How-To Guides

How to cook diced mutton

Diced mutton on parchment paper inside a bowl.

What is diced mutton?

The perfect cut for melt-in-the-mouth slow cooking, diced mutton is often described as ‘gamey’ due to its strong, rich taste. This, alongside its tender texture, makes it a winner in winter in classic comfort dishes such as curries, tagines, and stews.

Diced mutton comes from mature ewes older than two years, giving it a dark colour and a complexity of flavour that you wouldn’t find in a younger animal.

Diced mutton cooking time

No matter how big your diced mutton chunks are, the key with this meat is to cook it slow. Gently cooking the mutton for a minimum of three hours at a low temperature will help soften it to produce a meltingly tender texture.

We’ve provided instructions on how to cook a simple mutton casserole, but as already mentioned, it’s the perfect choice for many winter warmer recipes.

How to cook diced mutton to perfection

  1. Take your diced mutton out of the fridge before cooking.
  2. Remove your meat from the vacuum packaging and pat dry any moisture. Allow it to come up to room temperature.
  3. Preheat the oven to 140°c (120°c fan) /gas mark 1.
  4. Heat a little oil in a flameproof casserole dish over high heat.
  5. When hot, season the meat with good-quality sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  6. Fry the mutton on all sides in small batches until browned all over. Not only does this enrich the colour of the dish, it can also give a deeper flavour, and some say an even softer texture.
  7. Add cubed seasonal vegetables, cut into approx. 3cm pieces. Onion, carrot, celery, potatoes, celeriac, and swedes all work well. Pour in a little wine, cider, or beer, followed by chicken or lamb stock, and mix gently to combine. A few sprigs of thyme, a bay leaf, citrus zest, chopped rosemary, and a head of garlic split in half can also be great additions at this stage.
  8. It’s much harder to adjust seasoning on a casserole before it’s baked, so give it a taste prior to putting it in the oven. Adjust the seasoning if necessary.
  9. Cover the casserole with a lid and bake in the oven for 3-4 hours. Stir occasionally to make sure it’s not catching on the base.
  10. The juices and fat of the mutton will release into the dish adding to its flavour. The mutton is ready when it can literally be pulled apart with a fork.
  11. Remove from the oven and let it slightly cool. Serve with crusty bread.

Top tips

  • Red wine or red wine vinegar is another great addition to this casserole. The natural acidity can help temper richer flavours.
  • Tossing the diced mutton in a little seasoned flour before browning can be a good tip for thickening the stew.

Diced mutton recipes

This delicious goat curry can be made with either diced goat or mutton meat. The long cooking time produces rich flavours by taking on the aromatic spices from the curry, while leaving the meat beautifully delicate.

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