Mutton and Vegetable Stew Recipe

It has rained pretty much constantly since yesterday. If the dams aren’t full by now, then they need to rework the dam design, because it has been absolutely pissing down here in the hills and freezing cold!! It’s definitely stew weather, so today I made a chunky stewy dish for an early tea. One of those ‘put in the oven around 1pm and don’t take out until around 3-4pm’/slow cooked jobs. The meat went sooo melty, and the spuds and carrots were yummily tender. I think I’ll start making this kind of thing more often. You get a lot of flavour for minimal ingredients and practically no work.

Here’s the general gist:

I got a medium-large ceramic baking dish and drizzled in some olive oil. I chopped in half & de-boned a whole pack of small mutton leg chops (about 6 overall) and layed them in the tray. Seasoned them with pepper and sea salt. Scattered some small-medium chunks of potato and carrot over the top. Then poured 1 regular-sized can of tomato soup over the top. Sprinkled it with some oregano. Baked in the oven for about 1 and a half hours on 180C, or until the top veges started to brown a bit. I then covered the dish with a length of baking paper, then a length of foil, and crimped it on. I put it back in the oven and dropped the temp to 50C, and cooked for another hour and a half. These times will probably vary with your oven – ours is a bit wonky and tends to be a hotter oven. If I’d cooked this at my Dad’s place, I would have had to cook it on around 250C for the same time because his oven runs so cold. So it’s more a feeling thing. Maybe a more general guide is to cover it and drop the temp as soon as you see the sauce condensing and the veges browning, so as not to burn it or lose too much moisture.

(I just made that explanation a lot more wordy than it had to be, didn’t I).

We served it with some rye bread spread with butter. We were both really hungry so we ate decent portions, but there were still yummy leftovers for tomorrow’s lunch.

I think it would have benefited from a tin of chopped tomatoes thrown in with the tomato soup, just to boost the tomato flavor. I’ll do this next time. But overall I was pretty happy with how it turned out – placing the meat on the bottom of the dish meant it didn’t dry out at all; it was kind of braised but roasted too because the juices and soup condensed down. The veges on top meant they got a bit roasted and brown, which added a lot to the flavor.

Stews rock – so yummy and extremely economical.

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