John Farley’s Leg of Mutton with Cauliflower and Spinach

Preparation info

    • Difficulty


Appears in

The Farmhouse Kitchen

The Farmhouse Kitchen

By Mary Norwak

Published 1991

  • About


  • 1 leg of well-aged mutton, 8-9 lb
  • Salt
  • 8 medium-sized carrots
  • 4 onions
  • Bay leaf, thyme and parsley
  • 2 small cauliflowers
  • lb leaf spinach
  • Sea salt and freshly-Ground black pepper
  • 4 oz butter
  • ¼ pint milk
  • ¾ pint thick brown gravy or leftover sauce or 2-3 tablespoons double cream and 2 hard-boiled eggs


    Trim unwanted fat off the meat, but take care not to skin it or spoil its shape. Wrap it tightly in foil after salting it lightly. Clean the vegetables and cut into presentable pieces. Bring to the boil enough water almost (but not quite) to cover the joint. Lay the meat in it when boiling. Boil briskly for 3-5 minutes. Then reduce the heat, so that the liquid barely simmers. Leave for twenty-five minutes for each lb of meat, with a firm lid on the pan. Add the vegetables and herbs for the last one and a half hours.

    Towards the end of the cooking time, cut the cauliflowers into sprigs and prepare the spinach for cooking. Steam both, well salted and peppered, over boiling water or stock for 7-12 minutes.

    Melt 2oz butter in a stewpan, add the milk, and when very hot simmer the cauliflower in the mixture for four or five minutes. Dish the steamed spinach either with the heated brown gravy poured over it, or with a garnish of the cream and chopped hard-boiled eggs.

    Unwrap the meat (which will have made a good gravy in the foil package), place it on a serving dish and pour the butter and milk over. Serve vegetables (including carrots and onions) separately.

    This size of joint takes four hours to boil, and should rest at least three-quarters of an hour before serving.