mutton & tomato stew

Mutton is meat from older sheep; about three years old. The meat is an intense color of red and quite fatty with a strong, gamey flavor. The fat makes it the perfect cut for this stew giving it big, bold flavor. Exactly what I had in mind.
Very similar to the traditional South-African tomato ‘bredie’ this stew is perfect for a cold, wet winters’ night.
Your freezer is your friend…leftovers are perfect for mutton ragu that you can use for a future pie, to toss through pappardelle or on an open pulled mutton sandwich.

Serve with a side of rice, mashed potato, roasted sweet potato or butternut mash.

ingredients | serves 6 | easy
1.3kg stewing mutton, bone in
1/2C flour
1/2t salt
1/2t white pepper
3T olive oil plus more for browning meat
1T butter
1 large white onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, sliced
5 large ripe tomatoes, quartered
3 large carrots, cut into big chunks
2T paprika
3 bay leaves
2T tomato paste
1.5t dried oregano
3 rosemary stalks, leaves only
1.2C red wine
1 can crushed tomato
3C beef stock
2T brown sugar
1t salt
1t black pepper
2T fresh parsley

how to to do it
Mix the flour, salt & white pepper and dredge the meat in the flour mixture and shake excess flour off. Discard any leftover flour. Heat about two tablespoons of olive oil in a large Dutch oven and brown the meat in batches, adding more oil as needed.
Set aside.
Add two tablespoons of oil and the butter to the pot without cleaning it and saute the chopped onion until glossy, stirring occasionally. About three minutes.
Add the tomato paste, stir and cook for one minute. Pour the red wine into the pot to de-glaze. Cook for about two minutes to reduce.
Add the paprika, rosemary, garlic & dried oregano and stir to combine. Add the tomatoes and stir to coat. Pour the crushed tomato into the pot and add the bay leaves, sugar and seasoning. Stir and cook for two minutes.
Pour the stock into the pot and give it a good stir. Lastly add the meat. Stir everything together and bring it to a boil.
Turn the heat down to low for a gentle simmer, cover with a tight fitting lid and cook for about 2 hours, stirring a few times during cooking. Now add the carrots, place the lid back on the pot and cook for a further 1.5 – two hours.

Check the meat, which should be fall off the bone tender. If you prefer it falling off the bone completely, cook for a further 30 minutes to one hour.
Carefully remove the lid, increase the heat to a moderate simmer and cook for 30 minutes, uncovered to thicken the sauce if desired. Take care not to burn the bottom of the pot by occasionally stirring during cooking.

Once cooked, stir through the chopped fresh parsley and serve with a side of your choice.

From my kitchen to yours, with love x

paprika & red wine lamb shank

i love meat and lamb is definitely at the top of my list when it comes to meat love.
Sundays in my home are for family, cooking, eating, drinking wine and repeating this almost until bed time. whether it is a lamb roast, chicken roast, pork belly, shanks or oxtail; meat is certainly always on the menu.
lamb shank is known to be one of the ‘cheaper’ cuts of meat and needs long, slow cooking. the taste and flavour is absolutely worth the wait. i usually start the shanks off on the stove and then stick them in the oven, covered. however, this version was cooked on the stove in my dutch oven and the result…perfectly tender, beautifully aromatic, fall off the bone meat.
leftover meat can be chopped and frozen and used for a lamb pie or served on a bed of herby, spicy couscous. any leftover jus can also be frozen. this makes the most amazing sauce for any meaty pasta dish.

i served the shanks with a buttery, spicy mash and green vegetables. the sauce was served separately.

5-6 lamb shanks
flour for dusting
olive oil
3tbs butter
3 garlic cloves, sliced
1 onion, chopped
3 carrots, peeled and sliced
4 stalks celery, sliced
4 leeks, sliced
2tbs tomato paste
1 can chopped tomato
4 stalks thyme
4 stalks rosemary
3tsp paprika (not smoked)
2c red wine
2.5c beef stock
10 dried juniper berries
2tbs brown sugar
2tsp cornstarch
fresh parsley, chopped
fresh chives, chopped

dust the shanks with flour. heat oil in a large pot or dutch oven and sear the shanks until brown all over. set aside.
in the same pot, add a little more olive oil and butter and cook the onion until translucent. add the carrot, celery, leek, paprika, thyme, juniper berries rosemary & tomato paste & brown sugar and cook for about 3 minutes.
add the red wine and reduce by almost half. pour the beef stock into the pot with the chopped tomato. place the shanks into the sauce. cover with cold water. bring the mixture to the boil. season with salt & pepper.
turn the heat down to a low, gentle simmer, cover with a tight fitting lid and cook for about 1.5 hours, checking every half hour.
if needed, cook the meat for a further 30 minutes.
remove the shanks from the pot and set aside. pour the stock into a blender in batches and blend until smooth. pour through a sieve into a pot. simmer until reduced to about three quarters. mix the cornstarch with 2 teaspoons water and add it to the sauce, off the heat. place the pot back on the heat and simmer on low, while stirring, until thickened.
season to taste.
place the shanks back into the sauce. garnish with parsley & chives and serve.

from my kitchen to yours, with love x