Navarin of Mutton
One leg of mutton has lead to two dishes which for me are exciting, because mutton is new to me, and I love it. Number two is this. What I love about it is that I added nothing except mutton so that when tasting it, knowing that it is exactly as its title dictates was rewarding. Granny Dot recommended sauteed potatoes as an accompaniment. Wild rice and a dollop of soured cream is an alternative I suggest, along side seasonal veg.
In the words of Granny Dot…
‘Cut about 1 lb. of cold mutton (underdone if possible) into square pieces. Lay them on a dish and moisten them with a marinade made thus: two gills of mutton gravy (or stock), a tablespoonful of currant jelly dissolved in it, a spoonful of the vinegar from some walnut pickle, add a dust of salt and pepper. Let the meat lie in this, turniing it occasionally for an hour or two. Then melt 2 oz. of butter and add a finely-shred onion, a sliced carrot and turnip, some celery and some chopped parsley; fry until the vegetable begins to brown, then ad 1 oz. of flour and mix smooth. Add about a pint of stock, bring to the boil, and then simmer for half an hour. Rub this sauce through a sieve. Place the mutton and the marinade in the pan, pour the sauce over, and then heat very gently and slowly for one to two hours. Be sure that it does not boil, or it will be spoilt. The object is to cook the navarin very slowly and gently. If you use uncooked meat, fry it lightly before placing it in the marinade. Serve with saute potatoes.’
(The Single-Handed Cook, More Recipes written by Mrs C.S. Peel, 1904)
Using the same leg I took meat from for the ragout of mutton , I roasted it at 150 degrees for 45 minutes per pound/450g of weight. I put it in a roasting tin, rubbed olive oil over it and sprinkled some salt and rosemary on top, poking the rosemary into the meat in places. I then poured about a glass of red wine into the tin with another sprig of rosemary, covered it in foil and put it in the oven. I let it cook and cool, and then put it in the fridge. When it was cold, the fat has solidified so that I was able to remove it, and to use the jellied gravy as the stock for this dish.
1lb cooked mutton
1 tbsp mushroom ketchup
1 tbsp redcurrent jelly
300mls mutton stock, gravy or other meat stock
1 tbsp vinegar taken from walnut pickle, or white wine vinegar
1 wineglass of red wine
2 sprigs of rosemary
Maldon Sea Salt (it really does make a difference using this because of its milder flavour)
1 bunch roughly chopped parsley
1 onion finely sliced
1 large carrot, diced
1 oz/28g flour
1 pint/568ml water or stock (use stock if you have not taken the jellied gravy from roasted mutton)
If you are using uncooked mutton, brown it lightly in butter first before adding it to the marinade. This will need longer from step 6 to cook. If you do not have mutton stock, use a good meat stock. Vegetable stock is a preference to a strong beef stock, though if it is mild, that will be fine.
1. Chop the meat into bite size pieces and put it in a dish with the first four ingredients. Cover it with clingfilm and put it in the fridge for a couple of hours or so.
2. Remove the meat from the fridge to come to room temperature, or near enough.
3. Put the butter in a heavy based pan and melt. Add the onion, parsley and carrot.
5. Cook until glossy and a little tender and then add the flour and stir for a minute or so before adding the water or stock gradually so that a sauce is formed.
6. Put this in the blender and blend until smooth.
6. Add the meat, including the marinade, into the pan with the pureed sauce and let it cook very gently for up to 2 hours, or until the meat is very tender.
7. Serve with sauteed potatoes, mashed potatoes or wild rice, and a dollop of soured cream. Garnish with parsley (unlike me – too dark, too rainy and too late for me to go to the veg garden and get more …)