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Leg of Mutton with Caper Sauce

Made at Caprice Holdings | Serves 4-6

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For the mutton
1 leg of mutton, weighing about 1kg (boned and rolled – ask your butcher to do this)
2 onions, peeled and halved
1 leek, trimmed and halved
3 sprigs of thyme, whole
1 bay leaf
5 black peppercorns
Equal parts water and chicken stock (a good quality chicken stock cube will do) – enough to cover ingredients
1 tsp sea salt

For the caper sauce
50g unsalted butter
50g plain flour
500ml mutton stock (created from the cooking process above)
100ml double cream
100g capers, rinsed in cold water
½ bunch flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper

Put the mutton into a large saucepan or casserole with the onion, leek, thyme, bay leaf and peppercorns. Cover with the stock and water and add the salt. Bring to the boil, skim any scum off the surface and simmer for 1 ½ to 2 hours (until the meat is very tender). When cooked, strain 500ml of the stock into a jug and set aside. Leave the mutton, vegetables, herbs and rest of the stock covered with a lid until required.

Make the sauce immediately after cooking the mutton. Melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed pan, add the flour and stir well. Gradually add the stock, stirring well to prevent any lumps forming. Bring to the boil, remove the cooked onions from the mutton and add to the sauce. Simmer for 20 minutes over a low heat, and then blend the sauce until smooth in a liquidiser and strain through a sieve a clean saucepan. Return the sauce to a low heat, add the double cream and simmer until the sauce has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon. Add the capers and parsley and season to taste.

Lift the mutton from the pot and place on a chopping board. Remove any string and cut into ½ cm thick slices. Serve on warm plates with a couple of slices of meat, covered with the caper sauce. We would serve with buttered winter greens and mashed potatoes.

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