Irish Stew-style mutton

Irish Stew-style mutton
This week’s hearty one pot recipe requires very little effort. So it’s ideal for those with a hectic lifestyle but needs a little patience. Do use mutton if you can get it. It works with lamb but the flavour of mutton is better and the long slow cooking will definitely tenderise it.
It’s ideal for the cheaper cuts of meat such as neck, scrag end (which is essentially neck) or shoulder.
1kg Mutton shoulder, scrag end or neck
Some mutton bones – if available
One onion
Two sticks of celery
Three carrots
½ a swede
50g of butter.
Two potatoes
Sprig of Thyme
Two bay leaves
A bunch of curly parsley – chopped
Salt and freshly-ground black pepper.
First, simply place the mutton, along with any bones, into a large pan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil, reduce to a simmer and allow to cook for two hours, skimming off any scum or fat that rises to the surface with a ladle or spoon.
Meanwhile, wash and peel all the vegetables and cut into 1cm dice. Pick the thyme leaves from the stalks.
After two hours simmering, the meat should be tender and starting to break down. Remove it from the liquid and cut into bite sized chunks. Then pour the stock through a fine sieve into another pan or large bowl. Place the original pan back on a medium heat, melt the butter in it and add the diced vegetables. Allow them to sweat for five or ten minutes, stirring occasionally to ensure they soften but don’t colour.
Add the reserved liquid along with the bay and thyme leaves and cook for a further 30 minutes. Taste, season with salt and pepper, add the mutton back to the pot and finish with a generous handful of chopped parsley.
February 2011

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