what thickens your sauce. Add one tablespoon at a time and stir in to prevent it from separating

9. Add the ground fennel seeds and garam masala, then add stock so that the meat is almost covered 

10. Put a lid on the pan the place in an oven at 150 degrees. Cook for 1.5hrs or until the meat is falling apart

11. While your meat is cooking, make the tempered butter. Melt butter in a small pan with the spices, beetroot and food dye. Let it bubble but not burn  

12. To finish the dish, remove from the oven and pour the tempered butter over the top, taking out the whole spices using a sieve. Finish with the chopped ginger and coriander and serve with basmati rice and / or chapatis 

(Recipe adapted from Vivek Singh, Executive Chef at the Cinnamon Club https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_H267W8LweA)