Braised Mutton in Beer with Creamed Spinach

Mike Robinson rustles up a hearty British classic of mutton fagots in a meaty gravy
By Mike Robinson
Braised Mutton in Beer with Creamed Spinach
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4-6
  • Cook Time: 2 hours 40 minutes
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Effort: medium

Ingredients

For the braised mutton

  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 kg mutton, trimmed and diced
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 sticks celery
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 litres mild ale
  • 1 x 400 g tin canned chopped tomatoes
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • caul fat, for wrapping
  • 500 g cornflour
  • 1 glasses red wine
  • 400 ml beef stock

For the creamed spinach

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 200 ml double cream
  • 200 g chopped frozen spinach, defrosted and squeezed
  • 100 g parmesan, grated

Method

1. For the braised mutton: heat the olive oil in a large heavy-bottomed casserole or saucepan over a high heat. Add the mutton cubes in a single layer, in batches if necessary, and brown on all sides. Remove them to a plate with a slotted spoon and lower the heat.

2. Add the onion, carrot, celery and garlic cloves to the pan and cook until the vegetables begin to soften.

3. Return the mutton to the pan and turn up the heat. Add the beer and allow it to bubble up. Add the tomatoes and thyme. Bring the liquid to boiling point, then lower the heat to a simmer. Cover with a "cartouche" of wet greaseproof paper. Simmer for 1 1/ 2 - 2 hours hours until the mutton is tender.

4. Remove the meat to a plate using a slotted spoon and keep warm. Bring the sauce to the boil and cook until it is reduced to about 200ml. Mix the meat back into its sauce, season and allow to cool.

5. Wrap handfuls of the cooled mutton mixture in caul fat to form faggots.

6. Heat a large saucepan over a high heat. Add the red wine and allow to bubble up. Add the beef stock and bring to the boil. Add the faggots and place into an oven at 180c for 20 minutes basting a couple of times.

7. For the creamed: fry the onion and garlic until translucent and add the drained spinach, cream and simmer for 8-10 minutes. Stir through the parmesan and season to taste.

8. Serve the mutton faggots in their sauce with creamed spinach and rosti potatoes.

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