Friday 21 July 2017

Slow Cooked Mutton

Earlier in the year we had a ewe killed. 
The price for cull ewes was rubbish at the time and in all my years of keeping sheep I'd never tried mutton and I quite fancied giving it a try. Mutton is a popular meat all round the world, just in the UK we seem to think that sheep should only be eaten as lamb. 

The ewe was three years old, fairly big and as you'd expect, had a good layer of fat on her. Mutton has a well placed reputation for being fatty, all this means is you need to be careful in how you cook it. 
Talking to friend we decided to make a rub for the meat and cook it long, slow and low. Making the rub in the recipe above (my mate had to come over as I didn't have many of the ingredients!), we then covered the meat, scored the fat and set it in a low oven (160) uncovered for a little while then covered with some water in the tray until the fat started to come out. 
After an hour or so I lifted it up onto a rack on the tray to continue cooking (still covered), this bit is essential because I wanted the fat to cook out of the meat. 

The joint was in the oven for a little under five hours and was cooked to perfection (if I do say myself). I did brown it off a bit at the end by cooking with no cover. 

as you can see the half inch layer of fat in the bottom of the pan shows that this is the right way to cook it! 
The meat just fell off the bone.
I served it chopped up on some rice with steamed french beans (french beans with everything at the moment!), it was beautiful. So tender and so full of flavour. 

Who else likes to eat mutton? 

How do you cook the big joints?


  1. I prefer mutton to lamb when it comes to stews and casseroles but getting hold of mutton isn't easy.

  2. Same here but way to expensive apart from an occasional treat.

  3. I can remember my grandma's neck of mutton stew back around the late 60's. Just plain meat stewed, no veg - the gravy was delicious - just right for dipping bread in. It's quite rare to find mutton nowadays in the shops.

  4. We cook the sheep we raise in a similar way Kev and enjoy, and much prefer, the stronger flavour. I can't quite grasp the attraction of 'spring lamb' (nor the prices).

  5. My favourite used to be hogget. I would have to special order hogget or mutton here I think, I would more than likely see goat, than mutton. I have had mutton in Greece a few times,I like it made into greek lamb meatballs, it came with a runny yoghurt sauce

  6. Mutton is something not seen here in the shops anymore Kev. I used to cook a leg of mutton in an oven bag with a cup of coffee put in it. When my friend told me about this I thought it would be yuk and taste of coffee but it doesn't and it is tenderised by the coffee and tastes wonderful. I used to love hogget as well but it has gone the same way as mutton.
    Cheers, Karen near Gympie.

  7. Yum! When we raise our own sheep we will have this too I think. Please tell me that you kept the dripping for roasting potatoes :) I always keep cooking fat to use over the next few days, adds so much flavour to veges.

  8. I love mutton but we have to get it direct from a local farmer. We get hogget from him too. I cant remember the last time I bought lamb- like Phillip I dont see the appeal.
    Last week I marinated a butterflied leg of hogget and grilled it over a campfire which was amazing but I slow roast or stew mutton when we get it. I like it with Mediterranean flavours especially, either Greek or North African. I want to try it wrapped in hay and boiled- very Neolithic!

  9. We have three lambs this year, and after your posting, I am thinking about keeping at least one for a couple of years before filling the freezer!

  10. I've never tasted mutton either, but we loved the lamb we've raised a couple of times in the past. Here in the States, we used to be able to purchase lamb in the grocery store but no more. At least not in the non-metropolis area in which we live.

    Did the mutton have a strong taste at all?

  11. My favourite thing to do with mutton, when I can get hold of it which isn't often even living in a farming community, is to curry it. Its flavour comes through much better than lamb in all forms of meat curry, especially the hotter ones. My fave curry involves lots of finely sliced onions, garlic, a tin of tomatoes, a big pot of yoghurt and the same of water, and a spice mix of coriander, cumin, turmeric, fenugreek, black mustard seed, cardamom pods, plenty of cinnamon and cayenne or chills to taste, all of which is poured over unbrowned chunks of mutton in a heavy pot. Seal the lid if it's not tight fitting and put in a moderate oven for about 5 hours until the mutton is meltingly soft and the liquid has nearly gone.


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