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Grass fed Mutton making a comeback

Grass fed mutton making a comeback

The Dorset Meat Company

Mutton is making a comeback in British kitchens

It’s not too long now till Easter and whilst British Lamb is a real tradition, we would like you to think about our grass fed Mutton as an alternative in your meat box.

Sheep farmers generally agree that mutton is from sheep that are over 2 years old, whereas lamb is from animals that have been reared for 5 months. The extra age of mutton gives it a dark colour and extra fat producing a sought after characteristic flavour that is richer than lamb.

Mutton was a household staple for hundreds of years, considered superior in texture and flavour to lamb. Changes in farming and cooking led to mutton’s decline and for the last 50 years mutton has almost disappeared from our shops and restaurants. But with the help of the The Mutton Renaissance campaign supported by the Prince of Wales and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, this delicious, great value meat is finding its way back into British kitchens.

People who think they know their lamb are often surprised when they first eat mutton. Mutton has all the expected taste we expect from lamb, but only more so. Most modern lamb comes from sheep four to six months old. But if the animal is given more time to eat merrily on natural grasses, herbs and clovers, its meat develops a really interesting, fuller flavour that is exceptionally satisfying.

It is hard to fathom why people buy anaemic and overpriced “spring” lamb from sheep fattened up indoors on compound feeds, or imported long-haul from the southern hemisphere, when locally reared Dorset and Wiltshire mutton is available on your doorstep and can be included in your meat box delivery.

Mutton has a lot of natural proteins, essential amino acids we need, along with high levels of valuable micronutrients, including easily absorbed iron to energise us, zinc to support the immune system, and B vitamins to help us think straight. Since sheep graze on green pastures, the fat in their meat is an excellent source of conjugated linoleic acid, which is heart-healthy and good for us.

When roasting, you can flavour it as you would lamb: just go a bit heavier with the seasoning. More rosemary and garlic, anchovy or thyme than you would with Lamb. And go for a stronger vegetable, and a robust, full-bodied red wine. Mutton should be cooked more slowly and longer than Lamb and remember to tenderise the meat with a garlic, olive oil and herb rub for at least a few hours before cooking (20 minutes on a high heat and then reduce the temperature to a 160C for 30 minutes per 500G).

Our grass fed, free range meat boxes are delivered to your door and are available across the UK as part of our meat delivery service.

If you live locally (in Poole or Bournemouth, or within 30 miles of our offices in Child Okeford) and would rather pick up your order from us yourself, you can select the “Click and Collect” option at checkout. You will then be able to select the time at which you want to make your collection.

The service is free so you will save on the cost of delivery.