What is mutton?

What is mutton is a question often heard in America. We recommend that you choose your sheep at the two-tooth age; that is around a year old. Then it also has the tenderness of lamb.

Aren't they beautiful?

What is mutton?

This page was last updated by Bernard Preston on 22nd December, 2021.

The basic ingredient of a mutton recipe is, wait for it, Mary's little lamb.

What I love about mutton in Holland is that it is the only red meat that you can be sure has spent most of its life in the great outdoors[2]. It is relatively natural.

Beef and pork spend a great deal of their lives indoors in barns and sties, even in summer, fed on corn. You can certainly taste the difference; an animal that has eaten primarily grass, its natural fodder, is far nicer and more nutritious if perhaps less tender.

I have no scientific evidence to back it up for our what is mutton page, but with eggs for example, there's ample evidence that the fat profile is quite different between those that are free-range, compared with those from chickens fed primarily on corn. They are more nutritious, literally. And they taste better, if you have a discerning tongue.

  1. 3 lbs of mutton neck, sliced between bones.
  2. 3 onions
  3. 5 potatoes
  4. 1 eggplant or brinjal
  5. 3 to 4 tomatoes, plus extra paste if you're crazy about the flavour. I don't add the extra. 
  6. Whole corn of garlic
  7. A bunch of celery leaves; keep the stalks for your salads and lunch-boxes
  8. Let your imagine run wild; mushrooms, zuccini and bell peppers; carrots, of course
  9. Hot chili pepper
  10. Ginger
  11. Salt and pepper, your favourite herbs and spices. Curried mutton? Easy, add the right garam masala
  12. Optional, one bottle of beer.
  13. Handful of fresh lima beans[4]
Growing lima beans is an alternative to mutton for protein.

However, no matter how strong your lamb is, it is still going to be high in saturated fat, the stuff that clogs your arteries. There is an easy and delicious solution; add plenty of your favourite vegetables. These are mine.

What is mutton?

Mutton ready for the spit.

What is mutton is important for me; it's the tastiest of the red meats in my opinion plus it is not corn fed or reared in a sty.

Corn is high in omega-6; that means inflammation in the body, especially if you're not enjoying fatty fish regularly or its omega-3. A high ratio means angry joints, muscles and arteries; organs too.

Lamb stew

Let us get going.


Cut most of the meat off the bone into pieces about the size of the last digit of your thumb. Then you can cook the neck bones slightly longer to extract the rich gelatine that is full of glucosamine, the stuff that's good for your cartilage.

Pour a little olive oil into a heavy pot, on moderate heat, add the mutton vertebrae, turning frequently until lightly browned; remove and place on the side.

Add more olive oil, and likewise the mutton pieces; not too hot, or they will burn.

ASIDE 1: Only cook with butter or olive or coconut oil. The polyunsaturate oils like sunflower oil are unstable, and will break down at high heat, forming nasty trans isomers. We eat too much polys anyway; throws your Omega-6 / 3 ratio right out of balance.

ASIDE 2: If you want your mutton recipe to look more like chops, then leave the neck pieces whole. It will take longer to cook.

ASIDE 3: Before braising your mutton neck slices, take a good look at some of the hyaline cartilage[1] in the joints. It's the super smooth hard white stuff in the joint. See the knife below; that's how you want your spine to stay.
Hyaline cartilage on mutton chops.

By now the mutton bones should be nearly brown; keep turning them so they don't burn.

Sliced neck makes delicious mutton.

STEP 2 @ What is mutton

Meanwhile chop your onions roughly; there is no need to slice them finely. Then peel the potatoes, leaving them whole, and prepare the garlic and ginger.

Do it right, take the time to do fresh garlic and ginger; it is worth it both because it tastes better, is not oxidised and full of preservatives.

The ingredients for a mutton stew.


Scoop out the mutton pieces, keeping the bones and the meat separate. I confess a lamb stew does take time; it is the exception that proves the rule; this is not good food, made fast. 

Add a little more olive oil to your skillet, and cook the onions, garlic and thinly-sliced fresh ginger on low heat until golden brown. If you are making Indian mutton recipes, this is the stage where you add the curry powder, the masala, and dhania; the curry leaves and cinnamon too.

Sliced onions go perfectly with a mutton stew.

Meanwhile prepare you other veggies. Wash your aubergine and celery leaves; and chop them coarsely.

If you have a sweet tooth, do not add sugar; rather use some dried fruit. I often toss in half a dozen apricots or a handful of raisins.


Scoop out the onions and garlic plus ginger mix, and place the mutton bones at the bottom followed by the whole potatoes. Or vice versa!

Tip: if obesity is a problem, then the potatoes have to be considered. Either replace them with sweet potatoes, or allow the dish to cool overnight in the refrigerator, and then reheat the next day; this allows the starch to retrograde; it becomes resistant to digestion and absorption in the small intestine forming, instead of glucose, good short chain fatty acids in the colon.

More mutton stew ingredients and a beer.

What is mutton? Yes, your lamb still looks a bit unappetising but just you wait, Henry Higgins. This is a very fine dinner recipe.

Potatoes are often enjoyed with mutton.
Frog in my throat cover.
Bats in my Belfry has a story about mutton.


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Now cover the mutton recipe bones and potatoes with alternating layers of vegetables and semi chopped/ ground mutton pieces. If you've favoured the Indian mutton recipes version they neighbours' noses will be twitching by now, and the kids will be calling: What is cooking, Dad? I'm no sexist but this is definitely brave work.

ASIDE: Let the squaw clean up the mess. I just tossed out my favourite potato peeler with the peels. Twit. Her favourite too, I am in trouble. "GET OUT OF MY KITCHEN!"

The veggies to go with mutton.

Add the beer and turn onto moderate heat until boiling, and then turn right down. Watch it carefully, it may run dry and burn if the heat is too high.

I like to add the coarsely chopped tomatoes (and, if you are making curried mutton, the fresh coriander leaves, nearer the end. Not shown.

About an hour from when you add the beer. Meantime, with all this cholesterol in your What is Mutton recipes start to prepare your side dishes.

A mutton dinner with a Greek salad.

What's for dinner?

Meantime, the good wife's been busy with Helens 15 euro salad, the one that saved my bacon. Literally. To which I like to add a good dollop of our authentic hummus recipe. The one you can make in your own kitchen in only four minutes. AUTHENTIC HUMMUS RECIPE.

What are legumes is a very important question at our green home; they are the source of the vegetable protein that keeps the flexitarian going; those who enjoy red-meat periodically but certainly not every day. We'll all be there within a few decades.

Water scarcity in the world is going to make red-meat impossibly expensive.

Then, because I have so many tumours in my family, I make sure we will be having another dish like Helen's very special sauteed mushrooms[3] along with my what is mutton recipes. They are full of the anti-malignancy good stuff.

The weight loss research incidentally is now firmly fingering the refined starches in our food and not the fat such as found when searching for what is mutton.

 Guess who's come to lunch

Lost-lost Klein Jan Jansen makes a pilgrimage from native Holland to South Africa to find his roots. His father tells him he has no family, and his mother died in childbirth. But Klein Jan knows his father to be a pathological liar. Arriving on his aged grandparents doorstep at lunch time, presumed dead Klein Jan gives his grandfather the shock of a life time. Grannie phones her daughter: "Guess who is come to lunch today."

An free tidbit from The Return, the final book in Bernard Preston's trilogy, A Family Affair. Enjoy. Setting the honeytrap.

The trilogy will set you back just 99c each on your kindle or smartphone. If you are enjoying this site, then you'll love A Family Affair. Promise, write and tell if you find it boring, or in poor taste.



I regret not. This mutton recipe takes a lot longer than bbq mutton, but I promise you it tastes and is a lot better, and you'll live a lot longer too. In fact, I absolutely guarantee that by the time you've made this curried mutton, and the salad and mushrooms, your cholesterol will be lower than when you started.

ASIDE: Read the medical stuff about cholesterol with a slightly cynical, jaundiced eye. Our forebears ate plenty of cholesterol rich food, and heart disease was virtually unheard of - literally - until 100 years ago. The spoke in the wheel isn't cholesterol, you can't live without saturated fat, your hormones are all made of cholesterol, but our life style.

Rush and hurry are not of the Devil.

They are the very Devil. But I promise you your Gran and Gramps did not just eat meat and potatoes. They may have lived in the days of B&W television, but they certainly ate from a full colour menu. They enjoyed a well rounded diet full of fruit and veg to go with their butter and red meat. Did your grandparents also live longer than your parents?

  1. Hyaline cartilage. Web: https://tinyurl.com/2p8mvp4c
  2. Much ado about mutton
  3. Sauteed mushroom recipe. Web: https://tinyurl.com/yckjathz
  4. Growing lima beans ...

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What is Mutton ?

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