Recipe based rather distantly on one by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. Mutton can be hard to find; if you are in the UK, you can get wonderful mutton from Laverstoke Park
(also stocked by Abel and Cole
This recipe is slow, but surprisingly uncomplicated (for most of the time, it just requires checking to see that it's maintaining a very low simmer and hasn't started boiling or gone completely still).Ingredients:
500g diced mutton
50g dried apricots (and a couple of prunes if you want) -- you can double this if you want, but I prefer it less sweet
1-2 tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
1 large onion (or 2 small), peeled and chopped
1 tbsp fruit chutney
salt and pepper if desired
stock and/or a glass of white wine if on hand; if not, don't worry about it
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp each of cumin, cardamon, ginger
1 pinch allspice (N.B. if you don't have some of the spices on hand, have them in different formats -- e.g. fresh rather than dried ginger -- or want to sub in others, you're cool to do so within reason.)Instructions:
Put the apricots in a bowl. Pour over enough freshly-boiled water to cover them. Leave for at least half an hour. Then scoop them out, stick them on a saucer or something, and do not throw the water away
Heat half the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add the garlic and onions and fry them for a few minutes until they're softened. Add all the spices, and fry for a few more minutes.
Transfer to your large saucepan/whatever.
Turn up the heat under the frying pan and add the rest of the oil. Brown the meat quickly and add to the saucepan. Pour over the water from the soaked apricots, add the chutney, and then top it up with stock/white wine/water until the meat is barely covered.
Bring to the boil, then reduce immediately to a very slow simmer. Cook like this for 1 1/2 hours. Add the apricots at this point (apparently if you add them earlier they get too mushy) and cook for a further 1 1/2 hours.