A long lost yet timeless classic, perfect alternative to a Sunday roast. If anchovies are not for you then it works just as well without but I find the little pungent saltiness works well with the robust flavour of the mutton.
Serves 4 – 6
1 leg of mutton, about 2kg
2 sticks of celery
2 onions, peeled and cut into quarters
2 bay leaves
1 tbsp allspice berries
A handful of parsley stalks
For the sauce:
4 tbsp lamb fat
2 onions peeled and chopped
1 heaped tbsp plain flour
300ml lamb stock
250ml single cream
Ground white pepper
1 bunch of parsley, coarsely chopped
20 good-quality anchovies in oil, rinsed and coarsely chopped
Juice of 2 lemons
For the mutton:
- Cover the leg of mutton with water and bring to the boil.
- Skim, then add the prepared vegetables, bay leaves, spice, parsley and seasoning.
- Turn down to a very gentle simmer, and cook for about 2 hours or until tender. Leave to cool in the stock for 2 hours. It will still be just the right temperature for eating.
- Carve the lamb at the table and serve with the sauce.
For the sauce:
- Skim off and strain some of the fat on the top of the lamb cooking pot. Use 4 tablespoons of this tasty fat to sweat the onions until tender.
- Add the flour and stir in well. Over a high heat, gradually pour in 300ml of the lamb stock from the mutton and mix well to avoid any lumps.
- Add the cream and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Just before serving the lamb, season the sauce with a generous amount of white pepper and add the parsley, chopped anchovies and lemon juice.
My Bordeaux Wins Pick: Médoc
Médoc wines are synonymous with lamb, in particular the renowned Pauillac lamb. This is why I have chosen a full bodied, robust Médoc to accompany this dish. Predominately made with the Cabernet Sauvignon grape, this wine is bursting with rich dark fruits and spice.