Archive for Taste

Mutton for sale – Great New Recipe

This is a Classic with a  Michelin twist.

We are back in the grove after selling out at Christmas and now have mutton ready for sale on the farm.

What I like about these Mutton Rennaisance recipes is that they encourage people to explore lots of different cuts and highlight the versatility of the meat.

POACHED LEG OF MUTTON WITH A CAPER CREAM SAUCE

This is one of the classic ways to cook mutton; the gentle poaching enables the meat to reach optimum tenderness. Wow your friends by serving it at a dinner party with some red cabbage and baby root veg.

SERVES: 6

INGREDIENTS

  • 2kg (4lb,6oz) 1/2 leg of mutton (bone-in)
  • 4 large Spanish onions, peeled and sliced
  • 2 generous tsp sea salt
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 5ml (1tsp) whole black peppercorns
  • 1/4 stick cinnamon
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 2 litres (3 1/2 pints) light chicken stock
  • 1 bottle (750ml) dry white wine
  • 350g (12oz) unsalted butter
  • 60 ml (4tbsp) finely chopped shallots
  • 60 ml (4 tbsp) capers
  • 600ml (1pt) double cream.

METHOD

  1. Place the mutton into a large saucepan and bury it in the sliced onions. Add the salt. Tie the bay leaves, peppercorns, cinnamon and orange zest in a piece of muslin and add this to the pan with half of the wine.
  2. Cover with the chicken stock and bring to a gentle simmer. Skim off the crust that forms on the surface with a spoon.
  3. Simmer gently for approximately 2 hours or until tender.
  4. After 1 hour, take a saucepan and melt 150g (6oz) of the butter, add the shallots and capers and cook gently until softened then turn up the heat to lightly colour the shallots.
  5. Add the rest of the wine and cook briskly until the liquid reduces by half. Draw off approximately 1 litre (2 pints) of the poaching liquor from the mutton pan and add it to the capers and shallots. Bring this to the boil and reduce by half. Add the double cream and bring back to the boil. Reduce the mixture further until you achieve a glossy cream gravy. Adjust seasoning and keep warm.
  6. When the mutton is ready, transfer to a serving dish, cover and keep warm. Strain the poaching liquid from the onions but retain.
  7. Heat a large frying pan and melt the remaining butter until foaming. Add the drained onions and fry briskly until they turn golden and have begun to caramelise.
  8. Place some of the golden onions onto a plate and slice the mutton finely on top of it. Garnish with a ladling of the caper cream sauce. Note: The retained poaching liquid can be used to make a delicious soup.

MDAL.

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More Mutton Recipes

  Found this lovely dish opposite here on the BBC good food website.

Also checkout this search on the BBC food website (why 2 food websites on the BBC???)

The last one in particular is a corker with 20 or so recipes.

Happy New Year!

MDAL.

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Brian Turner’s Braised Mutton and Caper cobbler

A hearty mid-week supper that’s delicious served on its own or with some creamy mash to soak up the juices.

SERVES: 6

 Don’t forget our Mutton Buying guide “Where to buy Mutton”

 Searching for other Mutton recipes I came accros this which looks delicious. Love to know what “mutton masala” is think I’ll have to research that one for future reference.

 

INGREDIENTS
For the Stew

  • 1kg (2.2lb) diced leg of mutton
  • 2 celery stalks, halved
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and cut in half
  • 1/2 small swede, cut into 12 chunks
  • 6 shallots, peeled
  • 6 small turnips, scrubbed but not peeled
  • 10 whole black peppercorns
  • salt
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 1 litre (13/4 pints) lamb stock made with 2 good quality stock cubes

For the Cobbler top

  • 350g (12oz) self raising flour
  • 100g (4oz) butter, diced
  • 50g (2oz) capers, chopped
  • 10g (1/2 oz) parsley, chopped
  • 4 spring onions, finely chopped
  • 30ml (2 tbsp) plain natural yoghurt
  • mixed with 70ml (5 tbsp) cold water.

METHOD

  1. Place the mutton in a large casserole or pan with the vegetables and herbs.
  2. Add peppercorns and season with salt.
  3. Bring to the boil and simmer gently for 1 hour.
  4. To make the cobbler rub the fat and the flour together.
  5. Stir in the capers, parsley, onions and pepper.
  6. Add enough of the yoghurt and water mix to make a soft, pliable dough.
  7. Roll dough to 2.5cm (1”) thick and cut into 12 rounds or wedges. Place on top of the mutton.
  8. Bake at 200°C, Gas 6, 400°F for 20-25 minutes or until the cobbler is golden brown

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Where to buy mutton

 Many people come to us at Phepson Farm when they are looking to buy mutton. We are now sold out for Christmas, but you can usually find a local supplier with good quality mutton for sale if you try.

UPDATE 16.12.2010 – Now taking orders for 2011….

We supply locally because we like to know the customers and deliver in the local area. It also helps to keep our focus on our local customers as they tend to be more loyal in the long-term. Having said that we have some very loyal people who order online and just prefer our rare breed mutton to what they can get locally.

If in doubt about a supplier you can always check out the mutton renaissance website for good suppliers.

A quick guide to buying mutton:

1. Try and buy rare/traditional breeds where possible – it will be more fatty and therefore more flavoursome.

2. Make sure it IS actually mutton. Mutton is over 2 years old and if good quality then under 5. You see a lot of hogget lamb (1-2 years) sold as mutton. Goat is also called mutton in Caribbean cooking.

3. Your mutton should be hung for at least 2 weeks or it will be tough – this is why it often gets a bad reputation. Also avoid phrases like “aged 21 days”. Words like “aged” or “matured” usually mean something nasty has been injected to mimick hanging. Hanging meat is expensive so expect to pay more for this.

4. For roasts I would always go for shoulders over legs and rolled breasts over loins. Chops for a slow cooked stew, leg steaks are great for frying or stripped for a stir fry and the tender-loin and neck fillets are to die for in a mutton stew or mutton curry.

5. When you get it home cook it slowly! With such great flavour it’s important you treat it with great care.

MDAL.

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You get out what you put in

You would have thought that since I produce the finest quality mutton and lamb that I would be pretty familiar with the above rule of thumb. You would have thought…

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Decisions, Decisions….

All this snow is affecting our production. With the best will in the world feeding species rich hay is not enough to fatten sheep in snow conditions.

As a result we haven’t been able to take any to slaughter for a while now.

I could take them leaner – but that would impact quality of the meat (less fat is not good).

I could feed them concentrate feed to fatten them – but then they wouldn’t taste as good.

Looks like I’ll have to wait and do a bit more selling in the spring.

Who brought up this whole food integrity thing anyway?

MDAL

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Why is the Government so inflexible?

I’m reading a great Book Called Pig Perfect.

Peter Kaminski describes some remarkable encounters with pig producers and their pigs from all over Europe and the U.S.

On one of his pork related adventures in France he pulls into a yard with mud higher than his ankles and as he approaches he sees an ancient stone/brick outbuilding among the livestock sheds full of local people about to take part in a long held tradition of a community pig slaughter and feast.

He describes the scene as everyone settles down to some great wine next to an enormous fire-place, while couldrons of bean stew bubble on the fire and a pan of Fois Gras sizzles away. The mingled smells of farm animals, dogs wandering around, damp hay, wood smoke, wine and the glorious scent of the soon to be cooked feast. It sounded wonderful.

But then I thought of the regulations that now entwine our every action and wondered if this scene would be legal in Britain?

 We have been pinged by the authorities just for having our dog lie by the Aga while we cook a Breakfast for paying guests – what would they think if it was pigs, sheep and cattle too?!?

There are new onerous regulations coming in to the EU about home slaughter for your own consumption – as if the regulations for slaughter that have destroyed local abatoirs across Britain were not bad enough. Could the big grocers be starting to worry about people killing their own stock and saving money on their meat bill?

Just because this scene might be illegal in Britain doesn’t mean it can’t happen. But when you tie these community events up in red tape is it any wonder that these events start to occur less frequently?

We sanitise our life at the expense of our experiences. If we want rich, warm encounters that linger in the memory (unless you had too much wine) then we really should accept that to eliminate risk is to eliminate the imperfections that make life worth living.

MDAL

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