Traditional country pursuits reimagined for a modern world
Mark Hix shares his deer chop curry with us.
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By Mark Hix
You don’t often see deer chops for sale but any good butcher should be able to cut them for you, just like lamb or mutton. There’s something delicious about eating a curry on the bone and picking up the bones afterwards and what’s more it looks great.
For the roasted curry powder
Grind all the spices, except the ground cumin, cinnamon and coriander, in a spice grinder or with a mortar and pestle. Then mix them with the already ground spices and sprinkle into a heavy-bottomed frying pan. Cook over a medium heat stirring constantly and not letting them burn, until they turn dark brown. Transfer to a plate and leave to cool, then store in a sealed jar.
For the curry
1. Marinade the chops in the yoghurt for a 2-3 hours before cooking.
2. To make the sauce gently cook the onion, garlic, ginger, saffron, curry leaves, fenugreek, cumin seeds, cardamom seeds and black cardamom, in two thirds of the ghee for 3-4 minutes until soft.
3. Add the curry spices and tomato purée and stir well. Add the stock and dried chillies, bring to the boil and simmer gently for 40 minutes. Blend half of the sauce in a liquidiser until smooth (don’t blend the chillies) then add back to the sauce. Return to a low heat and continue simmering until the sauce has reduced and thickened.
4. Heat the remaining ghee in a frying pan, remove the excess yoghurt from the chops and season. Fry them until lightly coloured. Add the chops to the sauce and simmer gently for 4-5 hours until tender, stirring occasionally. Serve with basmati rice and scatter with the coriander.
Traditional country persuits reimagined for the modern world
One of the best-known dishes in the north which has been converted by Mark Hix using deer.
A tasty recipe for pheasant from Mark Hix, which works well served with all sorts of things, from a salad to pasta tossed in tomato sauce.
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