An island favourite that needs no introduction; deep, rich and aromatic with a distinct curried taste, this is a true taste of the Caribbean!
Many of you may have seen me on instagram multiple times testing this curry powder over and over and over again!
You probably also already know that I absolutely love curry. I can have it for breakfast, lunch and dinner without hesitation! Curry mutton, curry lamb and curry goat though, have a special place in my heart.
Tender juicy and flavoursome pieces of meat which effortlessly fall off of the bone as you eat it with a generous coating of curry sauce is simply heaven, and comfort food at its best.
During my time in Jamaica I ate more than my fair share of curry mutton. I ate it as I sat by the side of the road, in the restaurants, on the beach and if I could contain myself, I'd wait to eat it when I was back home.
Growing up my family gatherings would always have curry, but not necessarily curry mutton and this made it even more special when it did present itself at the buffet. I'd have an aunt almost whisper to me that there was some curry mutton hidden in a certain area of the kitchen under a tea towel. It really was a treat!
Whenever I'd make it at home, I'd find myself adding not just curry powder, but many other spices too in order for it to be like the delicious ones I'd had in Jamaica.
The thing is, a regular curry powder that you may use on chicken for example doesn't work with mutton (or lamb, or goat). They are two completely different flavour profiles and therefore need to be seasoned differently.
Mutton, goat and lamb meat have an ever so slightly sweet taste, but they also taste slightly gamey. They are rich in flavour and have a depth to them.
Chicken on the other hand is completely different. Depending on the type of bird and how it was raised, it has a mild taste and due to not having much fat, it generally doesn't have much flavour on its own which is why it is a great carrier of other flavours and spices.
When making a curry mutton dish, your aim is to make the mutton taste its best and to have the spices work really well with the actual taste of the meat.
So, after realising that not only am I forever adding more of this and that to my curried mutton, I realised that others were too. Instagram reels and youtube videos are filled with individuals showing you how to make it, but they too add so many different spices to their mutton meat to get it tasting right. I thought that it really would be handy to have a powder that is an all in one so that others can easily make authentic tasting curried mutton too.
It's taken almost 15 tweaks from the initial curry mutton powder recipe I'd started with but it's safe to say we got there.
It's super important that your meat is tender, there is nothing worse than tough meat, so the cooking of it is the bit that takes the longest. After the initial steps are done it's simply a case of leaving it to simmer with the occasional stirs so that it doesn't stick the bottom.
Everyone has a slightly different way of making their curried mutton, some add coconut milk, mixed peppers, carrots or even tomatoes. I like my curried mutton simple, with meat and potatoes, but you can add other ingredients if that's what you prefer.
Now, meat with bone or no bone? That is the question!
If you are like me, you may want to tuck straight into your curry without having to faff around with bones getting in the way.. but honestly, the bone is where the flavour is! I've tried it with no bone and there is just something missing when you sit down to eat it - a real disappointment when you've spent hours cooking it!
When the meat is boneless only, the sauce isn't as thick and theres almost no substance to it.. so here is what I do: I get a ratio of say 70% diced mutton meat only, and 30% of mutton meat with bone. I get the meat with the bone slightly bigger than the meat only so that I can avoid biting down hard on an unwarranted bone as I'm enjoying my meal. That way I get the flavour but also the convenience!
I suggest serving with plain white basmati rice and a fresh salad. If you want to push the boat out a little then fried plantain and coleslaw as a side is a must!
- Make sure that before you add the potatoes the meat is nice and soft and pretty much cooked to the point that you'd like to eat it. Don't add the potatoes if your meat is still tough or not quite ready yet.
- Depending on the potatoes used, the potatoes will naturally thicken the sauce. If the sauce is not as thick as you'd like it after your potatoes have been cooking in it, then simply remove the potatoes and meat with a slotted spoon and keep it separate. Bring the sauce up to a medium heat and reduce it while stirring occasionally until it is just a bit thinner than the consistency you'd like it. You don't want it too thick as when you add everything back in there will be no sauce left.
- Steps 2 - 4 are very important. It's important that you hydrate the spices and cook them out a little as the flavour of them really comes alive when you do these steps. This step is known to Caribbeans as 'burning the curry.' You are not actually burning it as the name suggests, but you're taking away the raw taste of the spices.
- Do not be in a rush when making this. Either start it early or do it the day before. The key is to cook it low and slow so that the meat breaks down slowly. If you have a pressure cooker, even better. This will take about an hour to cook instead.. just be sure to stir it regularly so that it doesn't stick to the bottom as it thickens up.
500g diced mutton, goat or lamb leg marinaded in 2 tablespoons of Myristica's Curry Mutton Powder
10ml vegetable oil
1 small onion, diced
1 garlic clove
4 sprigs of thyme
1 spring onion
150ml Water plus enough to cover the meat by 1.5 times
2 tablespoons of Myristica's Curry Mutton powder
125g Waxy potatoes such as new potatoes, charlotte potatoes or red skinned potatoes
- Marinade the meat in 2 tablespoons of Myristica's Curry Mutton Powder, ideally overnight, but for a minimum of 2 hours.
- Mix 2 tablespoons of Myristica's Curry Mutton powder with the 150ml of water.
- Heat oil over a medium heat and when warm, carefully add the curry powder and water mixture to the oil. Be careful incase it splashes!
- Bring this liquid to the boil and cook for 3 minutes before adding the meat and reducing the temperature slightly to a gentle simmer.
- Season the meat with a pinch of salt and stir.
- Allow the mixture to thicken as you stir the meat ensuring that it is getting coated in the thickening sauce. This step should take about 5 - 10 minutes.
- When it looks like the sauce is thick and like a gravy, add the onions and the garlic.
- Cook until the onions are soft and then add the thyme before stirring again.
- Add enough water to cover the meat by 1.5 times
- Bring to the boil, cover and then reduce to a simmer for 3 - 3.5 hours or until the meat is tender. Remember to still stir it occasionally so that it doesn't catch and burn at the bottom of the pan.
- If using desiree potatoes, peel and cut them so that they are a similar size to new potatoes.
- When the meat is tender, add the potatoes and allow them to cook as your curry simmers gently.
- When the potatoes are cooked, allow the curry to sit for 15 minutes while it is off of the heat before everyone is encouraged to tuck in!