, Step by step

Braised mutton with spring vegetables and mint pesto

Pesto and glazed vegetables transform this stew into a truly special meal for any day of the week.

Mark Stower, Director of Food and Service.

Preparation Time: 20 mins

Cooking Time: 2 hours and 15 mins

Serves: 6


  • Step 1

    Put the diced mutton into a saucepan. Cover the meat with water and bring to the boil. Drain off the boiling water, and then refresh with cold water. Drain well.

  • Step 2

    Add 50ml of olive oil to a large braising pan and add the onion, half the potatoes, half the carrots and 1 garlic clove. Cook for 2 minutes. The vegetables should not begin to colour.

  • Step 3

    Add the mutton and chicken stock and season with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil and simmer for 1 1⁄2 hours

  • Step 4

    Put the mint, basil, remaining garlic clove, parmesan cheese and pine nuts into a food processor and blend, adding the rest of the olive oil as you do. Season with salt and pepper.

  • Step 5

    After the mutton has cooked 1 1⁄2 hours, add the rest of the potatoes and the tomatoes and continue to cook for another 30 minutes.

  • Step 6

    Put the turnips, remaining carrots, spring onions and celery in a pan and add the butter, sugar and 100ml of water. Cook the vegetables ‘al dente’ (they should remain firm).

  • Step 7

    When the mutton is cooked and tender, serve the stew in large bowls with some glazed vegetables scattered on top and a big spoonful of mint pesto.


This one pot stew is packed full of lots of lovely vegetables, and although root vegetables may not be very exciting when just steamed or boiled, cooked in this way they absorb the delicious flavours of the mutton and tomatoes, and are topped off by the mint pesto, making it very easy to eat well.

The turnip is a rather neglected British vegetable, but it is a good source of vitamin C and fibre. Before the arrival of the potato it was once a staple food in Europe, but it is much less popular in the UK these days.

Interestingly, some people find that turnips – as well as other vegetables from the same Brassica or cabbage family – taste bitter. It turns out that this is due to a genetic difference in taste perception, which makes some people more sensitive to the slightly bitter tasting compounds in these vegetables.

About three tablespoons of cooked turnips equals one of your 5 a day.