Here it is, our first taste of our own roast mutton, in all it’s glory. Well worth waiting for.
Choose a good joint, not too fatty, but a bit of marbling is good. Both leg and shoulder joints will benefit from slow roasting, you can do them both with this method. Weigh the joint first, you need to cook it for about 40 minutes per 450g at 150C. This monster took 4 hours.
Pop the joint in a roasting pan (ideally a lidded one, but foil will do if you don’t have a pan with a lid). Add a sprig of rosemary, and if you like, make a few slits in the meat and stuff with a couple of cloves of garlic. Pour about 250ml of red wine over the meat (I didn’t have any so used dark ale), cover, and roast for the required time.
Bring it out and left it rest for about half an hour before carving. The juices make amazing gravy, I put the roasting pan on the hob, added some gravy granules and brought to the boil until it thickened. There was a bit of clear fat resting on the top of the gravy but I poured most of it away and mixed the rest in. The alcohol gives the gravy a really nice flavour.
My dad declared it ‘very nice’, my mum and I decided we preferred it over lamb, and my husband, who when we met only ate chicken and sausages, had thirds.
This is what was left, and I am taking a break from turning it into a meat and potato pie to write this!
We’ve been keeping pretty busy over the past couple of weeks, nice and steady so we’ve not been overrun with new lambs but enough to keep the days filled. We now have 54 lambs and about a dozen ewes left to lamb. It’s all gone a bit quiet, no lambs for 2 days so we’re all having a breather!
Considering it’s our first year and we’ve been finding our feet really, having no experience of lambing outside, we’ve not done too badly. We’ve lost our fair share of lambs, some being born dead or not surviving the first few hours, and more recently we lost 3 to a fox. Unfortunately death comes hand in hand with life, and you see a lot more of it at lambing time than any other time of year. Sadly we lost a ewe the other day, so we have decided to hand rear this little guy.
He is about 3 days old and we have called him Eric. The littlest scatterbrain loves bottle feeding him. We have just acquired a friend for him as it’s not fair for him to be on his own, so this little girl has come to join us from another farm.
We’ll keep them in the garden for the next few weeks until they’re old enough to graze and rejoin the flock.
Spring is still taking her time to arrive, we have a beautiful warm, sunny day where we sit in the field and watch a ewe giving birth, or the lambs playing in the evening, and then we have days where it rains and the wind comes in sideways and you really hope there’s not much going on in the field so you don’t have to spend ages out in the cold and wet. The grass is growing, the hedges are full and green, and the tractors are busy out in the fields so things are drying up and improving. The little one is a proper outdoors boy, and throws a tantrum when we make him come in, so I am really looking forward to the days when we can just leave the door open and he can spend as much time in the garden as he likes.
In other news, this is waiting to go in the oven for our tea tonight.
Our own leg of mutton. Can’t wait to taste it, and will try to get the results posted here before too long!!