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Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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Recipe: Traditional Spiced Leg of Mutton to plate up this Easter

In this article on That’s Farming, we have a recipe from the book, Much ado about Mutton, by Bob Kennard, which the author has exclusively provided for readers to consider this Easter, following this post on why did we stop eating mutton?

Traditional Spiced Leg of Mutton (Serves 6)

This recipe was a common way to prepare roast mutton in the UK for several hundred years until after WWII.

Normally, it would involve a leg, but shoulder or loin would do equally well.


  • Mutton leg (or shoulder);
  • Butter for rubbing the joint;
  • Ground black pepper;
  • Powdered thyme;
  • Ground mace;
  • Fine oatmeal.


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  • Lather the joint with the butter and then sprinkle it well with black pepper, a little powdered thyme, a few pinches of mace and fine oatmeal – do not use salt;
  • Cover the joint in foil and cook very slowly – gas mark 2/300F/150C;
  • Cook until tender and ensure it is cooked through, approximately 2½ to 3 hours;
  • During the cooking, at least twice, remove the foil and baste the joint well, being careful to re-seal with the foil each time;
  • When cooked, remove the joint from the oven, loosen the foil and let the meat rest for half an hour;
  • For a delicious gravy, use the meat juices with a spoonful of capers added. The meat is equally good cut cold.
Revive the popularity of mutton

His book is part of the drive of the Mutton Renaissance, whose Patron is Prince Charles, which aims to revive the popularity of mutton today.

“Good-quality mutton needs to be rediscovered, not only for its superb flavour but also for its health benefits and the income it generates for our threatened farming communities.”

Much Ado About Mutton not only tells the fascinating story of mutton’s historical popularity and the reasons for its decline but, importantly, it reveals mutton’s bright future and shows how “easy it is for us to enjoy once again this often overlooked staple of cookery”.

To share your recipes with That’s Farming, email – [email protected]

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