Planning an Easter meal with a difference? Our resident chef Mark Hix has a suggestion.
Mutton Chop Curry
I’ve had this dish on the menu at the Hix Oyster & Chop House since day one. We alternate it, when mutton is not in season, with a fish collar curry (that delicious, slightly glutinous piece of meat behind the gills that fishmongers often give away for fish stock). If you are a regular curry maker, cook up a batch of the curry spices (see left) and keep them in a Kilner jar.
Marinade the chops in the yoghurt for a couple of hours.
Gently cook the onion, garlic, ginger, saffron and curry leaves in two thirds of the ghee for 3-4 minutes until soft. Stir in the curry powder and tomato purée.
Add the stock, bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes.
Blend the sauce in a liquidiser until smooth.
Strain through a fine-meshed sieve into a clean pan.
Return to a low heat and simmer until the sauce has reduced and thickened.
Heat the remaining ghee in a frying pan.
Remove the excess yoghurt from the chops, then season and fry them until lightly coloured.
Pour the sauce over the chops and simmer gently in the pan for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Serve with basmati rice and scatter with the coriander.
12 mutton chops or cutlets
2-3tbsps natural yoghurt
2 medium red onions, peeled and finely chopped
3 medium cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
A small piece of root ginger, scraped and finely grated
A good pinch of saffron
A wad of curry leaves
75g ghee (or a half oil, half butter mix)
2tbsps roasted curry powder (see left)
1tbsp tomato purée
500ml lamb or beef stock (a good stock cube is fine)
A few sprigs of coriander, roughly chopped
Photograph by Jason Lowe