I love lamb breast, you don't see it so much on menus these days and I think it's a real shame, the other fantastic thing that you see even less is Mutton, and that's an even bigger shame
The breast is packed full of flavour, and cooked correctly is utterly delicious
I'm using mutton here, you can get it in good quality butchers, but you can use lamb if you prefer
This recipe will serve 4 people
A 1.6 kg/3lb 8oz mutton breast, boned, rolled and tied, ask your butcher to do this for you
salt and freshly ground white pepper
2 tbsp dripping or vegetable oil
1.6 kg/3lb 8oz onions, peeled and thinly sliced
2 bay leaf
A good splash of red wine vinegar
2-3 tbsp anchovy essence (or several finely chopped anchovies)
A good handful of chopped fresh parsley
Preheat the oven to 150C/300F/Gas 2.
Season the mutton well with salt and freshly ground white pepper.
Melt the dripping or oil in a large, lidded casserole dish.
Place the mutton breast into the casserole dish, turn down the heat and colour well on all sides, until golden-brown.
Lift out the meat and remove all fat from the dish with a spoon.
Add half of the onions to make a bed which the mutton will sit, add the mutton back into to the dish. Add the bay leaves and cover with the remaining onions.
Cut a circle of greaseproof paper just slightly bigger than your pot, Dampen it, lightly grease one side, and press it onto the onions (greased side down).
Put on the lid cook in the oven for about three hours.
After an hour, remove the dish to see whether the onion mixture isn't reducing to quickly, if so add a splash of water
Replace the paper and lid and place the dish into the oven again.
Check again after another hour, if it's reducing to quickly add another splash of water
After about three hours of cooking, gently press the mutton with your finger there should be little resistance, and it will be beautifully tender
Lift out the meat, put it into a small roasting tin and cover with foil. while you finish the onions.
Remove the bay leaf from the onions and drain the onions, reserving the cooking juices.
Put the onions back into the casserole. Remove any fat that has settled on the surface of the cooking juices with a ladle, Pour the liquid back in with the onions, and gently simmer until the volume of the liquid has reduced by half. Stir in the vinegar and anchovy essence, or chopped anchovies if using
Season the onions to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Now stir in the parsley.
Remove the mutton from under the foil (if any meaty juices have exuded from the resting mutton add them to the onions), Cut and remove the strings and thickly slice the meat. It will take no cutting it'll be beautiful and tender, Arrange the slices onto a hot serving dish and pile the onions alongside.
Serve with some buttery mashed potato and green beans, absolutely sensational