As poultry was scarce, early Australian settlers created the illusion of goose by stuffing a leg of mutton and turning up the shank to resemble the neck of a bird. You can also substitute this traditional Australian dish with lamb and serve with baby carrots, potatoes and peas.
- 140 g (2 cups) fresh breadcrumbs
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- ¼ cup sage leaves, chopped
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 100 g dripping or suet (see Note), melted, plus extra, to grease
- 2 kg shoulder of mutton or lamb, boned
- plain flour, to dust
- 1.5 kg sebago potatoes, peeled, cut into 5 cm pieces
- 2 bunches Dutch (baby) carrots, trimmed
- 500 ml (2 cups) beef stock, warmed
- cooked green split peas and steamed warrigal greens (see Note) or English spinach, to serve
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Drink match 2009 Rockbare Grenache Shiraz Mourvedre, McLaren Vale ($20).
Preheat oven to 180°C. To make stuffing, combine breadcrumbs, onion, sage, egg and 50 g dripping. Season with salt and pepper.
Place mutton, skin-side down, on a board and spoon stuffing into centre. Roll up ends to enclose stuffing and secure with kitchen string. Season and brush with remaining 50 g dripping. Dust mutton with flour and place, skin-side down, in a roasting pan. Roast for 1 hour, basting occasionally with pan juices, then turn mutton and add potatoes. Bake for a further 1 hour and 20 minutes, basting mutton and turning potatoes occasionally. Add carrots and roast for a further 10 minutes or until mutton is cooked through, potatoes are golden brown and carrots are tender.
Transfer mutton and vegetables to a plate and cover loosely with foil. Reserve pan with juices.
To make gravy, heat pan juices over high heat. Gradually whisk in stock and stir for 5 minutes or until thickened. Season. Serve mutton with vegetables and gravy.
• Suet is fat that surrounds the kidneys of beef or lamb and is available from butchers.
• Also known as Botany Bay greens, warrigal greens are native to the east coast of Australia and were part of the early settler’s diet. As they are high in vitamins, Captain Cook fed them to his crew in order to ward off scurvy. I Love Warrigal Greens (ilovewarrigalgreens.com.au) sells them fresh and frozen. Refresh wilted leaves in iced water with a little sugar.
Photography by Brett Stevens.
As seen in Feast magazine, December 2011, Issue 4. For more recipes and articles, pick up a copy of this month's Feast magazine or check out our great subscriptions offers here.