Slow Cooked Mutton

Despite loving lamb, I’d never taken the step to try it’s more mature cousin.  I think mainly because when I have suggested it in the past family and friends have sort of turned their noses up.  It’s one of those meats that I think people associate with previous generations and that somehow, food-wise, we have moved on; our collective palates have become more discerning and more attuned to particular tastes.  But as with the resurgence of veal, mutton is simply an alternative, another addition to the menu and while I may not be the most environmentally minded surely it makes sense to make the most of natures pantry?

Anyway after consulting the twitterati, FTTBYD came up with this recipe which largely guided my hand, there were a couple of changes so I have written the recipe out again here.

1 Shoulder of Mutton – still on the bone.  This one came from Stuart & Caroline Lawson at Cockerham Salt Marsh Lamb

Flavoured butter to spread over the top of the joint:
1 Block (250g) Softened butter
1 Tbsp chopped fresh Rosemary
8 Salted anchovy fillets
Zest and juice of a lemon
A few splashes of Womersley Blackcurrant & Rosemary Vinegar

For the roasting dish:
6 Banana Shallots (halved lengthways)
2 Garlic Bulbs (cut in half)
1 Sliced Sheep Kidney
½ Bottle Red wine (I used a Mcpherson Shiraz recommended by Barrica Wines)
A few splashes of Womersley Blackcurrant & Rosemary Vinegar
Black Pepper
1 Tsp chopped fresh Rosemary

For the gravy:
50ml Womersley Blackcurrant & Rosemary Vinegar
1 Sprig Rosemary
Black Pepper
Cooking juices from mutton

  • Pre-heat oven to 140C
  • Combine all the ingredients for the flavoured butter in a food processor and spread generously over the top of the mutton.
  • Place the shallots, garlic and kidney in the bottom of the roasting dish.
  • Place the butter covered mutton on top of the shallots so it does not touch the bottom of the dish.
  • Pour in the red wine.  It should just touch the bottom of the mutton, you may need to use slightly more or less.
  • Add a few dashes of the vinegar and the chopped rosemary
  • Cover with greaseproof paper and a double layer of tin foil
  • Place in the oven and cook for at least 6 hours – I cooked like this for 7 in the end.
  • Remove foil and paper and turn the oven up to max (about 250C) to crisp up the crust.
  • After 20 minutes remove from the oven, take the mutton out of the roasting dish.
  • To make the gravy, add the vinegar, black pepper and rosemary to a hot pan and reduce to a sticky syrup.
  • Remove the rosemary sprig and ladle in some of the cooking juices reducing as you go.  Reduce down until you get a nice shiny gravy.  I like mine slightly thick but stop whenever you are happy with the consistency.

I served with simple veg – carrots, buttered cabbage and Lancashire new potatoes.


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