2kg 1/2 leg of mutton (bone in)
4 large Spanish onions, peeled and sliced
2 generous tsp sea salt
4 bay leaves
1tsp whole black peppercorns
1/4 stick cinnamon
Zest of 1 orange
2 litres light chicken stock
1 bottle dry white wine
350g unsalted butter
4tbsp finely chopped shallots
1pt double cream
Place the mutton into a large saucepan and bury it in the sliced onions. Add the salt. Tie the bay leaves, peppercorns, cinnamon and orange zest in a piece of muslin and add this to the pan with half of the wine.
Cover with the chicken stock and bring to a gentle simmer. Skim off the scum that forms on the surface with a spoon. Simmer gently for about two hours or until tender.
After one hour of cooking the mutton, melt 150g of the butter in a saucepan, add the shallots and capers and cook gently until softened, then turn up the heat to lightly colour the shallots. Add the rest of the wine and cook briskly until the liquid reduces by half.
Draw off about two pints of the poaching liquor from the mutton pan and add it to the capers and shallots. Bring this to the boil and reduce by half. Add the double cream and bring back to the boil. Reduce the mixture further until you achieve a glossy cream gravy.
djust seasoning and keep warm.
When the mutton is ready, transfer to a serving dish, cover and keep warm. Strain the poaching liquid from the onions but retain. Heat a large frying pan and melt the remaining butter until foaming. Add the drained onions and fry briskly until they turn golden and have begun to caramelise.
Place some of the golden onions on to a plate and slice the mutton finely on top of it. Garnish with a ladling of the caper cream sauce. The retained poaching liquid can be used to make a delicious soup.
Henry Harris, chef-proprietor, Racine
This recipe appears on the new website www.muttonrenaissance.org