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?