Mutton, which is the meat of an adult sheep, has been overshadowed by its younger relative for many years. But today, more and more meat lovers are recognising that mutton is a meat with added flavour. In fact, due to its delicious richness, more and more of our customers are choosing mutton rather than lamb for many different recipes.
For a number of years, mutton had some bad press, being perceived that the meat came from dragged-out, scraggy ewes. That is not the case. Farmers take a lot of care to nurture these animals to ensure the best cuts possible.
History of Mutton
Interestingly, it wasn’t always the case. Mutton was an extremely popular cut of meat during Victorian Times and was enjoyed right up until the second world war, when farmers who were called up for duty were replaced by less skilled workers. Unfortunately, this badly reared mutton and tasteless frozen imports meant that a whole post-war generation literally lost their taste for mutton.
The change began in the early 2000’s when Prince Charles set up the Mutton Renaissance to campaign support for sheep farmers who were struggling to sell their older animals.
Mutton’s big strength is that it can handle tougher treatment in the kitchen. We often abuse lamb through slow-cooking; these cuts should be cooking quickly for the best texture and flavour. Mutton on the other hand is great in dishes which are heavily spiced like tagines, stews and curries.
Mutton is also lower in fat than younger meats and works in any cuts.
To get you started on your delicious mutton journey, we’ve identified a range of delicious mutton recipes* to get you started on your mutton journey! We recommend using our grass fed mutton which is locally sourced from the Gower.
Recipe1 – Braised Mutton Chops with Cider and Root Vegetables: a great feast for six, this recipe is full of autumnal flavours. Try to find a dry cider made from a single variety of apple. Serve with a celeriac and potato puree and a glass of the cider.
Recipe 2 – Slow Roast Loin of Mutton with Autumn Vegetables: this is a delicious option for a traditional Sunday roast that will have your family begging for more!
Recipe 3 – Mutton and Turnip Pie: the filling for this simple pie is slow-cooked to help the flavours of the mutton and the vegetables combine. Serve on a cold day with buttered cabbage, boiled potatoes or mashed swede and enjoy with a fruity red wine.
Hugh Phillips Gower Butchers
Our local mutton is available from our stall on Swansea Market and will soon be available to order online at www.bestonlinebutcher.co.uk.