These Pan-Roasted Mutton Chops with Salsa Verde make for a perfect springtime entree, and may just introduce you to your new favorite cut of meat. If lamb’s distinctly potent flavor is just a bit much for you, a mutton chop is the underrated cut you need to try. Mutton, which simply refers meat from a mature sheep (over 12 months in age) as opposed to lamb (under 12 months in age), is incredibly rich and savory, but is notably milder when it comes to that signature lamb-y flavor. Just imagine the hybrid of a lamb chop and a pork chop, and there you have it—the meaty and marvelous mutton chop. And because sheep loves a bright, herbaceous sauce (think lamb and mint sauce), we dressed these chops up with a vibrant green salsa featuring mint, parsley, and scallions.
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons thinly sliced scallion
2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
1 garlic clove, sliced
1/4 cup, plus 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
4 (4-oz.) mutton loin chops
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup unsalted butter
4 thyme sprigs
How to Make It
Stir together mint, parsley, scallion, vinegar, garlic, 1/4 cup of the oil, and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt in a small bowl. Set aside.
Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Sprinkle mutton chops evenly with pepper and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook until browned, 6 to 7 minutes per side. Move mutton chops to 1 side of skillet, and place butter and thyme sprigs on opposite side. Cook, stirring butter mixture often, until butter melts and forms a sauce. Spoon sauce over mutton chops, and cook, basting often with sauce, until a meat thermometer inserted in thickest portion of chop registers 135°F. Remove and discard thyme sprigs. Serve mutton chops topped with mint salsa verde.
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