Windrush Day slow-roasted mutton roti – James Cochran’s recipe


Get the hard work done in advance, then all you need to do is cook the roti, serve up and allow people to assemble as they want. It’s the perfect West Indian summer sharing experience to celebrate Windrush Day.

Prep 20 min
Rest 1 hr
Cook 10 hr
Serves 4

For the slow-roasted spiced mutton
1kg boneless mutton or lamb shoulder
100g jerk spice
2 scotch bonnet chillies
1 bunch thyme

For the barbecue pineapple
1 small pineapple, trimmed and peeled
100ml white-wine vinegar
50g sugar
150ml water

For the desiccated coconut
100g coconut flakes

For the crushed sweet potato
4 medium sweet potatoes

For the blackened chillies
8 large red chillies
White-wine vinegar

For the roti
300g self-raising flour
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp oil of your choice, plus extra for frying
Melted butter, for brushing (optional)

To serve
Good-quality crispy shallots (shop-bought are fine)

Rub the mutton shoulder all over with the jerk spice, season well with salt, and wrap – first in baking paper with the scotch bonnets and thyme, then wrap again in foil.

Put on a tray and cook low and slow at 110C (90C fan)/225F/gas ¼ for eight hours (if you cook it overnight, the next morning, you’ll have a lovely aroma of jerk spice). Remove, unwrap and use two forks to pull apart the meat. (If you like, you can cook the lamb in advance and reheat on the day at 220C (200C fan)/425F/gas 7 for 20 minutes).

Cut the pineapple into 1cm-thick rings and barbecue or grill on a tray at a high heat until blackened, then turn them over and repeat on the other side. Leave to cool, then cut into 1cm cubes. In a pan, bring the vinegar, sugar and water to a boil until the sugar dissolves, then pour over the pineapple – this, too, can be done in advance – and store in the fridge.

Spread out the coconut flakes on a tray and roast at 220C (200C fan)/425F/gas 7 for about five or six minutes, until browned. Remove, cool, then store in an airtight container until needed.

Prick the sweet potatoes with a fork a few times and bake at the same temperature for an hour, or until soft. Remove and discard the skins, put the flesh in a bowl and crush with a fork. Season with salt and add a little oil, to loosen, then set aside, ready to heat through gently just before serving.

Next, make the blackened chillies. Barbecue or grill the chillies until completely black on the outside, then soak them in a little white-wine vinegar and salt. Keep cool until serving.

For the roti, sift the flour and salt into a bowl, slowly pour in the oil, then add just enough water, little by little, until a soft dough forms. Turn out the dough on to a lightly floured surface, knead until smooth then wrap and and leave to rest for one hour, if possible.

On a floured surface, divide the dough into four equal balls and roll out to about 15cm in diameter and 2mm-thick. Heat a pan or skillet until hot, lightly grease the pan with oil, then fry one roti for about 45 seconds, until it puffs up and is speckled brown. Turn over and cook on the other side, then brush with a little butter, if you like, and keep warm under a tea towel. Repeat with the remaining roti.

Build the roti however you like, garnishing with coriander and good-quality crispy shallots (ones from your local supermarket will do just fine).