Is Mutton Chop the Most Underrated Steakhouse Order? — The Meat Show


– On this week’s episode of the Meat Show, we are at one of my favorite restaurants, Keen’s Steakhouse in New York City. We are in the Bull Moose
Room and we are here to eat, not moose, but mutton. Mutton has kind of a bad reputation because for many years,
really poor mutton was sold. I mean it was very cheap, and it was old, and it was gnarly and very gamey. Well, that’s not this mutton. This mutton is a little different so, we’re going to go in to the next room, which is the Lincoln
Room, we’re going to meet Executive Chef, Bill
Rogers, and he’s going to tell us all about mutton, all about the history of this dish, and then I’m going to tell you why I love it so much. (mellow rock music) You’ve been the chef here
over a decade, right? – 13 years. – Lucky for some, lucky for me. – It’s a good gig. – I think you are a custodian
of a sacred institution. Not to put too much pressure on you. – No. No. It’s something that I take very seriously. It’s an honor to be carrying a baton for this period of time
that I’ve been here, and there’s a lot to
keep going and uphold. – The mutton kind of defines… It hits all of those criteria, right? It is something that is
eminently crowd pleasing. There is an incredible sense of history. You are the only guys
who is actually selling this cut really in the
city anymore, right? – Yeah, as far as I know. We consider it our signature dish. When people mention Keen’s the first thing that comes out of their mouth is, oh that’s the place with the mutton. As far back as we have
menus, Keen’s served mutton. – How many ounces is a chop? – Well we shoot for
about 26 ounces of yield. There is bone inside. So it’s about a two pound chop. – It’s called a saddle right? The saddle of lamb a lot? – Yeah, cause it comes from the saddle, so imagine if you were riding the animal, that’s where you’d be riding
it, on top of the saddle. – Hold on a second, we can
show the audience right here, because I have the appropriate sock– – Oh there you go, number three. – So exactly, so it’s right there. So break down the process from the… You’re getting loins in, right? – We do all of our butchery in house. I don’t buy any portion cuts of anything. First step is cleaning it up. You know, taking the skin off. We’re removing some of the under stuff that you don’t want to eat. We clean a lot of that fat out. And then we wrap the belly
pieces over the tenderloins. Those tenderloins are
going to cook more quickly. So in effort to have it
all cook at the same rate, we wrap that belly, that
bacon, around the tenderloin. And then we put it on the bandsaw. We cut three chops per loin. – What’s the process at pickup? – It’s incredibly simple. We take a chop. We put it on sizzle plate,
season it up with some salt, Kosher Salt, put a
little bit of Canola Oil, and then we flash it under
the 1000 degree broiler until it’s brown on both sides. And then when it’s brown on both sides, we simply put it in a 500 degree oven, and for medium rare, you’re talking about a 25 or 30 minute cook time. Let it rest for a while. Serve it with some sauteed escarole with shallots and garlic and some lemon juice, and then as I mentioned the scraps that we use for the minted lamb jus. We finish it with that
sauce, and then we make our own mint jelly in house
and serve that on the side. – I’m going to go and sit down and maybe I could have a mutton chop with you? – Awesome. My pleasure. (slow rock music) – Well here it is. The moment of truth, ladies and germs. This is the legendary Keen’s Mutton Chop. And what this really is, is basically two porter house steaks
that haven’t been cleaved, so you have the filet mignons right here, and you have the strip loin
or the longissimus dorsi running along the other side. This is the animal’s
spine, and then you have these flaps that they call
ears, and these are almost like, it’s not quite bacon, because
it’s not really the belly, but it gets super crispy in the oven and it really does have a great flavor. I’m going to lop off this ear over here which will give me access
to one side of the chop, and then I’m going to
take a piece of the filet. And you can see that even
though, obviously this one is cooked a little bit more, they’re
very different texturally. The filet is just completely,
really just shreds, you can really pull it apart. I’m going to start though. Mmmm. It’s such a classic, classic flavor. It really does taste like lamb. It’s not what mutton
would taste like if it was three or four years old. This is clearly yearly
mutton, so there is some gaminess, but it has a lot
of the flavors of lamb, which is a sweetness to the meat. There is a herbaceousness there. You’re tasting the grass
that the animal ate. Let’s get in there and try the strip. Much meatier. More flavor. It has more flavor because
the muscle works a bit more. The filet mignon is a very lazy muscle. It really doesn’t do very much at all. Let’s try the ear next, because
this is one of the things that is kind of unique about this cut. You don’t really see this
part on most lamb chops. Mmmm. It’s like bacon. There’s striations of fat and meat. There’s a certain viscosity to lamb fat. There’s a richness. There’s an earthiness, a gaminess to it. It’s not like any other fat on Earth. Very unique and it really
exudes that flavor, this piece of the ear. One of the accompaniments that
they actually make in house, is this mint jelly, and as
you can see by the color, this is actually made with real mint. It’s got that neon green
that you’re probably used to seeing on supermarket shelves. The flavor of this is great. Lamb and mint are a natural pairing. The other think I love about this dish is that you have so many
more textures and flavors than a regular porterhouse. Of course you have the two distinct cuts, but then you have all of
the extra bits out here, the crispy ear part. Mutton was fairly widely eaten in America. Never as popular as beef,
but it was something that was on menus, and this
hearkens back to that era. All of the other steak
houses have abandoned mutton in favor of beef, and
why would you order this over, the beef they have here is USDA prime, dry aged, it’s the best beef you can buy, expertly cooked, expertly
seasoned, but this dish, is probably the highest expression of the Bosley Chop in America. I don’t know anyone else that
is doing anything like this. I have to finish off this
chop because that’s my job, and it would be horrible
to waste this beautiful piece of meat. Thanks very much for
watching the Meat Show. Click here to watch more of them. (slow rock music)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *