2 tbsp vegetable oil
450g / 1 1lb mutton or lamb cutlets (bone removed) cut into 2″/5cm chunks
2 tbsp plain flour
2lb/ 1 kg potatoes, peeled and cut into quarters
1 cup/115g onion, roughly chopped
1 cup/ 100g leeks, cleaned and finely sliced
1 cup/170g carrots, roughly chopped
1½ pints / 750 ml dark beef stock
2 or 3 cabbage leaves, thinly sliced
Salt and Pepper
1. Heat the oven to 350 F/180°C/ Gas 4
2. In a large frying pan heat half the oil to hot but not smoking. Add half the lamb pieces and brown all over by turning in the hot oil. Remove the lamb with tongs and place in a casserole, cover with a half of the quartered potatoes, onions, leeks and carrots.
3. Add the remaining oil to the frying pan, heat again then add the remaining lamb and brown all over as before. Add to the casserole and cover with the remaining vegetables.
4. Add the flour to the frying pan and stir really well to soak up any fat and juices. Cook on a gentle heat for 3 minutes then add stock a ladle at a time until you have a thick, lump-free sauce. Pour this sauce over the lamb and vegetables.
5. Add the remaining stock to the casserole, cover with a tight fitting lid, cook in the oven for 1 hour. Add the cabbage (if using) replace the lid and cook for another hour. Check from time to time to make sure the stock isn’t reducing too much, if it is add a little boiling water. The meat and vegetables should always be covered by liquid. If the sauce is too runny at the end, you can always cook a little longer with the lid removed. Season with salt and pepper.
5. Serve piping hot and as it already has plenty of potatoes and vegetables it is unlikely it will need more. Perhaps a little crusty bread would be good though to soak up all that fabulous gravy.
Like all stews and casseroles, they benefit from being made the day before, this is no exception.