Mutton that doesn’t need to dress as lamb
I went shopping for some sausages and a deodorant and came home with a kilo of mutton from the butcher.
That makes me either the world’s worst impulse buyer or the best. I’m not quite sure which.
Mutton falls into the same category as oxtail and pig cheeks, a traditional cut or flesh that has fallen out of popular circulation in recent years but is due a revival.
It has a reputation as being tough but if you whack it in a hearty stew and cook it for a while the result is tender yet chewy meat full of flavour and providing a bit of variety in the red meat department.
As well as ensuring those ex-woolies don’t go to waste of course.
The recipe I used was a variation on a Gordon Ramsay F-Word one.
Serves four normal people with mash or rice, or three people like me.
650g of mutton, cut into chunks.
5 sticks of celery, washed and roughly chopped.
3 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped.
2 leeks, washed and roughly chopped.
1 tsp of tomato puree.
Half a bottle of red wine (leaving half a bottle to be drunk!).
Thyme – I used a tsp of dried but fresh is obviously good and would require more.
Rosemary – same as above.
a head of garlic, unpeeled and cut horizontally.
salt and pepper for seasoning.
Preheat the oven to 160C.
Brown the meat in a casserole.
Add the chopped vegetables and tomato puree.
Add the wine and enough water to cover the veg.
Add the thyme, rosemary and two half heads of garlic.
Cover and cook in the oven for 2.5 hours.
Serve with some buttery mash and greens.
Where to get mutton
After a Twitter plea a few people came forward to say they have mutton. Will add more as they come in:
The Blackmore Vale Butchery at Coking Farm on the A30 Between Henstridge and West Stour near Sherbourne in Dorset.
Rona Amiss (@OrganicDuck on twitter) says Higher Fingle Farm sell it at farmers markets and online.
Padstow Farm Shop in Cornwall tells me they are also a stockist, you can call them on 01841533060. Thanks to Flo and Kev Parsons via Twitter