Mutton peppers are a type of chile native to the Bay Islands of Honduras. Maybe you’ve never heard of it before, but if you grew up here, you know that it is a staple in island cuisine.
My mother once said that she puts it in everything but cake. So yes, we love them that much!
Mutton peppers are not only hot, but they are delicious and flavorful. Their unique taste is unlike any other hot pepper. If you’ve never tried them, I hope that one day you’ll have the privilege. They are that good! The yellow mutton pepper is hotter than the green mutton pepper and we use them when we want a lot of spice in a dish. We use the green peppers when we want only the flavor of the pepper and want to keep things mild.
We often make “pepper bottles” to preserve and pickle the peppers when there is an abundance. A pepper bottle is also the perfect way to take them with you if you don’t live on the island. To make these, peppers are placed in a bottle with vinegar, onions, garlic, and sometimes a few slivers of carrot. The “sauce” from the bottle is then used to pour over any dish on the table, but especially Honduran Red Beans and Rice!
Sometimes we’ll also make a mutton pepper jelly, that is perfect for spreading on toast or crackers with a little cream cheese!
Working with Mutton Peppers
After working with a mutton pepper, avoid touching your eyes or anywhere on your face until you’ve washed your hands with soap and water. Otherwise, you’ll be shedding tears for hours. Trust me!
The seeds are a whole other story. They are extremely spicy! So be careful when removing the seeds from the ribs of the pepper.
When I made the Pepper Steak with Easy Pan Gravy, I used the yellow mutton pepper and added them at the end of making the gravy. I did this to avoid the sauce getting too hot; because the longer you cook the pepper the hotter it will be. When I made the Spicy Mango Cilantro Salsa, I used a green mutton pepper.
The green mutton pepper is perfect for using in raw salsas, dressings, and ceviches. It is mild and delicious!