Castrato in umido

Mutton stew   Authentic recipe of Abruzzo

Mutton stew is a very simple but tasty recipe. Unfortunately it has a lot of calories. I show you how people make it in Abruzzo. I learnt this recipe directly from my grandmother born in Pescara (Abruzzo). You'll need: a leg of mutton, tomatoes, bacon, aromatic herbs and olive oil. Pair a red wine such as Montepulciano d'Abruzzo.

Ingredients / Serves 6

  • 1 1.5kg (3.3 pounds) leg of mutton, sliced
  • 400g (14 ounces) ripe but firm tomatoes
  • 80g (3 ounces) unsmoked bacon, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 100g (3 1/2 ounces) onion
  • 50g (1 3/4 ounce) celery steaks
  • 150g (5 1/3 ounces) carrots
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 glasses dry white wine
  • Vegetable stock
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Time:
    preparation: 20 minutes
    cooking: 40 minutes
    total: 80 minutes
  • Difficulty:
    easy recipe
  • How many calories in a serving?
    Calories: 670 (kcal) 34 % GDA (*)- 2805 (kJ)
    Protein: 30.0 (g) 60 % GDA
    Total fat: 58.6 (g) 84 % GDA
    Total carbohydrate: 5.1 (g) 2 % GDA
    Sugars: 5.0 (g) 6 % GDA

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Mutton stew recipe


  • - Clean, wash and chop the carrots.
  • - Clean, wash and slice the celery.
  • - Clean and chop the onion.
  • - Chop the bacon
  • - Peel and chop the tomatoes.
  • - Put the bacon, onion, celery, carrots and olive oil in a large saucepan.
  • - Remove the visible fat from the mutton slices.
  • - Place the slices of mutton leg in the saucepan and season with salt and pepper.
  • - Prepare some vegetable stock and keep it boiling or, simplier, water.


  • - Brown the meat on both sides over high heat
  • - Pour in the white wine and let it evaporate.
  • - Add the tomatoes and stir.
  • - Lower the heat and continue cooking, half-covered, turning the meat now and then, until tender.
  • - Add some vegetable stock or water if necessary (a ladle at a time).

Just before serving

  • - When the meat is tender switch off the gas. Let all cool and then remove the vegetables together with the gravy.
  • - Put all through a vegetable mill and pour into the pan again. You can also use a food processor.
  • - Put the sauce into the pan again.
  • - Reduce the sauce over a gentle flame.
  • - Add the parsley and stir.
  • - Serve the meat with its sauce.



  • - Mutton stew is tastier if prepared in advance. Reduce the sauce just before serving.
  • - You can substitute the raw tomatoes with 1 can whole peeled tomatoes and fresh parsley with dried parsley.
  • - Cooking time can vary a lot. It depends on many things.
  • - Your dish must be tastier if you have a crock pot.

Menu planning

  • - Mutton (castrato) meat isn't loved by everyone so my tip is to be careful when you have guests. Make sure they like it.
  • - Mutton stew should be accomapnied by mashed potatoes or baked potatoes. Perfect side dish if you have no problem with calories, fat, sugar ... On the contrary prefer seasonal vegetables or at least our light version of mashed potatoes (low fat potato puree).

Useful links for this recipe

Healthy eating

  • - Daily menu. I found two different set of data on mutton meat. The first on fatty meat, the second on lean meat.
    I calculated the nutrition facts of mutton stew using the first set of data and you can see the result in the table.
    Now I show you the calories, fat and protein of mutton stew if you buy a lean meat.
    Energy is reduced to 329 calories, protein intake doesn't change significantly (31.8g), fats are reduced to 20.4g and finally sugars don't change.
    In conclusion choose the cut of meat carefully though, unfortunately, it isn't only the visible fat which gives us an indication or the total fat.
    This mutton dish is rich in protein and fat like all meat recipes and you shouldn't eat it frequently. Remember the nutritionists suggest to eat meat rarely and prefer poultry. Do you also know No Meat Monday movement or Paul Mc Cartney's Meat Free Monday, don't you? A double help: for our planet (cutting carbon emissions) and our health (making our daily menu lighter, at least our Monday menu)
    Anyway if you decide to eat stewed mutton frequently, please, keep in mind that most of the foods, main source of protein, should be eaten at dinner and the calories eaten at dinner should be 500 - 600 (25 to 30% of energy needs for an adult if his daily needs are about 2000 calories and he correctly divides his calories into 5 micro-meals).
    Besides it is necessary for you to plan very well the other meals of the day. Prefer vegetables, fruit and food source of carbohydrates (total carbohydrates are almost absent in this mutton stew) but in the right quantity. What about a tasty vegetarian pasta dish and fruit for lunch? It could be perfect a low fat rice dish too!
    If you can't respect the nutrition daily values try to compensate in the next days.
  • - Celebration menu. If you prepare it for a celebration menu don't worry too much about nutrition facts. It's a rare event.
  • - Fiber per serving: 2.3g (daily value is 30g).
  • - The recommended portions of meat per week must not be more than 3 to 4, included cuts (not more than one per week). Anyway give preference to poultry.
  • - If you want to drink a glass of wine remember you have to add 80-85 calories per 100ml.
  • - I remember you my original home recipes can be made without salt. There is always a combination of flavors that substitutes salt. To browse our directory on Italian cooking look at green button on navigation bar. It's the home for the directory.


What's the right wine for " Mutton stew "?

Carlo and I generally match Friuli Grave Refosco Dal Peduncolo Rosso (a red Italian wine) with this mutton dish.