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Gill Meller's 'Mutton with barley and samphire'

Samphire is a delicate coastal plant with a mild flavour. It has a slight salinity and a lovely texture and works so well with mutton and lamb.

I’ve used pearl barley in this stew, another great partner to mutton and one of my favourite grains.

This is one for cooking gently over a low heat.

Gill Meller's 'Mutton with barley and samphire'

Samphire is a delicate coastal plant with a mild flavour. It has a slight salinity and a lovely texture and works so well with mutton and lamb.

I’ve used pearl barley in this stew, another great partner to mutton and one of my favourite grains.

This is one for cooking gently over a low heat.

  • Serves: 4
  • Prepare: 10 Minutes
  • Cook: 2 Hours 30 Minutes
  • Difficulty: easy

WHO ARE COOMBE FARM ORGANIC?​

We produce award-winning pork, beef and lamb on our organic farm in Somerset. Rearing livestock to the rigorous organic standards laid down by the Soil Association isn’t just a case of ticking a few boxes and filling in some forms. It shapes the basis for everything we do at Coombe Farm.

WHAT IS ORGANIC MUTTON?​

Our free-range Lleyn ewes will lamb several times in their lives and when it’s time for them to retire we can celebrate the mature, rich flavour of their meat, created by a lifetime of grazing our clover-rich pastures around the farm. It offers incredible texture and depth of flavour.

Ingredients

  • 500g of cubed mutton shoulder
  • 1 large or 2 smaller onions sliced
  • 4 cloves of garlic peeled and thinly sliced
  • 50g of pearled barley rinsed
  • 1 ltr of stock or lamb broth 
  • 2 sprigs of rosemary
  • good handful of samphire
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

  1. Place a large casserole dish on a high heat. Add a dash of Olive oil followed by the cubed mutton. Season the meat with salt and pepper and fry on all sides until it’s beginning to colour, about 4 – 5 minutes. Add the sliced onions, the garlic and the rosemary and continue to cook, stirring as you do, for  8 - 10 minutes. Pour over the stock and bring to a gentle simmer. Cook the mutton, with a lid set just ajar, at a very low, tremulous simmer about 1 ½ hours. Now add the rinsed barley and continue to simmer for a further 40 minutes. If the stew looks a little dry then add a dash of water. When the meat is lovely and tender add the samphire, bring the stew back to a simmer and cook for 5 – 10 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Remove the pan from the heat and allow to sit for 5 minutes before serving.
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WHO ARE COOMBE FARM ORGANIC?​

We produce award-winning pork, beef and lamb on our organic farm in Somerset. Rearing livestock to the rigorous organic standards laid down by the Soil Association isn’t just a case of ticking a few boxes and filling in some forms. It shapes the basis for everything we do at Coombe Farm.

WHAT IS ORGANIC MUTTON?​

Our free-range Lleyn ewes will lamb several times in their lives and when it’s time for them to retire we can celebrate the mature, rich flavour of their meat, created by a lifetime of grazing our clover-rich pastures around the farm. It offers incredible texture and depth of flavour.

Frequently asked questions

  • Lamb has always been a more expensive cut of meat, with mutton often deemed less desirable which has dictated its selling price, however at Coombe Farm Organic, we feel mutton is having a bit of a renaissance right now. The aged ewes from our breeding flock supply our mutton and they've spent their lives browsing our pastures, growing strong muscles and robust skeletons. It's the combination of nutritious grass and a long life that gives our mutton its distinctive, unmistakable flavour.

  • Mutton meat has a deep red colour and is much fattier than lamb. As mutton comes from older sheep than lamb it has richer flavour and robust bite that make it really hearty and satisfying.

  • Lamb refers to young meat, which is tender with a pale pink colour, where as mutton is meat from a sheep that is over two years old, at Coombe Farm Organic, our mutton comes from ewes who've retired from our breeding flock. That means they've grown to maturity naturally, have well-developed muscles and a strong skeleton. All of these things ensure their meat is strongly flavoured (but not 'gamey') and has excellent texture (but isn't stringy). Mutton's a distinctive meat that's having a bit of a renaissance at the moment.

  • We can’t think of a reason not to buy mutton, it’s sustainable and simply delicious. At Coombe Farm Organic, our mutton comes from ewes who've retired from our breeding flock. That means they've grown to maturity naturally, have well-developed muscles and a strong skeleton. All of these things ensure their meat is strongly flavoured (but not 'gamey') and has excellent texture (but isn't stringy).