Much Ado About Mutton
Mutton is tastier than lamb, but is more often regarded as a specialist meat that is fashionable in restaurants, but not kitchens. However, for centuries it was more popular than lamb and mutton chops were served at the last lunch on the Titanic (so don’t get any if you are planning a boating trip!) With an acclaimed history at the British table, it’s the perfect dish for the colder winter months, providing a rich, slow cooked flavour that is hard to beat.
Mutton is sheep that is over two years old and is available in all the cuts but is most popular diced. We tend to stock it at Stansted Park Farm Shop during the winter.
There is a book on Mutton, the great “Much Ado About Mutton” that gives you the full historical background and why we should be eating more of it. It’s perfect for a curry, with the robust flavour complimenting the spice. Get out the slow cooker and enjoy traditional, delicious meat.
Diced mutton is excellent in curry as the stong flavour holds up perfectly, while traditional casseroles would often be served with barley. I would also recommend this recipe:
Slow cooked, herb crusted leg of mutton.
- 1 2kg leg joint of mutton
- 1 whole red onion peeled and cut into quarters
- 2 carrots peeled and cut into 3cm pieces
- 1 lemon cut into quarters
- 2 celery sticks chopped into 3cm pieces
- 2 parsnips peeled and cut into 3cm pieces
- 1 head Garlic
- 1 sprig sage
- 1 sprig thyme
- 1 sprig rosemary
- sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1 750ml red wine
For the crust:
- 2 tbsp Olive oil
- 1 tbsp german mustard Dijon works fine too
- 100 grams panko breadcrumbs normal breadcrumbs will work fine too
- 1 bunch parsley
- 1 zest of 1 lemon
- Preheat the oven to 150 degrees and put all the vegetables in a large roasting tin or casserole dish.
- Break up the head of garlic and scatter the individual cloves all over the pan, scatter the herbs all around and season everything well.
- Place the leg of mutton on top of everything and pour the red wine over the top. Cover with foil, sealing it tightly around the edges. Place in the oven and roast for 4 and 1/2 hours.
- Whilst it is roasting add the breadcrumbs to a food processor along with the parsley, 2 cloves of garlic, salt and pepper, olive oil and blitz to combine. Set aside until you are ready to use it.
- After 4 and 1/2 hours, remove the mutton from the oven, brush the Dijon mustard over the top of the mutton and carefully add the breadcrumb mixture to the top until nice and coated.
- Return the mutton to the oven and bake for a further 30 minutes until a nice golden brown on top and the breadcrumb mixture is cooked through.