We’d had roast mutton a month ago for the first time, and really enjoyed it. The meat had a texture and flavour that I thought would work with a sweet glaze. We had some huckleberry syrup and jam … so voila, a quick sauce was concocted to make a delicious mutton leg with huckleberry glaze.
Mutton Leg with Huckleberry Glaze
What is Mutton?
Mutton is a cut of meat from an adult sheep that is at least a year old, more likely close to 3 years of age. It has a deep red colour and contains a considerable amount of fat compared to lamb, so it needs to be cooked low and slow to render the fat out. It has a rich, meaty and slightly gamey texture and flavour. When I pulled it from the oven, it had aromas that I associate more with a roast rolled rib of beef.
A leg of mutton can be more cost effective than lamb, ours was £15, compared to £21 for a similar sized leg of lamb. Also, as the meat is so much richer, it caters for more dinner guests compared to lamb. The 1.5kg mutton leg we had served four (with leftovers), a similar sized leg of lamb wouldn’t have been enough.
- Small pan
- Roasting tray and rack
- 120ml huckleberry syrup
- 6 tbsp huckleberry jam
- Dash blackcurrant or damson vinegar
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 bay leaves
- Black and red pepper
- Cherry smoking chunk (optional)
- Pre-heat the oven or Big Green Egg (indirect setup) to 110°C/225°F. If cooking in an Egg and using a smoking chunk, once the coals are glowing and the Egg’s temperature is stable, toss on the chunk and wait for the thin blue line of smoke.
- Trim off any excess fat from the mutton, whilst leaving the top thin layer in place. Score the top fat layer in a cross hatch pattern and rub with salt and pepper.
- Place the mutton on a rack over a roasting tray. Put this into the oven or Egg, roast low and slow for 90 mins.
- Meanwhile, add the huckleberry jam, syrup, cinnamon stick and bay leaves to the pan. Warm over a low heat, then add a little blackcurrant or damson vinegar to taste.
- Remove the mutton from the oven (or simply open the dome of the Egg). Pour some glaze over the mutton to coat it, then return to the oven (or close the Egg). Apply a little more glaze every 45-60 mins.
- Cook the mutton or until the internal temperature of the meat is 71°C/160°F (medium). This takes about 1.5 hours per pound.
- Rest the meat for 10 mins, reduce remaining glaze to form a pouring sauce. Carve and serve the mutton leg, adding the warm, sweet sauce to complete the dish.
Hints, Tips and Pictures
- If huckleberry jam/syrup isn’t available, you can substitute for blueberry products instead, adding a little sugar.
- The roasting tray will have some sugar deposits in it that will go hard, rinse this under a cold tap as soon as you can to make washing up easier later.