Leg and Shoulder – slowly roast (boulangere) in the oven orbone it and stuff it !.
Leg – steaks – thick cut steaks that slowly cook in the oven
Neck, Breast and Shoulder – use in stews (ragoût) and slow cooked dishes like a daube
1) Boulangere – "Bakers Oven" slow roasting method – this is good for the Leg or Shoulder.
Season the meat and pop it into a hot oven (220º C) for 20 minutes. Slice some onion and sweat in a little butter, cut potatoes for roasting and mix with the onions, add a few capers and a couple of peeled cloves of garlic. Take the meat out of the oven and put the potato and onion mix under the meat. Add a pint of stock, cover tightly – turn down to (140ºC) and cook slowly for 3 hours.
2) Carbonnade Nîmoise – Slow cooked leg steak. Heat a little olive oil in a casserole, chop up a few rashers of bacon, place a couple of thick leg steaks on the bacon, season and add some fresh thyme. Add some potatoes and any other vegetable for roasting. Perhaps some onion, artichoke hearts, a few tomatoes, fennel, carrots or aubergine. Cook in a hot oven (220º C) for 20 minutes, then cover with foil and a tight fitting lid and turn the down to 140ºC and cook for 3 to 4 hours.
3) Daube – Cut meat (neck, breast, shoulder) into fair sized chunks, chop up 2 onions and 2 carrots add seasoning. Pour over a bottle of good red wine, a glass of wine vinegar and 2 tablespoons of brandy. Leave to marinade for 4 hours.
Heat a little olive oil in a casserole with some chopped up belly pork or bacon, add 2 onions quartered and cook for a few minutes. Add the meat and vegetables (strained from the marinade), cook until the meat is browned. Add Parsley, thyme, rosemary and a bay leaf, a couple of cloves of garlic and a piece of orange skin. Pour over the marinade. Cover the casserole with foil and a tightly fitting lid and cook at 140ºC for 3 to 4 hours.
TIP – As some cuts of mutton can be quite fatty let the daube cool overnight and then remove the fat that will solidify on the surface. Then reheat ensuring the meat is hot before serving.
4) Stew or ragoût – Cut meat into fair sized chunks, brown in a little butter, season and add a teaspoon of sugar. Stir in 2 tablespoons of flour and cook for a few minutes. Add a crushed clove of garlic, 2 pints of water or stock, 4 or 5 tablespoons of tomato puree and 2 sprigs of parsley and thyme and a bay leaf. Simmer for an hour. Remove the mutton with a slatted spoon to a casserole. Brown a couple of handfuls of small silver skinned onions and add with some chopped potatoes to the casserole. Strain the liquid from the pan the meat was cooked in, into the casserole. Cover with foil and a tight fitting lid and cook for a further ¾ of an hour. This is a basic ragout – you can add other vegetables or pasta or riceBoiled Leg of Mutton with Caper Sauce
Wipe the leg, cover with hot water, boil and skim for 5 minutes before reducing the heat to a gentle simmer.Chop and add
1 stick of celery
Add some parsley, thyme, marjoram, a bay leaf, 12 peppercorns, a desert spoon of salt,2 cloves, and1 clove of garlic.
Simmer for 20 minutes/lb plus 20 minutes. 30 minutes before the leg is ready you could add some new potatoes.Broad beans or peas are very good added 10 minutes before the end. Remove, drain and carve.Serve with Caper Sauce.
The stock makes a good base for soups and stews.
Simple 17th Century Mutton Stew
Diced mutton dusted with seasoned flour
Pinch of mace and nutmeg
1 glass of beer
1-2 anchovy fillets
1 tablespoon capers
Add oysters and samphire grass towards end of cooking although these days chopped mushrooms may be more practical!
Cook long and slow.
Thicken sauce if needed.
Place the saddle, leg or shoulder on an ounce or two of butter or pork fat in a roasting dish. Rub the joint with some softened butter and with a little garlic, some dried thyme and some highly seasoned flour.
Place the mutton in the middle of a preheated oven at 200ºC for 10 minutes.Reduce to 180ºC and cook for 20-25 minutes/lb basting three or four times in the process.A little chopped herb and a drop of claret in the bottom of the pan help the natural juices form a real good basting mix.
Dredging and Frothing
This is a lovely and rather old fashioned way of finishing any joint. When the joint is almost cooked, sprinkle with flour and then pour over the fat with or without some cider, claret, orange or lemon juice, ale or beer.A lovely crisp surface forms as the joint finishes cooking.
The dredging can involve a variety of different ingredients.For example, adding sugar and cinnamon or nutmeg and ginger in the flour or perhaps fennel and mustard seeds or coriander and cumin adds a lovely flavour. Citrus peel that has been dried and powdered works well in the flour as well.
.... and finally some accompaniments
Traditional Accompaniments for Mutton
1) Caper Sauce
The Tricky One
1 ½ oz flour
1 ½ oz melted butter
1 pint billed salted water
4-5 egg yolks
2 tablespoons hot milk of cream
8 oz softened butter
Smoothly mix the flour and melted butter over a medium heat and add the water all at once, whisking fast.Mix together the egg yolks and mild or cream and stir into the sauce.Remove from the heat.Strain through a fine sieve or muslin and gradually add the softened butter.Add 2 or 3tablespoons of small capers.
2) Onion Sauce
2 oz butter
1 ½ oz flour
¾ pint milk
3 medium onions, peeled and quartered lengthways
salt and pepper
Stew the onions in the milk for 20 minutes.Pour into a bowl and make a roux.Add the onions and the milk slowly, season and barely simmer for 2-3 minutes.
3) Redcurrant Jelly
1 lb fruit to 1lb of preserving fruit.
Boil the redcurrants in a little water, stir frequently.Strain through muslin.Dissolve the sugar in the juice and boil rapidly for approx 5 minutes until reaching setting point.Pour into jars.
4) Mint Sauce
Heat 3 tablespoons of cider vinegar and add 2 teaspoons of caster sugar.Allow to dissolve and, while still warm add 1 tablespoon of finely chopped mint.Leave for 1 hour before serving.
5) Savoury Herb Pudding
1 pint milk
¼ lb fine oatmeal
¼ lb breadcrumbs
3 oz flour
¼ lb finely chopped suet
½ lb finely chopped onions
2 tablespoons each of fresh sage, thyme, parsley and marjoram or other favourites
salt and pepper
Heat the milk and pour over the oatmeal and the breadcrumbs.Leave for 10 minutes.Beat in the eggs.Mix the suet, herbs and seasoning with the flour and add the onions.Add the oatmeal mix.Beat and add more milk if necessary.Bake for one hour.
6) Green Butter
2 oz butter
Salt and pepper
½ tablespoon chopped parsley
½ tablespoon chopped mint
½ tablespoon chopped spinach for colour
Mix and serve very cold.