Mut­ton’s deeper flavour

More gamey than lamb, mut­ton dishes are strong and juicy

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Mut­ton chops in tomato and rose­mary sauce

Serves 4 8 x 100g mut­ton chops, at room tem­per­a­ture 200g on-the-vine toma­toes 3 sprigs fresh rose­mary, plus ex­tra for gar­nish 2 gar­lic cloves 1 red onion, peeled and quar­tered 2 tbsp olive oil juice of ½ lemon 1 tsp honey 1 tbsp tomato puree 150ml white wine sea salt and white pep­per Pre­heat the oven to 190°C/gas mark 5. Place the gar­lic, toma­toes, onion and leaves of two of the rose­mary sprigs in a roast­ing tray. Driz­zle with the oil and sea­son with salt and pep­per. Roast for 25 mins, then trans­fer the con­tents of the tray to a saucepan, squeez­ing the cooked gar­lic out of its skin and into the pan. Add the lemon juice, re­main­ing rose­mary sprig, honey, tomato puree and wine. Bring to the boil and sim­mer for 10 mins. Re­move the sprig of rose­mary. In the mean­time, place the chops in the roast­ing tray and sea­son with pep­per. Roast for 18 mins for medium rare and 30 mins for well done, turn­ing over half­way through. Al­low to rest for 2 mins. Serve with the tomato and rose­mary sauce and ex­tra rose­mary for gar­nish.

Mut­ton, car­rot and cumin casse­role

Serves 4

500g chopped mut­ton steak or leg 300g car­rots, trimmed and chopped 1 tbsp crushed cumin seeds 2 tbsp corn­flour 1 tbsp but­ter 1 tbsp olive oil 8 shal­lots, peeled 200g green lentils 150ml white wine 500ml veg­etable stock 1 tsp honey sea salt and black pep­per Pre­heat the oven to 160°C/gas mark 3. Place the mut­ton in a large bowl and sprin­kle the corn­flour over, then sea­son with salt and pep­per. Stir un­til all the mut­ton is cov­ered with the corn­flour. Add the but­ter to a large oven­proof casse­role dish and melt un­til liq­uid. Fry the mut­ton in the melted but­ter for 5-7 mins, stir­ring reg­u­larly, un­til brown and sealed. Re­move with a slot­ted spoon and set aside. In the same casse­role dish, add the oil and fry the whole shal­lots and cumin seeds for 5-6 mins un­til browned. Add the car­rots, lentils and white wine and cook for 5 mins un­til the wine has evap­o­rated. Add the stock and honey and bring to the boil. Mix in the mut­ton and cook, cov­ered with a lid, in the oven for 2 hrs un­til thick and glossy.

Mut­ton roll

Serves 6

2 pieces (500g) neck fil­lets, at room tem­per­a­ture 250g strong white flour 150g chilled un­salted but­ter, cubed 50g chilled lard, cubed 1 tbsp olive oil 1 egg sea salt and black pep­per Place the flour in a large mix­ing bowl, add the but­ter cubes and lard, and stir. Mix in 140ml of ice-cold water and a pinch of salt and pep­per. Bring to­gether into a ball with the hands, knead­ing slightly if nec­es­sary. Dust a clean work sur­face and a rolling pin with flour and roll the pas­try out into a long rec­tan­gle. Fold one end over to half­way down the rec­tan­gle, then fold the bot­tom up. Turn it 45 de­grees, then roll into a rec­tan­gle again. Re­peat three more times. Wrap in cling film and leave to chill for 1 hr. Sea­son the mut­ton neck pieces with salt and pep­per, then add the olive oil to a fry­ing pan and heat un­til sizzling. Seal the meat, mov­ing both pieces from side to side, for 15 mins for rare and 30 mins for medium. Wrap in tin foil and al­low to cool. Line an oven tray with bak­ing paper. Di­vide the pas­try into two blocks, then roll out one piece on a work sur­face dusted with flour to ap­prox­i­mately 29cm x 14cm. Roll the other piece to 2cm larger than the first. Lay the smaller piece on the pre­pared tray, then top with the neck fil­lets, one after an­other, down the mid­dle. Beat the egg in a small dish with a fork, then brush the bor­ders of the pas­try rim with egg wash. Cover the top with the other piece of pas­try. Trim the sides, leav­ing a 1cm border. Al­low to chill for 30 mins. Pre­heat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6. Score the top of the pas­try with criss-cross lines, then brush the top with egg wash. Bake for 20-25 mins un­til golden and puffed up. Serve im­me­di­ately.

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