Gypsy Camp Marinated Mutton Ragout

“They sat down. In front of each of them was a large plate of some sort of ragu smelling strongly of garlic, a bottle of raki, a pitcher of water and a cheap tumbler….. Bond…started to eat with his right hand. The ragout was delicious but steaming hot. Bond winced each time he dipped his fingers into it…. When they had scoured their plates, a silver bowl of water in which rose leaves floated, and a clean linen cloth, were put between Bond and Kerim.”

Ian Fleming, From Russia With Love

Bond was offered crusty bread to eat with his ragout and Fleming was right – the bread soaks up the hot, unctuous juices whilst at the same time adding a bit of crunch and texture. And this particular stew really is a cut above most other stews, I think it’s the quince which raises its game. If you are lucky enough to be able to lay your hands on a fresh quince, add peeled slices at the beginning of the stewing process.

Mutton has a deeper, richer flavour than lamb – follow this link to find out more about the differences, and where to buy mutton on the internet.

If you really need a vegetable, purple sprouting broccoli, or some plain green beans, would do the trick.

What better to listen to than the vibrant, frantic gypsy music of Tarif de Haidouks. I went to see them play – the energy – unbelievable. See for yourself in the YouTube clip below, beneath the recipe.

Film and music

From Russia With Love and Taraf de Haidouks

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