Sunday 12 January 2014

Mutton And Red Wine Casserole

It's  freezing cold outside!! Try out this warm and comforting hearty mutton and red wine casserole to drive away your winter woes. 
 Imagine a steaming hot bowl of mutton casserole waiting to comfort you when you come back dead tired from work. Sounds heavenly, no? It might sound complicated to make, but believe me this casserole is the simplest thing to make.
 What is so amazing about this dish is that not only is it rich and delicious, you can also make it without a lot of fuss - just throw in all the ingredients and wait for the flavors to come alive in your oven. Slow cooking in the red wine sauce results in a wonderfully soft, delicious melt-in-the-mouth mutton. And with all the vegetables that go in, its super healthy too!!  
Another great advantage of casseroles are that they are super time savers. With most of us busy with our careers, there is very little time to devote to making elaborate dinners. But these casseroles can be left to simmer slowly in the oven without any great attention to stir and cook so there is very little chance to mess up. Also most casseroles freeze well too, so one can make a big batch and freeze half of it for later use. 
And during the colder winter months there is nothing more comforting and satisfying than a piping hot bowl of thick creamy casserole.Go ahead and pop this casserole dish in your oven for dinner tonight. 
If interested, you can also checkout my recipe for Lamb Goulash here which is quite similar to the Mutton casserole.

500 gms boned meat, cut into 2 cm cubes
2 tbsp plain white flour, seasoned with salt and pepper
1 tbsp olive oil
25 gms butter
2 tbsp tomato puree
300 ml Red wine
300 ml chicken stock
5-6 garlic cloves, crushed,
1 carrot,diced into 1 cm cubes
2 onions, diced into 1 cm cubes
1 turnip, diced into 1 cm cubes
100 gms, mushrooms, quartered
1 potato, diced into 1 cm cubes
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp dried rosemary

Preheat the oven to 180 C
Put the cubes of mutton in a plastic bag with the seasoned flour and give the bag a good shake so that the meat becomes well coated with flour. Heat a large frying pan until very hot. Add the oil and the butter.
 Put in the mutton pieces and fry over high heat, stirring now and then, until all the pieces of lamb are well browned. Keep aside.
In a separate pan, fry the mushrooms, season and keep aside.
Add the tomato puree...
and the red wine to the pan and bring to a boil, scraping up all the little pieces of meat that have stuck to the bottom.
Pour in the stock, rosemary, garlic, onion and all the diced vegetables.
Add a little seasoning. 
At this point, as there was a lot of liquid left in the pan, (The quantity of the gravy alongwith the meat and vegetables was quite a lot to fit into my casserole dish) I transferred the ingredients into a rice cooker to stew the meat and thicken the gravy slightly before baking it in the oven. If you like you can omit this step and straight away shift the meat into a big casserole dish to bake it in the oven.
Add the mushrooms to the mutton gravy. Transfer into a casserole dish,
Cover with a tight fitting lid and bake for 1-1/2 hours to 2 hours or until the meat is soft and tender.
Remove from oven and check the seasoning.
Enjoy this bowlful of warmth with a slice of bread or over hot steaming rice.

Ever wondered what is the difference between a 'Stew' and a 'Casserole'? 

According to Wikipedia :A casserole, from the French word for "saucepan", is a large, deep dish used both in the oven and as a serving vessel. The word is also used for the food cooked and served in such a vessel, with the cookware itself called a casserole dish or casserole pan. 
A distinction can be made between casseroles and stews: Stewing is a cooking process whereby heat is applied to the bottom of the cooking vessel (typically over a fire or on a stove), whereas Casserole cooking is generally done in an oven to bake where heat circulates all around the cooking vessel. 
In both cases the meat is cut up fairly small and cooked in a liquid (stock, wine, water, cider or whatever)


  1. Hi Mukta, I tried this recipe out yesterday. Sadly, I did not get the chance to click pics and share it with you, which I think is enough proof that it was enjoyed by my family.

    I had one question about the recipe though. Suppose I pressure cook the casserole instead of baking it in the oven for a hour and half, how would it affect the dish? Do tell.

  2. Glad you liked the recipe Vinita. Slow cooking the mutton in the oven in its stock or wine tenderizes it and makes it more flavorful. Long roasting helps to release the flavours slowly whereas cooking it in the pressure cooker whole just disintegrate the meat and make a mush of it with the vegetables because of which I do not think its a good idea to cook it in the pressure cooker.