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WhiteTrash BBQ -- Real Pit Barbecue from New York City. This is the story of a fire obsessed guy, living in Brooklyn, with a dream of producing award winning, competition busting, real Barbeque. Come live the dream as I compete around the country in the KCBS Championship Barbecue circuit.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

BBQ Recipes: Owensboro Barbecued Mutton

Ladies and Gents, children of all ages, here is the amazing losing recipe that produced such spectacular results at The Lamb Takedown on Sunday April 18! This recipe lost, not due to any lacking on its part - this will produce spectacular lamb. It lost due to my incompetence as a presentation chef. I highly recommend this recipe and believe me, I will be cooking this again.

I've added some comments of my own which are in parenthesis to reflect my cooking methods and style.

Owensboro Barbecued Mutton from the book BBQ USA by Steven Raichlen. Published by Workman Publishing Company708 Broadway, New York, New York. This recipe serves 8 to 10.

Method: Indirect Grilling (aka barbeque)

For the Mutton (or Lamb):
  • 1 piece of mutton (or lamb) shoulder or leg. (About 5lbs) I used 5 lamb shoulders that averaged about 2.7 lbs each.
  • Coarse salt (Kosher or sea - I used Kosher) and freshly ground black pepper
For the Basting Sauce:
  • 1 cup cider vinegar
  • 2/3 cup Worcestershire sauce (I used Lea & Perrins, which in my mind is the only Worcestershire sauce to use. I've never tasted a better one.)
  • 5 tablespoons course salt (Kosher or sea - in this case I used sea due to the fact that I was low on Kosher salt after salting all 5 shoulders)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper.
For the Dipping Sauce:
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce (see comment above)
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons brown sugar (I used Sugar in the Raw instead, which is a natural cane turbinado sugar. For some reason my brown sugar had been mixed with cinnamon and that wasn't the flavor I wanted.)
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt (Kosher or sea)
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon MSG (optional) (I didn't use this. I don't have any MSG in the house)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
10 t0 12 hamburger buns or 20 to 24 slices white bread. (I used tortillas)

You'll also need:
  • 4 cups wood chips or chunks, preferably hickory, soaked for 1 hour in water to cover, then drained. (Soaking wood is such a fallacy. I'll address that in another post! - I used a mixture of apple and hickory woods with charcoal.)
Cooking Instructions:
  1. Generously season the mutton (or lamb) with about 1 tablespoon of each salt and pepper. Set aside
  2. Make the basting sauce: Combine the vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, salt, lemon juice and pepper with 1 1/2 cups water in a non-reactive saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. (Water? Where did that come from? Why isn't it in the list of ingredients?)
  3. Make the dipping sauce: Combine the Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, lemon juice, brown sugar, pepper, coarse and onion salts, garlic powder, MSG (if using), allspice and 2 cups water in a non-reactive saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat and cook until richly flavored and slightly reduced, about 5 minutes. Transfer the sauce to a nonreactive serving bowl to cool.
  4. Set up the grill or smoker. (Now I'm going to vary from Steven's instructions here. This should have been your FIRST step. Setup your smoker and bring it to a temperature of 225 - 250 for at least one hour before placing your meat on the cooker. If you want to know how Steven does it - buy the book. This blog focuses on charcoal and wood grilling and barbecuing. I'll do some posts on setting up the various grills later in the spring)
  5. When your cooker has locked in on its temperature, place the mutton (or lamb) fat side up in the center of the cooking grate over a drip pan and away from the heat. Cover the grill. Cook the mutton (or lamb) until it is fall off the bone tender, 4 to 6 hours. (Mine cooked for 8 hours! Barbecue does not tell time.) To test for doneness, insert an instant read thermometer into the thickest part of the meat, being sure not to touch the bone. The internal temperature of the meat should be about 190 degrees. (When the meat is ready, the thermometer should enter the meat as if going into warm butter - there should be almost no resistance.)
  6. Baste the mutton (or lamb) with the basting sauce every half hour (after the bark has set on the meat) If the meat starts to burn, cover it loosely with aluminum foil. Keep your temperature steady, refueling your cooker as needed. (Steven has some instructions on refueling a charcoal grill, but I find them to be off)
  7. Transfer the cooked mutton (or lamb) to a cutting board and let rest for at least 5 minutes. (I'd recommend at least an hour) Slice the meat thinly across the grain or finely chop it with a cleaver.
  8. Spoon half of the dipping sauce over the meat.
  9. Serve the mutton (or lamb) on toasted or grilled hamburger buns or slices of white bread, or all by itself, passing the remaining dipping sauce on the side.
So, there you have it. Owensboro Barbecued Mutton. Damn good if I do say so myself.

Since I was making 5 times the amount of meat that this recipe called for, I increased the size of all the ingredients, except the salt. Be careful when doubling or tripling seasonings. Some, like salt and pepper don't double precisely. Doubling the salt may cause it to overpower a recipe. I've got to find some good charts on that.

Please try this recipe at home. I'm sure you'll love it.

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At 8:26 AM, Blogger Dra'gon said...

Oh wow, do you have any idea how long I have been searching for a mutton recipe? I am a native of Owensboro but live in deep Florida. My grandmother waitressed for Moonlite for many many years and when I think of home and when I do come home there is always burgoo and mutton waiting for me. Thank you for giving me a piece of home!

At 2:25 PM, Blogger Shae said...

Awesome. I am almost an Owensboro native too, went to school right across the REO bridge in Indiana. I was looking for a real Kentucky bbq mutton recipe and here it is. Thank you!!


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