Monday, 5 March 2012

Mutton and Ale Stew

Never had mutton before? Always thought it cheap and tough? A poor mans Lamb?
Well you’d be wrong.

Mutton, whilst older and naturally tougher than young Lamb, if cooked properly,  has a really intense and deep flavour that I can only describe as Lamb2

If you get the chance, then please do give it a go. There’s no great mystery to cooking it, just treat it like you would Lamb, just for longer and at a lower temperature. You won’t be disappointed.

Mutton is fairly cheap and stewing it means you can chuck any old veg you've got knocking about the place. This made around 6 portions 

This recipe follows the basic Lamb stew principle and if you’ve seen my lamb stew post, will seem very familiar .


500g Diced Mutton
2 Medium Onions Chopped
3 Cloves of Garlic Finely Chopped
3 Anchovies Finely Chopped
3 Large Carrots Cut into chunks or large discs
1 Small Swede cut into chunks
6 Shallots peeled, topped and tailed
Any other veg you want to chuck in
500ml of Lamb Stock
500ml of Ale (London Pride in this case)
Large Pinch of Chilli Flakes
Tablespoon of Tomato Puree
80g Plain Flour, seasoned
100g Pearl Barley
Sprig of Rosemary and a sprig of thyme

I found that preparing all the veg then putting in a bowl of water helped keep them fresher


Put the diced lamb into a bowl with the flour and ensure all pieces are covered
Pre-Heat the oven to 160
In a flame proof casserole dish brown pour in about a tablespoon of olive oil, and then brown the lamb in batches, put to one side for now

In the casserole dish fry the onions until soft then add the garlic and anchovies fry for one min.

Next add the Carrots, Shallots and Swede, stir fry for another min before adding the tomato puree and any remaining flour, make sure the flour is dispersed and stir well

Add in the Ale and deglaze the pan, one the liquid starts to boil add the lamb stock.

Bring to the boil, add the chilli flakes and herbs, cover and place in the oven for 2.5-3 hours. Add the pearl barley 30 mins before you're ready to serve stirring every 20 mins or so until  the mutton is beautifully tender. Season to taste and serve with bread or mash

The Timings for cooking aren't exact its depends on your oven, how cooked the meat is etc ...
Do keep an eye on it though, if its drying out add more water , but remember to keep tasting.


  1. I don't know why, but never thought of putting ale with mutton or lamb. Sounds lovely! There is a great ale from Black Sheep Brewery which would be great to use in this!

    1. Ale works well with sheep based offerings, it has to be an ale or a bitter though to match up with the lamb/properly.

      I guess if you're going to put any beer with it, it would have to be from the Black Sheep Brewery

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