?

Log in

No account? Create an account
Eroticdreambattle [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Tony Grist

[ userinfo | livejournal userinfo ]
[ archive | journal archive ]

Mutton [Jun. 24th, 2008|09:24 am]
Tony Grist
Mutton has been off the British menu for decades. I don't know why. Somewhere down the line it acquired a bad image- as being gamey and tough and that was that- you couldn't buy it any more; you could only buy lamb. Beef can be tough too- but that hasn't led to it's being driven out of the shops by veal. No, I don't understand it at all. 

Mind you, I don't suppose everything that's labelled lamb is quite as youthful as it pretends to be. I expect we eat plenty of mutton in disguise- and especially in pies and ready meals and such.  That phrase  "mutton dressed up as lamb" didn't gain currency without a reason.

A year or two back Prince Charles figureheaded a campaign to reinstate mutton. He gave mutton parties and was filmed munching on the stuff and going "Mmmmmm, delicious", but I don't think it had any effect. Leastways I've yet to see mutton- advertised as such- on the butchers counters in the shops round here.

With one important exception. The Asian owned supermarkets sell it unashamedly. They call it sheep. We bought some sheep last week and put it in the slow cooker and served it with mushrooms and rice and it was perfectly fine, not tough at all and- to be honest- if I hadn't have been in on the secret I wouldn't have guessed I wasn't eating lamb.

Oh, we also put a sprinkle of coriander on top. I love coriander.
linkReply

Comments:
[User Picture]From: unbleachedbrun
2008-06-24 09:07 am (UTC)
It's a matter of semantics.

I would venture to say that a majority of my friends and acquaintances would not know what they were eating if served mutton, venison, or squab......or things we have to further euphemize by using French terms like lapin or cheval or completely unrelated English phrases like "mountain oysters."
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2008-06-24 10:01 am (UTC)
Mountain oysters- what on earth are those?

On second thoughts, do I really want to know?
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: unbleachedbrun
2008-06-24 03:07 pm (UTC)
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2008-06-24 05:52 pm (UTC)
Ha. I was afraid it would be something like that...
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: zeeshanmn
2008-06-24 09:25 am (UTC)
Yes, in a curry, it is hard to make out. However, here you get both mutton and lamb separately. I can however distinguish mutton from its fibrous feel. Lamb in my opinion is softer. And I like mutton better; stewed with tomatoes, potatoes, ginger, garlic, and cumin, turmeric and black pepper powder.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2008-06-24 10:03 am (UTC)
The shop we go to sells them separately. Mutton is cheaper.

Mmmm....you're making me hungry.....
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: daisytells
2008-06-24 01:02 pm (UTC)
Since I have to try everything, I shall have to hunt up some "sheep", maybe at the local pushcart market where there is a butcher shop below stairs. They sell goat meat there, so perhaps there is mutton, too. If I find it I will try it your way. I love lamb, but it has become too expensive for my fixed income. Maybe "sheep" is a good alternative....
Thanks for the tip!
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2008-06-24 02:13 pm (UTC)
The flavour's certainly as good- if not better.

I wonder what goat tastes like? Now that's something I've never seen for sale in a British shop.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: pondhopper
2008-06-24 03:20 pm (UTC)
We eat both goat and mutton in Spain. Young goat is very tasty and tender and does not have that "sheep smell" associated with mutton. It's flavour is hard to define. I love it, carnivore that I am. Unfortunately, goat is hard to find at market and has become mostly a restaurant or rural village dish.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2008-06-24 05:54 pm (UTC)
I don't believe the English have ever really eaten goat. I suppose it's not a native animal.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: daisytells
2008-06-24 05:54 pm (UTC)
Those who eat goat meat claim it has much in common with lamb...Mostly Muslims buy it at the pushcart market.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2008-06-24 05:55 pm (UTC)
I must look for it. We have plenty of Muslim shops.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
From: tinceiri
2008-06-24 01:39 pm (UTC)
I stay away from meat in general, as I'm a vegetarian/vegan. I think you're absolutely correct in regards to inconsistencies, though, as far as what's on the market and what isn't.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2008-06-24 02:11 pm (UTC)
I used to be a vegetarian. I switched (about a year ago) for health reasons. I still have a fairly limited appetite for meat.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: pondhopper
2008-06-24 03:21 pm (UTC)
Mutton stew is very popular in central and northern Spain although it is euphemistically called lamb stew for the tourists, you understand.
*chuckle*
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2008-06-24 05:56 pm (UTC)
Of course.:)

I think the British prejudice against mutton is ridiculous. I intend to eat it a whole lot more.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: richenda
2008-06-24 06:35 pm (UTC)
Mutton was on the menu at the George in Bridport from around 1986 until 1999 or so - it disappeared when John the chef retired and the George changed hands.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2008-06-25 09:12 am (UTC)
That's a shame.

(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: butterscotch711
2008-06-24 07:32 pm (UTC)
There was a story in the news here yesterday about how widespread passing off mutton as lamb is among Australian meat suppliers. Apparently they cut the sheep's head off early in the process and then nobody involved further along the line can tell for sure.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2008-06-25 09:11 am (UTC)
I'm not in the least bit surprised.

And if the consumer can't tell the difference where's the harm?
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)