Oxford John

An early college recipe for mutton collops. The dish, which is very good and quite unlike stewed lamb or mutton, is also good made with venison. Serve with red-currant or rowan jelly.


  • 2 lb (1 kg) fillet end of a leg of lamb
  • 2 tablespoons seasoned flour
  • ½ stick (60 g) butter
  • 3 shallots or a medium onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped thyme
  • cups (3 dl) good brown gravy slightly thickened
  • 4 slices white bread, cut in ½ inch (1 cm) squares and fried crisp in butter
  • Salt and pepper


Cut the lamb into very thin, small slices (collops), discarding all bone, fat and sinew. Lightly rub the collops with seasoned flour. Fry gently in the butter, adding the shallots and herbs as the meat begins to cook. After 2 minutes turn the collops and then turn again after 2 minutes more. After 6 minutes, the collops will be done; pour the gravy into the pan and stir well. As soon as the gravy is hot, dish up on to a serving platter, sprinkle the fried bread squares over the top and serve at once. The meat will become tough if kept hot.