Leek Braised Mutton with Creamy Leek and Mint Sauce

With mutton currently experiencing a well-deserved revival, this is a great recipe to serve as an alternative Christmas dish, a hearty winter warmer or to celebrate St. David’s Day. Gentle braising with leeks, aromatic cinnamon, cloves and orange gives full flavoured tender meat and the juices are used in the accompanying leek sauce.

Serves 8
Prep 30 minutes
Cook 4 hours

2 leeks, trimmed and cut into 4 rounds
1 orange, quartered
2 sprigs rosemary
1 cinnamon stick
1 carrot, halved
Sprinkling sea salt and ground black pepper

300ml / 1/2pt braising juices, skimmed of fat
1ltr / 1 1/4 pt full cream milk
75g / 3oz butter
75g / 3oz plain flour
8 fresh mint leaves, roughly chopped
Sprinkling sea salt and ground black pepper
6 leeks, trimmed, washed and cut into 2cm/ 3/4” rounds

Make 20 regularly spaced small slits in the skin of the mutton and insert cloves. Weigh joint and calculate cooking time at 90 minutes per kilo. Place mutton in a deep roasting pan.

Surround the joint with all the braising ingredients and pour boiling water to come half way up the side of the meat. Tuck a piece of wetted baking parchment over the meat and braising ingredients and cover with foil. Oven braise, adding more water if required.

Once cooked remove from the oven and save 300ml/ ½pt of the juices for the sauce skimming off fat before measuring the liquid. Allow the meat to rest for 30 minutes before carving into thin slices.

Meanwhile prepare the sauce. Simmer the prepared leeks for 3 – 4 minutes until just tender. Drain. Melt the butter and stir in the flour. Gradually add the reserved braising juices and milk stirring continuously over a gentle heat until the sauce is simmering. Season and add the mint and leeks.

Pour the sauce over the carved mutton slices and accompany with crispy roast potatoes, carrots and braised red cabbage.

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