Slow-cooked mutton neck chops with root vegetables and wild garlic

Serves 4

Ask your butcher to cut your chops through the neck of mutton from the centre so that you end up with a rounded cut with the bone in the centre. Make sure the chops aren't too fatty.

4 x 200g mutton neck chops
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
A little vegetable or corn oil for frying
60-70g butter
1 onion, peeled, halved and finely chopped
30g flour, plus a little extra for dusting
400-500ml chicken stock
A few sprigs of thyme
1 large carrot peeled and cut into cm dice
3 sticks of celery, peeled if necessary and cut into cm dice
1 medium turnip, peeled and cut into cm dice
A handful or two of wild garlic leaves, washed

Season and lightly flour the chops, heat some of the vegetable oil in a heavy frying pan and lightly brown them on both sides, then put to one side. Melt the butter in a pan large enough to hold the chops.

Gently cook the onion for 2-3 minutes until soft, then stir in the flour and cook for a minute on a low heat; gradually whisk in the stock and thyme, season, cover with a lid and cook on a low heat for about one to one-and-a-half hours or until the chops are tender; top up with more stock if it's getting dry. It's difficult to put an exact time on mutton so you will need to check it during cooking.

Add the vegetables and simmer for 6-7 minutes or so, until they are tender. The sauce shouldn't be too thick; if it is, then just add a little water or stock.

Meanwhile, melt a knob of butter in a frying pan, add the wild garlic and cook it for a minute on a medium heat until the leaves have just wilted.

Spoon some of the wild garlic leaves on to the plates, place the chops on top, spoon the sauce and vegetables over and scatter the rest of the leaves on top.

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