On the face of it, cooking over fire can feel like a very primitive form of cooking, at odds with delicate “fancy” food found in a lot of restaurants. The reality couldn’t be further from the truth. To cook over fire requires a lot of attention, and thought. You can’t turn a dial and have instant heat or push a button and be boiling in seconds. With practice, you can learn to tame the fire, to have it do what you want it to.
Preparation Time: 30 min
Cooking Time: 90 min
1 Mutton Rump (bone-in)
200g Wild Garlic (plus some flowers)
200ml Olive Oil
White Bean Stew
20 garlic cloves (about 2 bulbs), unpeeled
300ml boiling water
25g salted butter
2 celery sticks, finely sliced
2 fresh thyme sprigs
200ml dry cider
400g tin cannellini beans
400g tin butter beans
2 fresh bay leaves
250g fresh vegetable stock
100g Wild Garlic
Prepare your fire.
Before you start cooking make sure you have everything prepped, starting with the wild garlic oil.
In a pan of boiling water blanch the wild garlic for a minute and refresh under colder water. Make sure you squeeze out all of the moisture before blitzing in a blender, adding small amounts of the olive oil until it’s all been added. Pour that into a fine-mesh sieve over a bowl and let the oil drop through. This recipe will make more than you need, so store what’s left in a bottle in the fridge.
Next, prepare the ingredients for the white bean stew.
Leave the garlic in their skins and add them with the boiling water to a bowl. Leave for 3 minutes whilst they soften. Drain and when cool remove the skins and roughly chop.
To prepare the rump, simply score the fat and apply some salt.
At this point, you should have a good bed of coals from the fire. When cooking like this you will need to continually feed the fire with more wood creating a hot direct cooking zone and an area where you can rake the coals too for slower cooking.
With the bone facing down, set the rump above the coals. In total, you will slowly cook the rump for 45-60 mins depending on the heat of the fire. All the while you need to keep rotating it over the fire, being careful not to let the dripping fat flame up the fire too much. If needed have a little drip pan directly underneath.
Whilst the mutton is slowly cooking start the stew. Rake over more coals and flatten them so you can put your pot on top.