Serves 4

There's a campaign to get more people eating British mutton this winter. I'm all for it. Mutton has much more flavour than lamb. It just needs longer, more gentle cooking.

There's a campaign to get more people eating British mutton this winter. I'm all for it. Mutton has much more flavour than lamb. It just needs longer, more gentle cooking.

1kg neck fillet of mutton, cut into rough 2cm pieces
Plain flour for dusting
2 large onions, peeled and finely chopped
Vegetable oil for frying
A small sprig of rosemary
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1.5 litres chicken or lamb stock (can be made with good quality stock cubes)
400-450g turnips, peeled and cut into rough 2-3cm chunks
250-300g puff pastry, rolled to about 1/2cm thick
1 egg, beaten

Pre-heat the oven to 200°C/Gas mark 6. Season the pieces of mutton and dust generously with about a tablespoon or so of flour. Heat the vegetable oil in a heavy-bottomed saucepan and fry the pieces of mutton and onions, without colouring them too much, for 3-4 minutes. Add the rosemary and stock, bring to the boil and simmer gently for about 11/2-2 hours until the mutton is soft and tender. This may take a little longer, or it may be quicker, as it's difficult to put a cooking time on braising cuts. Add the turnips, cover with a lid and add a little more water if necessary. Simmer for about 15 minutes until the turnips are cooked. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.

Meanwhile cut the pastry a little larger than the pie dish, or dishes if you're making individual pies. When the mutton mixture is cool, transfer it to your pie dish or dishes. Brush the edges of the pastry with some egg and lay the pastry on the dish, pressing the edges on the rims. Cut a slit about 2cm-3cm in the centre to let the steam out, or for larger pies, place a pie funnel in the centre of the dish surrounded by the filling, then lay the pastry over it with the funnel poking through.

Bake the pies for 40-45 minutes until golden. Serve with buttered cabbage, boiled potatoes or some mashed swede.

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