Roast mutton shoulder with roast potatoes
- March 2023
- Serves 6
- Hands-on time 45 min. Oven time 5 hours
“Mutton gets less of a look-in at Easter but it deserves to be the star of the show,” says food writer Melissa Thompson. This dish is perfect for Sunday – a gently spiced, warming one-pot dish with a slight tang from preserved lemons and the tender meat cooked upon the potatoes so they can absorb all the beautiful flavour.”
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- 30.3g (12g saturated)
- 53.1g (7.8g sugars)
- 1 bone-in mutton shoulder (approx. 2.5kg)
- 1 tbsp cumin seeds
- 2 tsp coriander seeds
- 1 tsp allspice berries
- 1 tbsp black peppercorns
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- 1 tbsp sea salt
- 3 preserved lemons, pips removed
- 2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tbsp cider vinegar
- 2 red onions
- 1.5kg floury potatoes
- 2 fennel bulbs, finely sliced
- 1 tbsp fennel seeds
- 2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- Dash vegetable oil
- 1 litre chicken stock
- Peas, broccoli or your favourite greens to serve
- Trim most of the fat from the mutton shoulder, leaving just a very thin layer, then score the remaining fat. Toast the cumin, coriander, allspice and peppercorns in a dry pan for a few minutes until fragrant, then transfer to a blender. Add the sugar, salt, preserved lemons, paprika, vinegar and half a red onion and whizz into a paste. Rub this paste all over the mutton, really pushing it into any gaps and folds. Set aside for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat the oven to 200°C fan/gas 7. Finely slice the remaining 1 1⁄2 onions and peel, finely slice and rinse the potatoes. Put the mutton in a large roasting tin and roast in the oven for 40 minutes, then remove. Carefully lift the mutton out of the dish, set to one side, then drizzle the pan with oil and add the potatoes, sliced fennel, sliced onions, fennel seeds, ground pepper and a generous pinch of salt. Pour in the stock, put the mutton back on top, then cover with foil and return to the oven. Turn the heat down to 140°C fan/gas 3 and cook for 4 hours.
- Remove the foil and carefully lift the mutton out of the potatoes and set aside to rest. Return the potato dish to the oven (uncovered), turn the heat up to 200°C fan/gas 7 and cook for another 20 minutes until the potatoes on top are golden.
- Remove the potatoes from the oven, cover loosely with foil and leave to rest for 20 minutes. Serve the potatoes either alongside or underneath the mutton and bring to the table alongside your favourite greens.
Mutton (sheep that’s at least two years old) requires going online or a trip to the butcher but it’s well worth it – despite the association of lamb with Easter, it’s actually completely out of season (the lambs are only just being born!). Mutton is like lamb dialled up to 11 – far more flavour and ideal for slow cooking. If you’re struggling to find mutton, however, you can of course use lamb shoulder instead.
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