Mutton, an oft-forgotten meat that is enjoying a renaissance, is at its best when married with a caper sauce, according to The Prince of Wales. Find out why this is one of his favourite things in our special November 13 issue, for which he acts as Guest Editor.
Until then, here is Simon Hopkinson’s recipe for caper sauce (serves 4).
400ml mutton cooking broth, all traces of fat removed from the surface with several sheets of kitchen paper; 1 small onion, finely chopped; 50ml vinegar from a jar of large, fat capers; 50ml cider vinegar; 4 cloves; 1 bay leaf; 250ml dry cider; 30g butter; 1tbspn flour; 150ml whipping cream; 3tspn Colman’s mustard (made, not powder); 2tbspn capers; freshly ground white pepper; a touch of salt, if necessary; scant tbspn chopped parsley
Put the mutton broth in a saucepan, reduce by half over a moderate heat and put to one side. To make the sauce, put the onion, vinegars, cloves and bay into a small stainless-steel saucepan, together with a cupful of water. Simmer together until all liquid has boiled away to almost nothing. Add the dry cider, allow to bubble away for five minutes, then add to it the reduced broth.
Using the broth pan (rinsed clean), melt the butter, stir in the flour and cook very gently, stirring with a wooden spoon over a low heat for a few minutes, until it (a roux) is sandy coloured. Now, slowly strain the reduced vinegar/cider/broth into the roux (it will seethe, initially) and whisk together until the mixture is perfectly smooth. Bring up to a gentle simmer and cook for 20 minutes, over a very low heat, stirring occasionally, until thickened. Stir in the cream, then simmer for a few minutes more before whisking in the mustard so it disperses evenly into the sauce. Add capers, pepper, salt (if necessary) and parsley, and stir in. Serve the sauce at once, piping hot, with the mutton carved into thick slices.
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