We have an extra special recipe for you from none other than The Ritz hotel in London which also happens to be Prince Charles’ favourite dish. The Prince says: ‘It is so important that we eat mutton and that older sheep have a value, otherwise there’s no market for them, and they get dumped. I personally much prefer mutton to lamb- it’s infinitely more tasty. Every time I have given mutton at dinners, the plates end up completely clean. Having mutton is also an excuse to have caper sauce, which I loved when I was a child.’
- 2kg mutton middle neck
- 60ml oil
- 60g butter
- 50g flour
- 700ml brown chicken stock
- 350ml tomato concasse (tomatoes that have been briefly plunged into boiling water, then iced water, before being skinned, deseeded and sliced)
- 350g mixed root vegetables (onions, leeks, celery, carrots and fennel)
- 80g tomato purée
- For the garnish
- 200g pea purée (made from 800g peas and 200g butter)
- 30 grellot onion
- 300g broad beans
- 30 morels
- 10 raw baby turnips
- 20 wild-garlic leaves
- Broad-bean flowers, pea shoots
- and wild-garlic flowers
For the garnish: Wash and peel all vegetables, then glaze in a mixture of water, butter, sugar and salt. They will be added to the stew at a later stage once tender.
For the mutton: Heat the oil and butter in a sauté pan and place the seasoned mutton pieces in the pan. Seal the meat briskly until it’s very caramelised and season with salt, pepper and sugar. The sugar settles on the bottom of the pan, where it turns to caramel. It’s dissolved by moistening and ultimately will give the required colour and taste to the sauce.
Take the meat from the pan, then remove some of the fat. Add the root vegetables and sweat for a few minutes, then add the tomato purée. Add the flour and cook out briefly.
Add the stock a little at a time, mixing thoroughly to prevent lumps then add the tomato concasse.Bring to the boil and skim, then braise in the oven forapproximately 2½ hours at 130˚C/250˚F/Gas Mark 1.
For the pea puree: bring a pan of boiling salted water to the boil, add the peas and cook until soft. Remove from the water and add to a foodprocessor, add butter and blitz until smooth.
To serve: Once the mutton is removed from the oven, decant the meat pieces and pass the braising liquor through a fine sieveonto them. Finally, take the glazed vegetables and potatoes and add to the stew. Season to taste with chopped parsley and serve with pea purée.
Prince Charles is the special guest editor of Country Life to celebrate his 65th birthday. Read all about the special issue here.