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Mutton is simply a sheep which older than the lamb meat we use nowadays. Any lamb aged 15 months or more would be referred to as mutton meat. The flavour of mutton is much richer than lamb, more like a game flavour.
Although mutton may not be to everyone's taste, it is very nutritious and much cheaper than lamb. This soup get round the problem of eating mutton meat directly by simmering it for a very long time then straining off the soup. At the time of Mrs Beeton, arrowroot was frequently used to thicken stews, casseroles and soups as it does in this recipe.
If your cooker won't cook on a very low heat then a slow-cooker set to its lowest heat is an excellent alternative.
Estimated Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Estimated Cooking Time: 12 hours 30 minutes
Servings: 8 bowls of soup
Non-standard Cooking Utensils: A large pan.
2.5k (6lb) neck of mutton
Lots of sweet herbs including parsley
150ml (¼ pint) red wine or sherry
Salt and pepper to taste
3.4l (6 pints) water
1. Peel and cut all the vegetables into thin slices
2. Add all the ingredients to a pan and cook on the lowest heat for about 12 hours.
3. When the meat is cooked, strain off the liquid and serve the mutton and vegetables to the table. This is a meal in itself.
4. Let the soup cool and then skim off the fat.
5. Season with salt and pepper, add 1¼ tablespoons of arrowroot (available from the herb section of many supermarkets) and stir in well; this will thicken the soup. Bring the soup to a boil and then serve hot with bread.
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