Use mutton in this recipe for crisp, meaty soldiers packed with a classic egg dressing.
Preheat the oven to 150C/300F/Gas 2.
For the mutton, place the mutton breast in a deep roasting tin and scatter over the vegetables, salt and bay leaves. Lay the mutton breast in a roasting tray, scatter over the rinsed and roughly chopped vegetables, salt and bay leaves. Pour over the stock to cover the lamb, topping up with water if needed.
Place into the oven for 3 hours, or until the mutton is meltingly tender. Remove the mutton from the tin and shred the meat. Discard the bones.
Place the mutton meat in two sheets of greaseproof paper placed between two baking trays. Place into the fridge and weigh down with something heavy. Leave overnight.
For the dressing, boil the eggs for 4-5 minutes, or until soft-boiled, then drain and cool under cold running water.
Peel the eggs and carefully remove the soft-boiled yolk. Place into a mixing bowl and whisk together with the vinegar, oil, garlic and mustard. Roughly chop the white of the eggs and gently fold into the dressing. Set aside.
Remove the pressed lamb from the trays and cut into fingers the size of toast soldiers.
Heat some vegetable or sunflower oil in a deep fat fryer to 170C/320F (CAUTION: hot oil can be dangerous. Do not leave unattended).
Dip each lamb ‘soldier’ into the flour, then into the beaten egg, and then the breadcrumbs. Repeat with the remaining lamb pieces. Fry, in batches, in the hot oil for 2-3 minutes, or until golden-brown and crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper. Keep warm in the oven while you cook the rest.
To serve, blanch the leeks in a pan of boiling salted water for 2-3 minutes, or until tender. Drain and place on a tray lined with kitchen paper. Halve the leeks and divide among serving plates.
Scatter the anchovy fillets over the leeks and place two mutton ‘soldiers’ on each plate. Drizzle the egg dressing over and serve.
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