Old school mutton stew
No matter where you go in the world, you will find some or other version of it. It may be named differently or eaten differently, but a stew is a stew is a stew. Timeless, old fashioned, yum.
This recipe is for a mutton stew, but you can use lamb if you like. Just remember that lamb will be a lot oilier and you may need to skim the layer of fat that gathers on the stew as it cooks, every 30 minutes or so.
People confuse mutton and lamb. Industry standards dictate that a sheep between one and 12 months old can be labelled lamb. Any sheep slaughtered after it’s 12 months old must be labelled mutton. When it comes to lamb cutlets and chops, the age of an animal matters more than when it comes to stew. Ingredients 1kg mutton, cubed and trimmed 1 can tomato purée 3 onions, sliced 4 carrots, cut into thick slices 7 potatoes, cut into cubes 2 leeks 2 tsp fresh thyme, finely chopped 1 tbsp parsley, rough chopped 2 tsp paprika 3 star anise pods 1 tsp dried sage 1 tbsp ground coriander seeds 2 tbsp flour 30g butter 750ml beef stock 250ml red wine freshly ground pepper sea salt Method 1. Cut the excess fat off the mutton and discard. 2. Toss the mutton in the flour and coat it well. 3. Heat some oil in a large pot and fry the meat on a high heat until it is deep brown in colour. 4. Remove about two-thirds of the meat from the pot, and then throw in all the onions and the butter. Stir often until the onions are slightly browned. 5. Add the tomato purée to the mixture and allow to simmer. Every time it is about to burn, add a little bit of the red wine and stir (this is called deglazing). 6. Once all the wine is used up and the mixture is a dark, rich brown colour, add the rest of the meat that you had removed earlier. 7. Add your herbs and spices, and mix well. 8. Add the beef stock. If it does not cover all the meat, add water to the pot until everything is covered. 9. Bring the stew to the boil and then allow it to simmer, covered, for two hours. 10. Remove the lid of the pot, add the carrots and potatoes, and allow the stew to simmer for another 30 minutes. Season and balance the flavour with salt and pepper. 11. Note: Only add salt to the stew in the last 30 minutes. Salt concentrates as it cooks, so the later you add it, the better. For more foolproof and delicious recipes, visit lesdachef.wordpress.com and follow @lesdachef on Twitter