We love things aged, red wine, beef… men. They develop a character and flavour and bring an appreciation to something that may otherwise be taken without thought. So why not sheep?
So what is mutton or hogget? Unfortunately they are both very unappealing names given to sheep older than a year old. Hogget is a sheep with one or two incisor teeth putting it at 12 – 20 months old and mutton is roughly over 20 months old. Both outstanding pieces of meat and considering the trend at the moment of slow cooking the cheaper cuts of meat I’m surprised it’s not more popular… It goes to show how word of mouth can slay a product, and that’s a shame as i’m a total fan of both.
I love the idea that the sheep has lived a longer life, grazing the paddocks and generally socialising with their kind. The meat has had time to develop a richer taste – still lamb in flavour, just much fuller, not gamey like most people seem to think. Ask any farmer.
You will need to search for mutton or hogget to find a supplier but if you do get a chance to try it I know you will be converted. I’m lucky to have access through my sister who lives in the Blue Mountains and has groups of friends who all chip in to by the whole animal and then divvy it up between them … and me, if I’m lucky.
For this recipe, Marinated BBQ Rack of Mutton w/ Parmesan Crust, I decided to barbecue the rack, using my favourite marinade and just taking it slow with the cooking. It was outstanding! Oh and the gravy… droolingly good.
Happy searching, Blondie