As autumn rolls around again there’s a sense of comfort in our kitchen as we re-introduce warming, hearty dishes to fuel us through the colder months. And after a summer of barbecues, summer salads, and alfresco dining there’s nothing we look forward to more than seeing seasonal mutton back on our menu.
Over the years mutton has been recognised for its tasty and distinctive meat, reclaiming its place on the British menu as a prized culinary speciality. Our mutton is best enjoyed in the autumnal months, lending itself to the season with its richer-than-lamb meat and layers of natural fat. Autumn is an abundance of comforting, wholesome dining with casseroles, hotpots, roasts, and pies all deserving of our heritage breed mutton.
But what is mutton?
Mutton has been knocked for many years for being an ‘old sheep’, but the reality is mutton is simply just ‘mature’. Much like the way veal is a young cow, and beef is a mature cow. To be exact, lamb is a sheep that is typically less than one year old, with little fat and blushing meat; often sweet, mild, and tender to taste.
Beyond a year the sheep becomes a hogget and once a sheep enters its third year of age, it becomes mutton. The meat from mutton is darker and richer with good layers of natural fat, compared to lamb, and this is down to the longer, slower period to grow.
Good mutton can be hard to find, but when found there’s no turning back. Our range of mutton cuts promise dark red, dense meat with plenty of flavour and marbling. The natural fat is owing to the years of free-range grazing our sheep can enjoy, making for incredibly tender meat. Our master butcher then dry-age’s for a minimum of 14 days, to intensify the flavour and relax the meat.
For your autumn menu, mutton goes hand in hand with low and slow hearty casseroles and hotpots. Get the most out of your mutton by pairing with the abundance of seasonal vegetables and share with family and friends. This year, we have three breeds in stock sourced from our trusted farmers, the Swaledale, the Suffolk and the North of England Mule, both promise succulent, flavoursome meat that you’ll come back to time and time again.