Ain’t got nothin’ on my mutton! (Can’t take credit for that line – thanks Friend)
My memory of mutton was from growing up in Singapore where it was commonly on Indian menus. Some say mystery meat, I say it’s one of the most fantastic and flavourful meats I’ve ever had…when it’s done right. If the Prince of Wales says it’s his favourite dish, then come on, you gotta at least try it, right?
I recently read about Jamie Oliver’s plea for people to start asking their butchers for mutton – which used to be a staple in Western diets before World War II. American GI’s during the war were shipped canned mutton as their staple – not exactly the best way to cook this meat. As a result, many of them avoided mutton completely upon their return. Check out this NY Times article if you want to read more about why this meat is so prevalent in other countries but not in Western ones.
It’s almost impossible to find local lamb at the local grocery stores – so mutton is pretty much out of the question. So when I saw that Jay Springs Lamb Company from Kamloops, BC, a butcher at my local farmer’s market had pasture-fed, free-range mutton stew for half the price of lamb, I was all over it.
Here’s what I did with it…
Difficulty rating: 3 out of 5
– 2 carrots
– 2 celery
– 1 onion
– 2 cloves of garlic
– 2 cups of stock (beef if you have it; I used leftover turkey stock from Thanksgiving)
– 1 cup of red wine
– 2 lb of mutton stew
– 2 tsps of Kitchen Bachelor’s Magic Blackening Spice
1. Preheat oven to 325 F
2. Pat the mutton dry with paper towels; season with salt and pepper before browning the mutton in a pot
3.Once browned on both sides, remove the mutton from the pot
4. Add onions and saute for a couple minutes – scraping the brown bits off the bottom of the pot
5. Adding garlic and the vegetables and saute
6. Bring the mutton back to the pot and add the blackening spice
7. Add the wine and the stock – liquids should come to just about the middle of the meat for the braising effect
8. Stir to mix the flavours
9. Cover the pot and leave it in the oven for 3 hours
10. Serve over brown rice and some steamed veges
Take a chance and try mutton the next time you wonder over to the farmer’s market.