What is mutton?

Sheep racing across the field to escape being turned into mutton.

What is mutton is a question often heard in America. Here you can enjoy bbq mutton on the run. However...

This page was last updated by Bernard Preston on 22nd December, 2018.

By Bernard Preston

... we recommend that you choose your sheep at the "two-tooth" age; that's around a year old. Then it has the flavour of mutton, but the tenderness of lamb.

Ah, whilst writing this page, I see another discerning reader in Norfolk, England, has taken advantage of our cut price on buying both a Frog and a Bat. It's the postage that is so costly today. Happy reading Lara, you will finish them both promise. Then pass them on to family and friends, perhaps your GP. No point hamstering books.

The basic ingredients of a mutton recipe are, wait for it, mutton! What I love about mutton in Holland is that it's the only red meat that you can sure be has enjoyed the great outdoors. It's relatively natural. Beef and pork spend a great deal of their lives indoors fed on corn and whatever. You can certainly taste the difference. An animal that has fed primarily on grass, its natural fodder.

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 scratch eggs, and chickens fed primarily on corn. They are more healthy. And they taste better, if you have a discerning tongue.

What is mutton?

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.

Two lambs that at about a year old will become mutton.
Frog in my throat cover.
Bats in my Belfry has a story about mutton.

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

  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 tomato paste if you're crazy about tomato flavour. I don't add the extra. 
  6. Whole corn of garlic
  7. Bunch of celery leaves, keep the stalks for your salads and lunch boxes.
  8. Let your imagine run wild: mushrooms, zuccini, bell peppers, carrot, of course.
  9. Hot chili pepper
  10. Ginger
  11. Salt and pepper, your favourite herbs and spices. Curried mutton? Easy, add the right spices for your Indian mutton recipes.
  12. Optional, one bottle of beer.
  13. Handful of fresh lima beans, if you can find any. Growing lima beans ...
Growing lima beans is an alternative to mutton for protein.

Lamb stew

Let's go...

STEP 1 @ What is lamb stew?

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 extra the rich gelatine that's full of glucosamine, the stuff that's good for your cartilage.

Pour a little olive oil into a heavy pot, moderate heat, add the mutton vertebrae, turning frequently until lightly browned. Remove.

More olive oil, likewise the mutton pieces. Not too hot, 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 / Omega-3 ratio right out of balance.

ASIDE 2: If you want your mutton recipe to look more like mutton chops, actually mutton neck, than ground mutton goulash, 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 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.

What's so special about hyaline cartilage?

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. 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's worth it both because it tastes better, isn't oxidised and full of preservatives.)

The ingredients for a mutton stew.


Scoop out the mutton recipe pieces, keeping the bones and the pieces separate. I confess a lamb stew does take time and our what is mutton page is the exception that proves the rule; this is not good fast, 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, the dhania powder, the curry leaves, cinnamon, your favourites.

Sliced onions go perfectly with a mutton stew.

Meanwhile prepare you other veges. Peel the garlic, and the ginger slicing the latter finely, wash your aubergine and celery leaves and chop them coarsely. If you have a sweet tooth, don't add sugar; rather use some dried fruit. I often toss in half a dozen apricots or a handful of raisins.

More mutton stew ingredients and a beer.


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, healthy short chain fatty acids in the colon.

Potatoes are often enjoyed with mutton.


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's 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'm 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're 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.

Then, because I have so much cancer in my family, I make sure we'll be having another dish like Helen's very special sauteed mushrooms recipe along with my what is mutton recipes. Mushrooms are full of anti-malignancy good stuff.

Sauteed mushrooms recipe is one of my favourites.

 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's 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're 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 aren't of the Devil. They are the very Devil. But I promise you your Gran and Gramps didn't 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?


Chiropractic corner

Pain or tingling or numbness is a recurring theme in chiropractic clinics, and it must always be taken seriously. When a back pain progresses to the legs, beware if you ignore it. There's trouble coming. The hyaline cartilage from your mutton helps joints to heal.

Take this Spondylolysthesis casefile for example. This dear lady who ignored the pain in her legs for five years; well actually, it was her doctor who took the wrong steps, so I shouldn't blame her. Total faith in your doctor? Not well placed, keep that for God. He doesn't make mistakes. We mortals, chiropractors too, make plenty.


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