Series in which well-known chefs popularise traditional British produce. James Martin takes on the challenge of reviving the British apple and Matt Tebbutt campaigns for mutton.
Browse content similar to James Martin on Apple and Matt Tebbutt on Mutton. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!
Some of the best British produce is under threat.
-At the mercy of foreign invaders, market forces...
-And food fashion.
-Produce that has been around for centuries...
-Could die out within a generation.
So together we're on a mission...
-To save it.
-We're going to be giving you the best tips how to find it, grow it and cook it.
And, crucially, how to put sensational British produce...
Back on the food map.
I'm James Martin and I'm on a mission to find out why we aren't buying one of our greatest fruits.
Introduced by the Romans for its nutritious, versatile qualities,
it's fallen out of favour over the years due to foreign imports.
What is it? It's the Great British apple.
Let's be honest, the supermarket shelves are bursting with apples,
but surprisingly over 65% of these are imported.
I'm passionate about promoting British heritage apples,
whose distinct flavours are threatened with being lost forever.
In my campaign to help revive the British apple,
I'll be getting to the root of why it all started to go horribly wrong.
Supermarkets now demand perfect quality, texture, shape,
but they forget the most important thing - taste.
I'll be revealing the lengths some of the Great British public
are willing to go to to help save the British apple.
And, crucially, what you can all do to help.
And in the revival kitchen, I'll be showing you three fantastic recipes
to get our apples back onto the dinner plate, including my weekend feast of roast pork belly
and an apple tart - the perfect pudding to wow family and friends.
And if you're on a treadmill at this moment in time, run a bit quicker, cos the rest is coming.
So why am I so fanatical about British apples and why am I so keen to help their revival?
I remember trying a good old British apple for the first time in my gran's garden.
At the bottom of her allotment she had an apple tree
and jumping up as a kid, I used to pick these things.
It was full of flavour, full of moisture more than anything else.
She used to make amazing apple pies out of it, and at Bonfire Night,
stick a fork in it and you used to have delicious toffee apples.
There's nothing better in my mind than a good old British apple.
There was a time when over 1,200 different native British apples were grown across the UK.
But since the 1950s, we've lost 60% of our apple orchards
as farmers have been forced to turn them over to more profitable crops.
And where 25 years ago there were 1,500 commercial apple growers, now there are just 500.
To get to the heart of the problem, I'm starting my journey
at this 240-acre fruit farm near Sittingbourne,
which produces over two and half million kilos of apples every year,
but they only grow four types.
So what variety are these?
We've got Rubens apples here.
-Relatively a new one?
-Very new, yeah.
These have been in the ground...
This is their fourth year. And I don't think there are any older orchards of Rubens in the country.
Rubens are a recent arrival from Italy, becoming popular
with British growers because of their consistent taste and quality.
What dictates whether or not you grow Rubens or Coxes?
Is it something that you dictate, the supermarket, consumer, or is it the climate we're in?
The consumer, I think, led, probably, by the supermarket.
There's a need now, or a want, for a nice, red, shiny apple, as opposed to the old varieties
that are a lot more russety and older and harder to farm.
So the reality is that growers like Will have been forced
to turn to new varieties to satisfy the supermarkets.
But what I find more disturbing is that most of the apples sold in our stores aren't even grown here.
Surely, a British apple picked and on the shelves in days
must taste better than one shipped from thousands of miles away?
I'm taking my campaign to the streets and I want to see if the public can taste the difference
between an imported apple and a British one of exactly the same variety.
-Taste a bit.
That's a Gala apple, OK?
That's a Gala, too.
-Can you tell the difference?
-That's loads better.
This one's travelled 8,000 miles.
I went into a supermarket 800 yards away from here.
I couldn't find your apple that was produced a mile away...
No, I'm always complaining in...
-I won't mention which one.
-It doesn't surprise me.
-Can you taste any difference?
You prefer the local one. That's quite interesting.
-I don't know...
-Yeah, that is the local one.
-How are you doing, guys? You all right?
-That one's better.
This one? Why is that?
-It's more sweeter.
Almost without exception, people prefer the freshness of the British Gala.
So I simply can't understand why supermarkets aren't clamouring for more of them.
When selecting apples to send to supermarkets, we look for something
that they can have an amount of continuity of supply on.
If you're looking at Gala and Braeburn around the world,
they're available 12 months of the year and we will put British in when available.
Now talking about around the world, because I'll be honest with you, about a mile down the road I went
to a supermarket and there was not a single British apple and I got one from New Zealand and one from Chile.
And that's a mile away. Do you think it's people's knowledge or what is it?
I'm afraid I can't defend them. They don't any excuse not to have English apples at this time of year.
Beginning of October is our busiest trading year in English apples.
There should be anything up to 15 varieties they could choose from.
But all too often that choice isn't there.
We can grow as good a fruit if not better than anywhere else in the world.
It's just people's perception.
If all they see is a foreign apple, that's what they buy.
So the first step on the road to the revival of the Great British apple is clear.
Next time I'm in the supermarket, I'm definitely going to look out for a British label.
We can all play our part in reviving the Great British apple and that starts with eating them.
For my first recipe I'll be making a traditional apple Charlotte, featuring Will's Rubens apples.
There's basically three ingredients in this -
butter, bread and the good old apple.
The really good qualities that come out of an apple are really needed
for this dish, because if it's got a poor taste in the apple, it's never going to work.
I'm going to stew these Rubens down for the filling of the Charlottes and as soon as you cut into them,
you can see how moist and full of flavour they are.
There's so much difference. You just get that secondary whack of flavour in your mouth.
Apple Charlotte was actually named after Queen Charlotte
and it's been around since about the 1800s. And there's two apple Charlottes.
There's either Charlotte Russe, which is traditionally set, and the French have nicked that one.
Whereas us British have really kept to our tradition
with the apple Charlotte being that hot dessert lined with bread.
So a touch of sugar in here, a bit of butter.
Throw in the apples.
It will only take about four to five minutes.
You could make a large one, but I'm going to prepare individual Charlottes,
which will speed up the cooking process.
Now I know what you're going to say, white sliced bread, but my grandmother taught me this recipe.
She used it, so I'm using it.
Chop out a bread disc, dip both sides in melted butter
and place in the bottom of a ramekin on top of some sliced apples.
And then you can take the edge.
And you dip them in,
place them in there.
And then just carefully overlap it only about a centimetre just overlapped around the edge.
Don't be frightened to press it into the sides a bit.
So apples are just about there now.
You have to ram it full of fruit.
So really cram it all in and you'd be surprised how many apples
go in just two desserts like this.
To finish, simply place a buttered disc on top and bake in the oven at 200 degrees.
So after about eight minutes,
you'll end up with these.
Now it will souffle up. The apples rise up and they souffle up.
And the top part of the bread becomes a little bit dry.
So the best tip is to take a clean tea towel and cover them over,
just press them slightly and they'll start to drop back down again.
And when they are ready, they can simply be turned out on to a plate.
Just leave it for a couple of seconds and then, hopefully, you should be able to lift this off.
Quite pleased with that.
And there we have it - my apple Charlotte.
Perfect with a dollop of homemade thyme custard.
The apples are just starting to fall.
You've almost got a little bite in there, but you've still got the puree in there and that's what you need.
Good old Queen Charlotte.
She had good taste, that lass.
I'm on a campaign to revive the ailing British apple,
but for some farmers competing against cheaper imports
might not make commercial sense.
So what can they do with all that unsold fruit?
Now until recently, all the apples in this orchard were given to the pigs as pig feed.
The supermarkets didn't want them, they didn't produce the perfect-looking apple.
But their loss is our gain because the owners are now turning it into the perfect drink - cider.
Simon Reed helps run the Hawkins Rough Orchard near Canterbury,
where they've been making artisan cider for the last four years.
-Hi, Simon. Busy at work, I see.
This is like, to me, the picture-postcard apple orchard.
So what varieties have you got, then?
We've got three main varieties - Bramley, Worcester and Crispin.
And we're under a Bramley tree here.
People looking at this will go, "Well, they're red."
Most people look at supermarket Bramleys and they're all green.
Well, these are the real, natural colour.
Also we get a little bit of cross-pollination from the Worcesters,
so we're getting red and green.
And this is the more typical Bramley in a real orchard.
-But also smaller as well.
-Have we got enough?
-We've got enough.
-Right, you carry that one.
I'll carry this one.
How many do we need to make a litre anyway?
We need about two kilograms.
Simon produces four types of cider, but with these Bramley apples he'll be making his dry cider.
First the apples are fed onto a conveyor belt
and passed through a scratter, which chops them up into small pieces.
Next, the pulp is wrapped in hessian mesh cloths, which are stacked on top
of each other until there's enough to make one pressing.
Finally, the strained juice is poured into Scottish whisky barrels made of oak,
where it's left to ferment and mature for a year or more.
So what are we trying first?
This is the Rough Old Wife, our dry cider.
Only you could think of a name like that.
-It is dry, isn't it?
You should get a little bit of oak and a little whisky starting to come through at the end.
You do get the whisky!
-So what have we got here, a medium one?
What would be your biggest seller?
I guess we'd say probably the medium cider. But that tends to reflect age groups as well.
-The older people tend to have a slightly drier palate.
All right. Cheers.
See, that's more my kind of thing.
-You're a younger man.
-Well, -ish, -ish!
I have to say, it's real hats off to what Simon's done here.
Taking a product that used to be served to the pigs and producing a fantastic artisan product.
Cider makers don't care about perfectly formed apples, as it's all about great flavour.
So this is the next way we can all support the British apple industry.
Cider made from apples, that's one product that can really benefit
from people going into their local pub saying, "I want a real cider."
That's makes the difference. Why don't we all get behind it
and start saying we want to buy the real apple?
If the supermarkets don't want these apples, then I certainly do.
The sharpness of Simon's Bramleys will be perfect for my next recipe
of roast pork belly stuffed with apples and sage.
And for this dish you need the right type of meat.
What's really important with pork belly,
it needs to be pork that's bred to do one thing and one thing only,
that's sit in a field and eat, predominantly apples. Not bred to do the 100-metre hurdles,
i.e. have too much meat to fat on there.
It's got to be almost 50-50%, which this is.
Score the belly with a sharp blade to ensure you get great crackling.
Now get some really good sea salt.
Put plenty on the board.
Take the pork and place it on top of the salt, like that.
Now this is where you use the Bramley-style apples that we got from those orchards. Fantastic apples.
Now the process of putting apples, on particularly meat like pork,
has been around for thousands of years.
The Romans used to serve apples and pork.
They've got an element of sharpness and sharpness will cut through the fat of the meat.
And all I'm going to do is just grate the apple over the top of the pork, like that.
Add some sage, about six leaves should be enough.
Roll, then tie up the pork.
The whole idea of this is to keep the meat nice and tight while it cooks.
Start at one end and tie a little knot
in the top.
And you do a loop.
Pull the string through and you're almost lassoing.
And it starts to tighten up.
Finish off the end with a double knot and put the roll of belly on a bed of onions, ready for the oven.
It's important when you're doing pork like this and you want nice
and crispy crackling, you get the oven as hot as you can.
About 250 degrees centigrade. As hot as the oven will go and shock it with nothing else for about half an hour.
So in the meantime, I'm going to show you how to make the perfect apple accompaniment.
The secret, I find, with my apple sauce is brown sugar,
cos I think it really lends itself well to the caramelisation of the apples.
So get a nice hot pan on the stove first of all.
And then we've got our apples here.
Now this is what I love about apples from an orchard. This is how they should be.
Supermarkets would just throw these away,
but there's so much flavour, even though they're marked.
It's such a shame that apples like this are used for just cider.
It doesn't matter about the brown anyway, you throw the whole lot in.
See, look at that - proper apple.
Grab some of our sugar.
We don't like too much sugar, cos obviously you want to use
that sharpness to cut through the fattiness of the meat.
Add cinnamon and nutmeg to give it that rich, aromatic flavour, followed by the apples.
And keep the pan really hot so the sugar starts to caramelise.
Once the apples start to brown, add the cider.
Slightly cover the fruit and simmer for about five minutes.
And that's your spicy apple sauce.
You can allow that to go cold, stick it in a glass jar and it will last for a week. Easy as that.
After three hours slow roasting on a low heat, the pork should be perfect.
Now this is what it's all about - the end.
Or rather, nearly the end.
Check that out - nice, lovely roast pork.
I'm going to lift that off now.
This is always the chef's piece.
It's worth the three-hour wait! Trust me.
There's nothing better than roast belly pork.
And stuffed with those apples, it makes it even better.
And there you have it, my slow-roast belly pork
stuffed with apples and sage with a lovely spiced apple sauce.
I remember walking round an apple orchard for the first time when I was just a young kid.
The taste of a freshly picked apple was fantastic.
I remember it being a Russet Pippin and the flavour was very similar to pineapple.
But over recent years, most of our heritage varieties have almost disappeared
and if we don't support them, they'll be gone forever.
Thankfully, there is a place in Faversham that's striving
to keep our heritage apple trees alive, including one with a unique history.
Now this is the Isaac Newton fruit tree.
It's been around since the 17th century. It's not the actual tree, but the DNA's the same.
It's part of the National Fruit Collection at Brogdale Farm.
And it's this that's really important.
It's our heritage, it's our history and it's vital that we keep it going.
This is a real treasure trove, home to 650 different varieties of native British apple trees,
and for many of them, this is the only location in the world where they're still grown.
-Oh, hello, James.
-How are you doing? Lovely to see you.
Show me some of your collection.
The work they do here at Brogdale is crucial if we're to keep a living link with our apple heritage.
And whilst I'm here, I'm hoping to pick up a couple of varieties to use in my last recipe.
Well, we're looking for a really special apple for you, James,
and this is one called Golden Noble.
So what's the history behind this, then?
Well, this was an apple that was discovered in the middle of the late 1800s.
-So the Victorians would cook with these?
-They certainly would
and it was one of the well-favoured apples,
because it looks nice when cooked. It keeps a lovely colour.
-Now, it's a soft texture but quite sharp as well.
-It has that little sharpness.
-Is there plenty of these around or not?
-This is rare. You won't buy this in the shop.
Which is great. Even rarer now.
-That's right. And it's a beautiful little apple.
It is thought to have got Cox in its parentage and so it's going to have
-that quite nice intense flavour.
-And the size of it's quite small?
It's a lovely small apple, which is probably why you don't see it around,
because it's not commercial. Small apples are not commercial.
This is a very odd peculiarity called Knobby Russet.
-You can see the Russet and you can see the knobs.
Right. So is this a cooking, eating apple? What is it?
-It is, supposedly, an eating apple.
-Now, the unique thing about these...
Cos this is the most unusual apple I think I've ever seen.
If people have apple trees, don't know what it is, could they bring you a cutting?
Yes. They need to send us about three apples, plus some foliage and a little bit of its history.
And we do a very good identification service.
And even better, I think, you can take a little sampling of these trees home.
So you could actually grown your own...
You can. We supple a grafting service, so any one of the varieties
that you see in the collection that takes your fancy we can provide a new baby tree for you.
I'm having a bit of Knobby Russet in my back garden, that's what I'm having.
Brogdale isn't just steeped in history.
It's also using its collection and new farming techniques to help grow the apples of the future.
They're developing new types of trees, some with two trunks
and others which don't grow long branches, making them resemble vines.
As they need less pruning and the fruit is easier to pick,
this should keep the cost down for the British farmers
and help them compete for shelf space in the supermarkets.
Having been here for just one day, I've fallen in love with this place.
I love what Brogdale are doing. I love embracing technology and new research,
but for me really the true ethos of this place is in the heritage varieties.
650 varieties of native English apples.
That's almost half, just half, of what the native apple population of the UK once was.
And if you have got an apple tree at home, if you really think
you've got something peculiar and something odd and great tasting in your back garden,
this is the place where you can send it to and you can find out whether it's one of the 600 missing trees.
My last recipe is another dessert. As pastry is my passion, you'll have to forgive me.
I'm going to show you a show-stopping baked custard and apple tart with a spiced apple compote.
Now I'm using this Golden Noble here. Now it is actually quite rare.
There's only two of these trees in Kent, but you can use Cox's apples which are good.
It has a little sharp flavour to it as well, which works well with this recipe.
I'm going to puree this one into a tart.
And this Ballard Beauty that we've got here...
Quite a sharp-tasting apple as well. But again, you can use the same Cox's apple for this one.
I'm going to roast it off as a little compote on the side.
So first thing I'm going to do is make our pastry. Now for that I need some flour and some sugar.
My grandmother used to make this while watching Corrie.
And I can't even get close to how good she was at making it, cos she used to do it all the time.
But she used to rub it together in her hands and it almost dissolved when you put it in your mouth.
Mix together with some butter to get a fine crumb.
Add an egg
and bring together to form a dough.
Refrigerate that for about 20 minutes before rolling out.
Now I remember doing this for the first time in France when I was training as a pastry chef.
So you used to get a copy of the French equivalent
to The Sun newspaper and you used to have to read the newspaper through the pastry.
And until you could read it, the pastry chef wouldn't let me line the tin.
So get it as thin as you possibly can.
And to stop the pastry from breaking up, gently lay it over the tart tin
and carefully press it in before baking it blind for about five minutes.
Right, for our puree, the most important thing is to try not to make it too sweet.
You want that definition of custard, which is sweet,
although we're not putting sugar in, I'm going to use honey.
Place the chunks of apple in the pan with some melted butter and a touch of sugar until they soften.
So while that's cooking... Remember this tartlet's in two stages.
There's layers to it. So for this, we're going to make a cold custard.
Start with three whole eggs and two egg yolks.
We're going to add some honey.
And then double cream.
This is definitely...
not for the health conscious.
And if you're on a treadmill at this moment in time, run a bit quicker, cos the rest is coming.
That's it. You don't need to do anything else with that.
Having egg washed the pastry case, to help seal it,
cook for a further five minutes and then you can trim off the edges.
These bits here are for the chef.
Just like granny used to make. Homemade pastry is the best.
Next you can grab your puree
and pop the puree just in the base of your tartlet, like that.
Grab in some of this...lovely mixture. Carefully ladle it on.
And then fill the rest of it
while you're down here.
And make sure that it's really full to the brim.
Then gently cook it in the oven on a low heat for about an hour.
Now to go alongside this I thought I'd do a nice little apple compote.
For this I'm using the small Ballard Beauty.
Its intense flavour will combine perfectly with the spices in the compote.
In we go with a sprinkle of sugar.
And this will start to caramelise in the pan straightaway. I can then throw in the apples.
So just leave it like that.
And at the same time now we can add our spices.
I want a sensory overload of wintry flavours, so I'm using star anise,
ground cloves, nutmeg, vanilla and cinnamon.
Straightaway it smells Christmassy.
You can use some Armagnac brandy.
Perfect combination with apples.
It gets rid of all that alcohol straightaway. Look at that!
And that's it. That's your simple little apple compote done.
I've allowed the tart to rest in the fridge for about half an hour.
So here's a neat and simple tip to get it out of the tin.
Lift out your tartlet tin. Take something small, like that.
Hold it and it just falls underneath.
And then you can lift this off.
You can take a nice slice.
It should just fall a little bit.
There, look at that. That's what you're looking for.
Put some of your apple compote on there and then, finally...
Cos I did warn you lot at the gym.
..double cream. And then just serve that on the side.
And there you have my apple and custard tart with a compote of spiced apples.
See, Granny Smith. That's not the name of an apple,
that's what she was called - Granny Smith.
She'd be looking down on me now going,
"You've listened to me, lad."
So how do we get people to eat more British apples?
We could ask the supermarkets to do more.
Personally, I think it's our fault.
It's our lack of understanding
about what's really great and grown right on our doorstep.
And if the British apple is to stand any chance of being revived, we all need to play our part.
And even if you don't have your own apple trees, that's no excuse.
Take these residents of New Ash Green in Kent,
who take part in a community scheme
which has reclaimed an ancient apple orchard within their village.
Their housing estate was built in the 1960s on derelict farmland
and the orchard remained abandoned until seven years ago.
I think people are really proud
of having such a really brilliant, traditional orchard
right in the heart of their village.
There are around 200 similar projects across the country
and they all provide more than just a link with the past.
It's not just about the physical act of picking the apples, but it's the chance of eating them afterwards.
And that's the important bit!
'So it's simple. It's up to us to protect and revive our British apples.
'There are many ways to support this. Support your local shop, anything that's selling British apples.
'Visit your local orchard. Grow a tree yourself.
'Cos, to be honest, if we don't support'
the British apple, most of this stuff is going to be gone forever.
So really it's down to us.
Now here's another Great British product
that's in need of a revival.
I'm Matt Tebbutt and there's one thing that I'm passionate about reviving.
It's been overlooked and overcooked for far too long.
But when done properly, it can be spectacular.
It's British mutton.
'Mutton has acquired a bad reputation as a tough, second-class meat when, in reality,
'it packs a powerful flavour that I believe is even more delicious
'than the more popular alternative of lamb.
'So as part of my revival, I'll be visiting a sheep farm to find out where that flavour comes from.'
Wow! Here they come. Look at them. They're amazing.
Well, amazing to me. You see them on a daily basis.
Fantastic. And, you know, these are looking well. They're ideal for mutton.
'I'll be getting to grips with the quality of their sheep.'
I feel like James Herriot.
'I'll be asking one of our top Indian chefs what he thinks of the British attitude to mutton.'
They have got something fabulous that they've been ignoring for the last six generations.
'And I'll also be in the revival kitchen conjuring with the exotic flavours of North Africa,
'as well as helping you rediscover a forgotten British classic.'
If that doesn't change your opinion, nothing will.
'As a chef, I know how wonderful and diverse mutton can be.'
It's good, gutsy flavours that people can recreate at home.
My love of mutton came from reading old-fashioned cookery books.
And mutton is weaved within all these pages.
But it deserves a place on the family dining table and I'm on a mission to go and put it back there.
'The definition of mutton is generally accepted to be the meat of a sheep over two years old.
'This makes it very different from the much younger lamb which floods our supermarket shelves.
'Unlike lamb, mutton is from an animal that has grazed,
'giving the meat a wonderful deep red colour and a succulent texture.
'However, our modern, fast-paced lifestyles have steered us away from our slow-cooking traditions,
'leaving mutton's once-proud reputation behind it.'
Well, isn't mutton just tough old sheep with the wool taken off?
'It's this opinion that I want to change.
'But this isn't the first time I've championed mutton.
'In 2004, I was involved with a mutton renaissance campaign
'that set out to get the nation eating this wonderful meat once more.
'Seven years on, and I still can't find it in my supermarket.
'So I want to ask the chairman of the campaign, John Thorley, what's going wrong.'
-Good, good, good. Right, are you going to show me some sheep?
Now, John, you're a key player in the mutton renaissance
and I remember being part of it a few years ago
at the big launch, where there was a big drive
to get mutton back on our tables and get people eating it.
But I can't find it. Still after this time, I can't find it in supermarkets.
I can't find it in good butchers.
Well, there are problems with that, but what we're doing this year...
I mean, it's been going out to the small family butchers
-and those that are finding a trade, finding a demand, are actually building up their supply lines.
But it has been trialled recently in one of the supermarkets
and we'll be analysing how that's worked in the next few months.
So very much a sort of drip, drip effect and, hopefully, sort of build upon a solid foundation?
Absolutely. Well, that's what's important.
So, John, why should the British public be eating mutton over their regular Sunday roast?
Simply because, in the first place, it is a first-class meat.
It brings a new eating experience and people are looking for new eating experiences all the time.
Mutton does it. But more than that, it's vitally important for us to put income back into the sheep farms.
'For my first revival recipe I want to highlight how mutton is as much
'a part of British heritage as it is a truly tasty meat.
'So I'm heading to Cotswold Farm Park
'to meet one of our oldest breeds of sheep, the Soay.'
-Yeah, these are the Soay.
-This is as near as we have to an original sheep bred in this country?
Exactly, yeah. They are really the ancestor of all British sheep.
You know, man would have been running around in loin cloths eating these animals.
You need to be used to eating game or venison
to enjoy the Soay, because it has a strong smell and a strong flavour.
Right. So it's like the connoisseur's mutton?
It is really I'd say, yes.
Obviously, you can get mutton from all the breeds.
It's just a meat from an animal that's mature, that's grown-up.
-And the Soay are great conservation grazers and part of our living heritage, part of our history.
And what people need to do is to buy into the whole idea of what mutton is. So it's a mature animal.
And think about not only the flavour and the deliciousness of the meat,
but also the provenance and where that meat has come from and that it's been around for centuries.
-Before you know it, it'll be on the supermarket shelves.
-Yeah. They just need to try it.
'So to further tempt you to try mutton, I'm going to share with you
'three fantastic recipes that show it off at its best.'
So this is a piece of Adam's Soay mutton and this is going to be a pressed and crisp breast of mutton
with a lovely leek and egg vinaigrette.
I'll put a few anchovies in there as well for a little bit of seasoning.
But it is delicious, don't be scared.
Just looking at the colour of the meat and the quality of it.
There's not big lumps of fat on this.
It hasn't got a really thick layer running along it,
which would indicate that this is a really well looked after beast.
'This belly is going to be braised in the oven with some vegetables and some stock.'
Now mutton stock I find quite strong, so a lamb stock or a chicken stock would be just as good for this.
'What I love about braising is that it gives the meat a chance to absorb all the flavours in the stock.'
The idea of the seasoning in the cooking liquid, it will go right the way through...the mutton,
rather than finishing it off.
Seasoning it at the end, you'll just get the top layer of salt and then you'll get the meat.
But in this way, it gets the flavour running right the way through.
'The first lesson to preparing great mutton is to allow much longer
'for the meat to cook and this belly is no exception.
'After it's been braised in a low oven for two hours, press it in the fridge overnight.
'In the morning, you will have a wonderfully tender piece of meat
'full of the flavours of the British countryside and ready to be pane-ed.'
The meat itself is delicious.
Absolutely delicious. But what you want to do, by cooking it again
under that extreme heat, the crispness of the crumb that you're going to get
and the fat melting again is just utterly delicious.
'Cut the flat belly into fingers
'and then prepare your pane mixture.
'I'm using breadcrumbs with a sprinkling of mustard powder.'
Doesn't look much at the moment, but the meat is intensely rich
and there is a certain degree of fat going through.
So the more mustardy, strong flavours you have to cut through the fat, the better.
'You also need a bowl of seasoned flour and another with two eggs to help the breadcrumbs stick.'
So using one hand, preferably, let's get the meat in the flour, finely coated.
Lose the excess.
Into the egg and then finally into the mustard crumb.
A very, very nice, thin coating and that's it.
That's all you want.
'The mutton is now ready for the fryer.'
Now this is on about 160 degrees.
Nothing too hot, because you don't want to burn the crumb before it gets the heat into the middle.
So I'm going to stick three of those in for now.
'The heat from the fryer will soften the mutton fat and invigorate the flavours of the braising stock.'
So after a few minutes, that's what you're looking for, this lovely golden brown colour.
OK, so whip them out and drain them off.
'I'm serving these delicate strips of mutton on a warm bed of leeks
'dressed with anchovies and a thick vinaigrette.'
Lamb and anchovy are a classic. Mutton and anchovy works just as well. Let's have a little bit of...
And then on with the little mutton fingers.
'All you have to do now is to tuck in to a taste of history.'
Mm-mm! That is...
even though I say so myself, delicious. You've got everything. That lovely, rounded flavour
of the mutton. You know, it's only a sliver,
but it's big and it's powerful and it's rich, you know.
And I urge you to try this because this mutton is going to wow your friends.
'A huge part of my enjoyment of mutton is finding out where this great-tasting meat comes from,
'so that's where I'm taking my revival now.'
So if I want to learn more about mutton, I've got to come to the source
and what better place to start than right here in Wales.
'I'm heading just outside Mochdre in the Montgomeryshire hills
'to a sheep farm that has been producing mutton for generations.
'John and Daniel Rees have been working with sheep and enjoying mutton all their lives.'
Good to see you.
So you guys over the years must have eaten a lot of mutton.
We've been brought up on mutton
and my mother, you know, every roast would be mutton.
And I think the flavour that mutton offers, it's mature.
-And, you know, six around the table, we wanted a leg that covered us all.
-And mutton could offer that.
-So you're advocates of pushing this...
'On this farm, mutton sales are on a par with lamb and I'm sure that's rooted
'in John and Daniel's passion for this forgotten meat.
'As Daniel heads up to seek out the flock, I'm really excited to see something
'that has graced this valley for centuries.'
Wow, here they come! Look at them. They're amazing.
They're amazing to me. You see them on a daily basis.
Fantastic. You know, these are looking well. They're ideal for mutton.
-You're proud of your sheep?
-Oh, amazing, yeah. Fantastic.
-I'll tell you...
They're good-looking sheep, but the terrain is beautiful, isn't it?
-It's not sort of scattered...
When you think about it, because it's so steep, we actually can't get them ploughed,
so the grasses are old. That's where the flavour comes from.
-They can't half move.
-They can, yeah.
Where are the sheep off now?
We'll take them down to the homestead, where we can go through
and see what goes for mutton and see what goes for further breeding.
'Over the last ten years, sheep numbers have fallen in Wales by a quarter
'and I was desperate to know what effect this has had on the quality of John's mutton.'
If you actually look now, there's a lot less sheep in Wales, so there's a lot more grass about
and therefore we're actually having better ewes.
-More meat on them, more fat on them.
So the quality of mutton has risen to a very high standard.
-This is the time to start eating mutton?
-This is the time to start eating mutton, yeah,
definitely. And I tell you, it's going to push lamb aside.
We believe that these ewes here are some of the best mutton in the world.
'I want to get John to talk me through where some of our mutton cuts come from.
-'But to do that, I've got to get hold of a sheep.'
I feel like James Herriot.
-Now you've got him!
-You want to be able to feel the ribs a little bit. If you can't feel them, he's too fat.
-If you were at your restaurant, you wouldn't want that, would you?
-You want to feel... That, for me, that would be in perfect condition.
And then you've got your shoulder, yeah?
And the belly, belly meat, yeah? You've got a lot of flavour there.
-And then you've got your Sunday roast here...your leg.
-What we're going to do now, we're going to taste exactly how good this is.
-Right, OK. Not this one.
-Not this one.
-Good. I feel better about that.
-OK, let's go.
-I'll let her go.
Ah! I've never caught a sheep before. It's pretty amazing actually.
I think on the whole, I probably enjoy playing with the meat, rather than the living beast, as it were.
'It's on the sheep farms of Wales that so much of our mutton heritage is kept alive.
'John doesn't only know how to raise the perfect sheep, he also knows how to cook one, too.
'He's serving up some classic mutton dishes.
'Amongst them, a leg fillet, a mutton ham and a Welsh stew, called a cawl.'
'For me, it's a rare treat to be having dinner with a group
'of family and friends who are so passionate about their produce.'
So, guys, what do you think needs to be done to get people eating mutton?
It's not just substitute lamb. It's a totally different way of cooking.
You have to spend time on it.
But the flavour you get, the taste, well worth the effort.
-There's no additives.
Yeah, it is. It's as healthy as you can get.
-Well, without sounding too romantic, I think you can taste it, can't you? The fat is so sweet.
And you know it's going to be good quality meat.
I haven't had any of that actually.
That was fantastic. That just proves to me how adaptable and accessible
mutton can be and that scene should be in households all across Britain.
Now if you've had mutton in the past, chances are it's been boiled and chances are
you probably haven't enjoyed it. But this is the classic British recipe that's going to change your mind.
It's boiled leg of mutton with caper sauce.
So this is the star of the show.
This is a leg of mutton from John and Daniel's flock.
Just have a look over it. If there's any lumps of fat,
just take those off.
But this is a very well looked after beast.
'Season the meat generously.
'Then place it in a large, well-buttered pot.
'Next, slice five white onions.'
So that's pretty much all the hard work over.
I mean, that's it. Just a few onions and then it's done.
And then you can stick it in the oven.
Nice, long, slow cooking.
Go out, walk the dog, go to church, whatever you want to do.
And then come back and dive into it.
'Make a simple aromatic bag from muslin.
'This will flavour the meat and save you hooking out the stalks once the mutton has cooked.
'I'm simmering the mutton in white wine, which will supply a crisp compliment
'to the meat's rich flavour.
'Then make a cartouche out of greaseproof paper.'
The idea of the cartouche is that it seals any flavour and any moisture in that's given off during the cooking.
It's going to hit the buttered cartouche and then go back down on to the meat.
And that's it. There's no need to bring it up on the stove. Nothing.
It goes into an oven, hot oven, about sort of 140 for between an hour and a half to two hours.
'If you thought the mutton prep was easy, then the caper sauce is even easier.
'Stock, cream and capers go into a pan on a medium heat.'
That's good. It's lovely. It's delicious, it's rich, it's velvety
and it's everything that you want that dish to be.
But, essentially, that dish is done and ready to go.
'Slow cooking and mutton go hand in hand and, after so little effort, I'm always stunned by the results.'
There, that's what you want. Lovely, lovely, lovely.
You can see all that juice that's been created by the onions and that white wine.
That's just fantastic.
'I'm serving the mutton with classic accompaniments of boiled potatoes tossed in mint
'and some red cabbage.'
This is just great kind of homely food.
It's the sort of thing I love cooking.
And there's the fantastic mutton.
It just cuts like butter.
And finally, a little bit of our caper sauce.
Let those juices kind of mingle in.
'Boiled mutton with caper sauce is a traditional family meal
'that has largely been forgotten, so I can't wait to taste this.'
Meltingly tender meat.
Oh, that's good. You know, you've got the saltiness and the sharpness
of the capers cutting through the richness of the meat, the big, round, full-flavoured meat.
That's everything you could ever want in a dish.
So if that isn't going to change your opinion on mutton, nothing's going to.
What I've learnt so far on this journey, is that mutton is everything I knew it was.
It is a quality, heritage product that we should be embracing and celebrating and eating more of.
What I'm not sure, however, at the moment, is how we're going to get people to do that en masse.
'In search of answers, I'm going to my local town of Abergavenny
'and the annual food festival
'that draws a crowd of 37,000 people, all of them passionate about food.
'Most of the mutton in the UK is cooked in our ethnic communities,
'where it is still prized as a special and important meat.
'Cyrus Todiwala has been serving mutton to the masses at Abergavenny for six years.'
When you look at Indian cooking, because of the spices,
the onions, the garlic, the chilli,
everything else that goes into it, mutton can absorb those flavours
and release its own flavour back into the gravy.
People forget a classical korma is a Lancashire hotpot.
-That's the classic expression of a korma.
-So when you cook meat in a chunk with vegetables and potatoes in a sealed pot
and all the juices that ooze out and form a gravy, that's a korma.
A Lancashire hotpot is an ideal mutton dish.
So in your eyes, mutton is a key product? It's a top quality piece of meat?
It is top quality. And where in the world can you get as good as British? You tell me.
We can't. We have the best breeding grounds in the whole world.
I think we need to push the British public into believing
that they have got something fabulous that they've been ignoring for the last six generations.
'Cyrus's passion for mutton is infectious
'and, spurred on by his enthusiasm, I'm taking my revival back on the road.'
My next stop is the capital.
I'm going to see who else is cooking with mutton.
'Indian cooking isn't the only culture to embrace mutton.
'In the East End of London, Warren Richards' speciality
'is a Caribbean mutton curry and the locals can't get enough.'
How are you? Good to meet you.
So what makes your mutton curry so special here?
Why are all the City boys coming here and lapping it up?
It ain't broke, so I ain't fixing nothing. So I make it as it is.
I make it spicy.
The dish is spicy, so I make it spicy. And they come back for it.
-Where's your recipe from?
-From my mum.
-But like, I've adapted it a little bit.
-What, have you made it better?
-Er, no, I'm not saying that!
'Warren is willing to share with me the secrets of this family curry.
'I just hope he's told his mum.'
-Right, this is the mutton. It's all cut up in nice, neat pieces.
-You leave it on the bone?
-Yeah, I leave it on the bone. You get more flavour out of that.
-What have we got here? What are these spices?
-Right, I've got thyme.
That's a bit of tandoori powder that I put in it as well.
-OK. So crossing all boundaries here, aren't we?
-This is Scotch bonnet peppers that I've chopped up.
-Are you putting all that in there?!
-I'm not going to put all that in there.
-I was going to say.
-How often do you have to make this?
-Every day I make it, every day really.
-Wow! Big seller then?
-Yeah, it's very popular.
When we used to go to parties when I was younger, it would be curried goat and rice, or mutton and rice.
I was a human dustbin when I was younger.
-Right, so we've got hot oil here.
-Yeah, we've got oil.
Marinated, yeah. Put it in the pan.
-Just a bit at a time?
-Yeah, a bit at a time.
Is that enough for now?
No? All right.
-Oh, you want it all in?
-Put it all in, yeah.
Ordinarily, when I'm making some sort of braise or stew like this, I'd be chucking loads of wine at it.
-Loads of white wine or red wine.
-Any beer in there?
Once you taste that, you'll know it won't need it.
'It's just over an hour before this Caribbean curry is ready to eat.'
Oh, that's delicious.
That's how I like to cook it, just like my mum or like my nan in Jamaica would have it.
-It's kind of one of those dishes that transports you, yeah?
-Yes, that's it. Yeah.
'Even in Warren's spicy curry, the flavour of the mutton is really in evidence.
'I love it, but I need to convince you, the Great British public.'
Hello. Right, I'm not going to tell you what it is. I want you to try it and tell me if you like it or not.
-I bet it's probably squirrel, isn't it?
-There's a little bit of spice in there.
It's not squirrel, I can tell you that. It's delicious. We've just made it.
-Yeah, it tastes nice.
-It's quite a big texture, isn't it?
-Have you tried mutton?
-OK. Well, now you have.
-Oh, is that mutton?
-That is mutton.
-I don't think I've eaten mutton for a long time.
-You like mutton?
-I do, yeah.
-Oh, right, brilliant!
-Would you have reached for mutton if you saw it on a menu?
-OK. So now perhaps you would.
So there you go, not a bad result that. A few converts under my belt.
I love it. They were kind of impartial but some of them I think were really getting it.
But I'm going to go back to Warren for a bit of a top-up.
So this is my third and final mutton recipe.
Now, we've seen the Caribbean community use it a lot. The Indian community use it a lot.
So I'm going to be doing my North African-inspired dish.
This is going to be my shoulder of mutton tagine.
I'm using the shoulder for this dish and this is going to be perfect.
There's lots of connective fat and tissue going through this lovely piece of meat. By the time
it's finished cooking, you're going to be able to pull it away with a couple of spoons.
'Start by trimming off any excess fat.
'Once the meat is cut to a more manageable size, seal it in oil.'
I first came across this dish in Marrakech, Morocco,
and this really is one of those classic, sort of one-pot dishes, you know. You throw it in the oven,
a couple of hours, bring it out, put it on the table, big bowls of couscous, or rice,
or some nice flatbreads and let everyone dive into it.
It's a really kind of communal eating experience.
You know, a couple bottles of wine. It just goes down a treat.
'When the mutton is browned, put it in a pot and add some exotic flavours of North Africa...
'and star anise, which works beautifully with mutton.
'Then add a few chopped onions and the rinds of some preserved lemons -
'a real secret for a great tagine.'
Take the middle out. You don't want the middle. But the edible part is...the skin.
It gives a lovely citrus, very mild, lemony, salty flavour.
'Next, add some saffron, tinned tomatoes...
'some stock...and two chillies.'
And that's going to be just enough liquid just to keep it going,
to keep it moist. It's not a stew, so you don't want to completely cover the meat.
It's a long, slow sort of braise.
This is just going to be a beautiful-smelling, delicious-looking
pot of mutton and veg, and it's going to be thickened slightly.
You get all those lovely aromas, those sort of North African aromas.
So lid on - heavy lid.
Two to three hours until you can just flake the meat apart.
'Part of the reason mutton has fallen from grace is that it doesn't fit in with the impatience of modern life.
'Great food doesn't always come quickly and this tagine is no different.'
Ah, here you go!
This is the best bit.
Oof! Wow! It's pretty hot. OK, so that's exactly what you're looking for.
Lots and lots of juice, flavours are fantastic, but what it needs now is just a little bit more kick.
'Freshly chopped mint and coriander will give this tagine a real lift.'
Stir that around.
And you can smell it already.
'I'm serving my tagine with couscous and, in true Moroccan style, on one dish
'so everyone helps themselves at the table.'
There you go.
That's what you want, big slabs of meat. And you can see
how well it's cooked, because if you look at the bone,
the bone just comes away, like that.
That's what you want. Like that.
So...on with the other meat. And you can see
it's a pretty sizable beast.
So there you go. That is my North African-inspired mutton tagine.
'I hope my revival has inspired you to go out and start your own mutton renaissance.
'If you want to get hold of some, the best place to start is your local butcher.
'Alternatively, you could contact the sheep farms directly using one of the ever-growing number of box schemes.'
The advantage of a box scheme is you're able,
at your own convenience, at your own leisure,
to order online or over the phone. You can pick exactly what you want
without having to go into your butcher's and have it delivered to your door.
Just now there are few of us producing because we can
and we're serving the needs of a few. But, you know,
the general public as a whole say, "We want to start eating mutton again," more and more farmers
will start producing it and, again, you build that revolution where we'll have it back on the plate.
For me, this has been a real journey of a much misunderstood meat and, you know,
it's versatile, it's delicious when it's done properly
and it's out there, so you can all get it.
And it's high time we took it out of the 19th-century cookery books and put it on our tables today!
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
Some of our best Great British produce is under threat and this exciting series is a call to action as ten of the BBC's best-loved chefs and cooks help to bring our traditional produce back from the brink. We've got the rarest, tastiest and most culturally important ingredients right here under our noses, but they are in danger of being lost forever if we don't rally behind them. Each episode of The Great British Food Revival takes two passionate presenters on a gastronomic journey to discover, cook with and reinvigorate our great heritage foods. Each show is a campaign by the hosts to raise awareness, get people cooking with, talking about and enjoying these great British ingredients.
In this third episode of the series, chef and proud Yorkshireman James Martin takes on the challenge of reviving the British apple. Forced off the supermarket shelves by identikit fruit that have been shipped in from as far away as New Zealand and Chile, James is determined to show off the qualities of our native varieties. He discovers that we can all play our part in the revival by checking if that tree at the bottom of the garden is one of several hundred varieties thought to be extinct, and by showing us three delicious recipes that highlight the variation in flavour of this under-appreciated fruit. Leading the charge on behalf of mutton is chef Matt Tebbutt. Knocked for six by cheap imports of lamb, mutton has lost its place as a family staple. But Matt is determined to win back its reputation and discovers that the cause is being taken up from the mountains of Wales to the markets of London. He also demonstrates how tasty and versatile this meat can be by cooking a melt in the mouth stuffed shoulder and a spicy North African inspired tagine.