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If you’re looking to try something different to pricy lamb chops and give mutton (the meat of an older sheep) a go, I think this recipe for Mutton Chops with Homemade Fresh Mint Sauce is where you need to start. It was certainly my gateway into enjoying mutton for dinner, something I was keen to get into as good quality mutton tends to be a bit cheaper than good quality lamb, it is more sustainable (farmers can struggle to sell older sheep, and if they’re not eaten they might simply be destroyed) and actually has a lot more flavour as the meat has had a chance to mature.
As part of my mission to break up with supermarket meat and choose more traceable, sustainable, British alternatives we’ve been getting a lot of deliveries from Field & Flower and when I was browsing for one of our favourite guilty pleasure cuts – lamb chops – and as they’re listed next to each other I put the cheaper mutton chops in the basket instead, £2.08/ 100g to the lamb’s £2.39/ 100g. Frying them up simply for dinner one night (it was late spring so I just did potatoes and greens, though fresh stewed borlotti beans are my favourite to go with lamb and I suppose now mutton chops the moment they come in season) we both commented that the rich flavours and unctuous fat (I’d recommend either barbecuing them or doing them in a very conductive pan like my Olav one #gifted – but that does mean I get to offer you 10% off with the code RACHELPHIPPS10, and honestly, at home I call it my ‘god tier’ pan – as you need it to cook through and render properly) made the chop experience way better than any we’d had before.
Speaking of discount codes, they don’t sponsor me or anything but if you use this link to sign up to Field & Flower, you’ll get 25% off your first order (regularly ordered items for us also include their Pork, Nutmeg & Black Pepper Sausages, their oxtail and their chicken wings), I’ll also get 25% off my next delivery, and they’ll donate four meals for each of you who sign up to Fair Share West (they’re based in Somerset!) Sounds pretty good to me.
So I mentioned that I simply pan fry these chops to go alongside some sides, but what really elevates this dish is the homemade mint sauce. I honestly can’t remember 100% where the idea for it came from, it’s been handwritten and stuck to my fridge for Sunday roast duty next to my Yorkshire pudding and bread sauce recipes for a while, though I think it might have been a Donna Hay recipe from Waitrose Food magazine? Regardless this fresh mint sauce, made from fresh mint, sherry vinegar and wholegrain mustard is bold, acidic and vibrant enough to cut through the fatty mutton (though you can serve it alongside any cut of mutton or lamb with heavenly results), and adds a little something to proceedings rather than just getting mint sauce or mint jelly from the jar, or else opting for redcurrant jelly instead.
These simply pan fried mutton chops make a delicious cheaper alternative to lamb, perfect served as a simple weeknight dinner with a homemade fresh mint sauce perfect for cutting through the deliciously fatty meat.
4 large mutton chops
freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp sherry vinegar
1 tbsp runny honey
1/2 tbsp wholegrain mustard
light olive oil
25g (3/4 oz) fresh mint leaves
Dab any excess moisture from the packaging off the mutton chops with a piece of kitchen towel, season them well on both sides with salt and pepper, and set aside.
To make the mint sauce, whisk together the sherry vinegar, honey, mustard and 1/2 tbsp of the olive oil in the bottom of a small bowl. Very finely chop the fresh mint leaves, and stir into the sauce. Set aside.
Heat another splash of oil in a large frying pan or skillet over a high heat. Once the oil is shimmering, use a pair of kitchen tongs to stand the chops up in the pan on their fat caps and cook until they’re crisp and golden. Then pan fry the chops until golden on each side. Remove them from the pan and allow them to rest whilst you plate up your chosen sides, and take the mint sauce to the table for everyone to help themselves.
Any leftover mint sauce can be kept covered in the fridge for up to 5 days. It is also delicious swirled through yogurt as a quick dipping sauce or to serve alongside mutton or lamb preparations that are heavily spiced.
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One Pan Pescatarian: 100 Delicious Dinners – Veggie, Vegan, Fish
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