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Mutton Dressed as Mutton

Yesterday I picked up a pack of mutton from a local farm shop. Originally I had in mind to get something for a barbeque but I did not see anything inspiring (and Jane was put off the unpacked meat when she saw a fly crawling on some!).

It was fairly lean so I did not need to do any trimming but I did slice the original large chunks into smaller cubes of 1-2 cm. It also had a fairly pungent smell so, as well as seasoning with salt and pepper, I also added a healthy handful of fresh rosemary. I browned this off in batches, adding to my slow cooker as I went and then followed up with finely sliced onions and garlic, softened in the dutch oven I had been using for browning (catching up all the flavoursome crust that had formed on the bottom). I also added some frozen cubes of duck stock that I been storing in the freezer; once melted, that all went in with the meat.

The stew was finished off with a bit of black beer and enough water to just reach the top of the other ingredients without completely covering them and I then left it to cook for several hours, stirring once or twice. The result exceeded my expectations; the pack of meat had been expensive but I think it was worth it. Serving with mashed potato does not sound very summery but I finished it off with a fresh salad to bring it back to the correct season.

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