Spring dishes with a difference From Kindling Restaurant in Brighton

Spring dishes with a difference From Kindling Restaurant in Brighton

Regenerative agriculture is a farming system that aims to restore and improve the countryside. When it comes to sheep this means rotating their grazing and uses practices such as planting herbs into the fields to enhance the health of the herd. This has the added benefit of enhancing the flavour. Mutton is typically four to six years old. Being a matured meat, it has had plenty of time outside allowing it to develop a generous fat content and deep gamey flavour that just isn’t present in the younger lamb.

This spring why not try Kindling Restaurant’s slow roast mutton shoulder as a centre piece for your table. A classic combination of seasonal flavours from Chef Toby Geneen’s childhood, this dish is rich, comforting and perfect for a family celebration. Kindling’s ethos centres around seasonal produce and ethical farming. Here, the traditional spring lamb is replaced with a piece of regeneratively farmed mutton.

At the restaurant the mutton is sourced directly from a local farm, Saddlescombe, located on the Sussex downs.

To source high quality mutton, speak to your local butcher or farm shop.

Slow roast shoulder of mutton with carrot, tomatoes and red wine


1 whole mutton shoulder, on the bone (1.8 – 2kg)

5 echalion shallots, halved and peeled

10 ripe plum tomatoes, halved with the white core removed

5 large carrots, peeled and thinly sliced

1 head of garlic, divided into cloves, but not peeled

1 tbsp olive oil

Sea salt

1 bunch of thyme, tied

3 sticks of rosemary, tied

3 bay leaf

500 ml red wine

500 ml chicken stock


Preheat your oven to 130C.

Mix all the vegetables together in a roasting tray with a little salt and olive oil. Spread them out into a bed for the shoulder. Tuck the herb bundles underneath the meat and pour your wine and chicken stock over the vegetable bed.

Slow roast for 4 hours uncovered, topping up the liquid with a little water if the stew becomes too dry.

Remove the tray from the oven and put meat to one side to rest, ideally with a clean tea towel on top to prevent it from cooling too much. Remove herb bundles from the sauce by giving them a little shake.

Carefully pour or spoon the sauce into another pan, then simmer for 10 – 15 mins until thickened. Season with some salt if it needs it, then arrange in your serving dish and top with the mutton, carved or pulled apart. Serve with mash potato and seasonal greens.

If you, your family and guests have any room left after that feast, there are some delicious, ethical puddings that you can serve.

Choose from a decadent dessert that is dairy-free, suitable for vegans and can even be made gluten free as well (but you’ll never be able to tell)! A rich moist chocolate sponge, topped with creamy caramel sauce and crunchy salty popcorn.

Or try your hand at Kindling’s signature petit four, which also makes an excellent gift. Sweet, creamy and soft fudge which is perfect with a cup of coffee or espresso martini.

Chocolate sponge with salted caramel sauce and popcorn

For the sponge:

75g oil

35g good quality cocoa powder

220g dairy free yogurt e.g. soya yogurt

30g oat milk

2 tsp (10ml) distilled vinegar

150g soft dark brown sugar

140g self-raising flour (gluten-free self-raising flour will also work here)

¾ tsp bicarbonate of soda

½ tsp table salt

·      Line an 8-inch square cake tin with baking paper. Preheat the oven to 170C.

·      Place the oil and cocoa powder in a small pan and heat gently for a few minutes to help bring out the flavour of the chocolate, then set aside to cool.

·      Put the dairy free yogurt, oat milk, vinegar and sugar together in a mixing bowl or kitchen aid and whisk until smooth. Then stir in the chocolate and oil mixture.

·      Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt together in a clean bowl. Fold into the wet ingredients, mixing well to avoid any lumps.

·      Pour into the lined cake tin and gently level using a spatula, being careful to avoid removing too much air from the cake.

·      Bake in the preheated oven at 170C for 20 – 25 mins, until risen and springy to the touch.

Salted caramel sauce:

200g vegan butter alternative

250g soft dark brown sugar

125g golden syrup

Large pinch of Maldon sea salt

·      Place all the ingredients in a medium sized pan and heat gently over a low heat, whisking until combined.

·      Whisk the sauce occasionally as it cools to ensure a silky texture.


A small handful of popping corn kernels

2 tbsp of oil

Fine salt for seasoning

·      Heat the oil in a large saucepan on medium high heat.

·      Put 3 or 4 piece of popping corn into the oil and cover the pan.

·      When the test kernels pop, add the rest of the popcorn kernels in an even layer. Cover, remove from heat and wait 30 seconds.

·      Return the pan to the heat and gently shake it as the popcorn starts to pop.

·      Try to keep the lid slightly ajar or use a lid with a vent hole in it to help release some of the steam.

·      Once the popping slows, remove the pan from the heat, remove the lid, and put the popcorn immediately into a wide bowl. Sprinkle with salt and toss to ensure it is evenly seasoned

To serve:

Cut the cake in long fingers and drizzle with the caramel sauce. Top with salted popcorn and serve with chocolate sorbet or dairy free ice cream.

White chocolate fudge with dark chocolate crumb

To make the dark chocolate crumb:

30g water

125g sugar

60g dark chocolate

1.     Put the water and sugar in a pan and cook to 168C, checking the temperature with a thermometer suitable for high temperatures.

2.     Remove from the heat, stir in chocolate to create the soil.

3.     Cool on a baking paper lined tray, then chop to a medium crumb.

To make the fudge:

500g of caster sugar

150g of glucose syrup

280g of double cream

330g of white chocolate, chopped

75g of butter

1.     Line an 8 inch cake tin with non-stick paper.

2.     Place the sugar, glucose syrup and double cream in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Cook whilst stirring to a temperature of 114C. Be careful not to heat the mixture too strongly because it can bubble and spit. Be patient, heat it steadily and keep stirring at all times.

3.     Once the mixture is at the correct temperature, remove it from the heat and add the butter and chopped white chocolate. Stir well until everything is melted together. If the mixture is a little stiff, you might want to return it to the heat for a few seconds to ensure it is liquid enough to pour into your tin.

4.     Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin and immediately sprinkle the top with the chocolate soil.

5.     Allow to cool at room temperature, then wrap the tin in clingfilm and chill overnight in the fridge.

6.     The fudge is easiest to cut when cold and should be stored in an airtight container in the fridge.

At Kindling, the team strongly believes that good food is good for you and the environment. Their ethos comes through in thoughtful details; local suppliers, minimal waste and knowing where their meat and fish comes from. If you consider these when sourcing your ingredients to compile these recipes, you too can create great food which is also better for the environment.

Not only that! These three recipes are easy to prepare and will certainly be a hit!


Kindling Restaurant in Brighton is about more than just the delicious food, it is a community of people: staff, customers and suppliers all sharing and celebrating local produce. Nature writes the menu as the seasons inspire the dishes. Kindling is featured in the Michelin Guide and is a member of the Sustainable Restaurants Association.

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