Haricot Mutton

There are no haricot beans in traditional Haricot Mutton – the name is probably a corruption of the French halicot de mouton, meaning finely chopped mutton. There is, however, an invigorating mixture of turnips, potatoes, onions and mutton in the stew to provide a dish perfect for family dinners. Mutton cubes are used here for convenience since they are easier to handle than the small thin strips of meat used in the classic recipe.

5½ tablespoons seasoned flour, made with

5 tablespoons flour,

1 teaspoon salt and

½ teaspoon black pepper

2 lb. lean mutton, cut into

2-inch cubes

4 oz. butter

2 medium-sized onions, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

1 teaspoon dried sage

1 garlic clove, crushed

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon black pepper

10 fl. oz. beef stock

2 small turnips, peeled and chopped

2 medium-sized potatoes, peeled and chopped

Place the seasoned flour on a plate and roll the mutton cubes in it, shaking off any excess flour. Set the cubes aside.

In a large frying-pan, melt 2 ounces of the butter over moderate heat. When the foam subsides, add the mutton cubes to the pan and cook, stirring and turning occasionally, for 5 minutes, or until they are golden brown on all sides. With a slotted spoon, transfer the cubes to a large saucepan and set aside.

Add the onions to the frying-pan and cook them, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 7 minutes, or until they are soft and translucent but not brown. With a slotted spoon, transfer the onions to the meat in the saucepan and stir in the parsley, sage, garlic, salt and pepper. Pour in the beef stock and place the saucepan over moderately high heat. Bring the mixture to the boil, stirring frequently. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan and simmer the stew for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, in the frying-pan, melt the remaining butter over moderate heat. Add the turnips and the potatoes and cook them, stirring and turning occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes, or until they are lightly browned. Remove the pan from the heat.

Add the turnips and potatoes to the saucepan, recover and simmer the stew for a further 45 minutes, or until the meat and vegetables are very tender.

Remove the pan from the heat and serve at once.

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