I recently read an article with this very title, and thought it was an intriguing idea. However, each dish has a story to it, so if you can bear with me, I’ll do this in instalments.
Warning for vegetarians or the squeamish. You might want to wait for Dish 2.
Dish 1 is Roast Mutton. As you know, I grew up on a farm. A sheep farm. So I grew up on mutton. Not lamb. Lamb was too valuable. Mutton was what we ate growing up. My dad would slaughter a sheep, skin it, and butcher it. On cold nights, he’d hang the carcass in the porch where we entered the house until he could butcher and freeze it the next morning. We had to be careful running out the back door – more than once I have crashed into cold, raw sheep meat. So we grew up on regular roasts and mutton chops. To this day my sister claims she can’t stand the smell of roast mutton, but I don‘t mind it – it brings back memories of the warm, cosy kitchen and a hearty meal. A much stronger meat than lamb, mutton needs to be thoroughly cooked, so we would have slices of well-cooked mutton, with a rich brown gravy, roast potatoes, roast parsnips, roast pumpkin – all home-grown and all cooked in the mutton fat.
This was often our Sunday lunch-time meal, winter or summer. In summer though we’d have fresh mint sauce – the mint collected from a bush growing up the road – on fresh peas from the garden. But I think it’s still a perfect, mid-winter meal. These days though, I’d buy lamb, and wash it down with a nice Cabernet.