Mutton and Pork Chilli

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I made a big batch of mutton and pork chilli last weekend to have with the tomatillo salsa. I liked it a lot which is convenient as we have quite a bit of mutton to eat – thank you evil sheep (so named because she was exceedingly good at headbutting you with her horns to inflict maximum damage). The quantities aren’t exact in the recipe as I just chuck in what I have, chilli can be very forgiving that way. I do recommend adding the chocolate, but I am not sure you need to cook this all day, although I think it helps. The main reason I do this is because I like to make something in the morning and leave it gently doing its thing all day while I get on with other jobs.

The chillis are Lemon Drop from the Real Seed Catalogue. This year was the first time I grew them and I love them – they are very prolific ad taste great. Thank you Tina for putting me on to them :). I am saving some of these seeds for next year so we will see how they do from saved seed.

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I also grew lots of white heritage carrots this year so that is what we are eating. I don’t know about you, but I secretly prefer orange ones – although the dark red or purple ones are pretty cool too.

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Mutton and pork chilli: 1 kg minced mutton; maybe 500g of diced pork shoulder – cut into reasonably small chunks, but not too small; about 150g or so of pancetta or bacon cut into small dice; chillis; two tins of tomatoes or passata; black beans, or any kind of beans; stock; whatever leftover red wine you have to hand; 1-2 tsp each ground cumin and coriander, a little bit of cinnamon and smoked sweet paprika; about 4 squares of very good dark chocolate finely grated; couple of onions, some celery, some carrots, fresh corn, fresh coriander, seasoning, olive oil.

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Fry the diced bacon, the chunks of pork and the minced mutton in small batches until browned. While this is happening chop the onion, celery and carrot. Then in a big pot gently soften them in some olive oil. Add the spices to the pot and the chilli and stir. Add the meat, cover with some red wine, tomatoes or passata and stock and let it simmer for the rest of the day. Towards dinner time add a few tins of beans, the fresh corn, if using, and the chocolate. Cook gently for some more time.

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We had this with potato wedges because as a result of the bumper hugelkultur potato harvest we have a lot to get through.

Potato Wedges: potatoes; oil; ground spices.

Cut potatoes into wedges. Mix a selection of spices (I tend to use ground coriander, cumin, chilli, turmeric, cinnamon, smoked paprika) into the oil and smear all over the potatoes. roast in a hot oven until done.

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In the interests of full disclosure, I thought the chilli was a little salty, but couldn’t work out why as I didn’t put much salt in it. I found out the reason the next day when I went to use the rest of the diced pork in a tomatillo stew. It wasn’t diced pork it was diced cured and smoked pork for some unknown reason. Well actually I can guess how this happened as we often get a couple of our pigs back from the butcher in one go and it can all be a bit overwhelming. A couple of years ago there was a slight mix up in communication and they cured and smoked a whole half a pig – I am assuming that these chunks came from there?? Yes, I am getting better at labeling the stuff I shove in the freezer.

Anyway it was still good made with the cured pork, although I think it will be better with just regular shoulder, but it just gives me an excuse to make another batch.

N.B. We didn’t eat evil sheep because she was evil, well not just only because she was evil. This summer she was very prone to flystrike and we can’t keep all the sheep so this is one of the criteria I use when deciding who to kill. Repeatedly rejecting one of your lambs for two years running also gets you on the fast track to university!

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