Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Perfect Pair: Maple-Herb Crusted Rack of Border Springs Lamb with Cranberry Chutney

We collaborated with The American Lamb Board and Border Springs to create a nontraditional main course for those who wanted something different from Turkey. All of the lamb came directly from Virginia.  Feel free to use this instead of turkey or make it as another option to the traditional Thanksgiving bird. 

The Recipe: 
Tonewood Maple Seasoning
Tonewood Maple Syrup
3 tablespoons parsley
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint
1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
2 (8-bone; 24-to 26-ounce) Border Springs racks of lamb

Preheat oven to 400°F.   Rub with olive oil and season the Rack of Lamb with maple seasoning,  herbs, salt  and pepper.  

In heavy, braising pan over high heat, heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil until hot but not smoking. Sear rack, meat side down, moving occasionally to prevent sticking, until deep golden brown and crust forms, about 2 minutes. Flip to sear underside in same manner, about 2 minutes, then sear bottom of rack in same manner, 2 minutes more. 

Flip rack back to meat side up, then transfer pan to oven and roast 7 minutes. Add maple syrup to the lamb continue roasting until thermometer inserted 2 inches into thickest part of lamb  registers 130°F (for medium rare), 7 to 8 minutes more. Allow to rest for 10 minutes and slice chops to plate.  Serve immediately and top with Cranberry Chutney.
Cranberry Chutney 
12 ounces fresh or frozen cranberries
1 cup Tonewood Maple Syrup
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
1 apple, chopped
1 ½ teaspoons of pumpkin spice
1 teaspoon of ground ginger

Combine the ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil.  Stir the mixture continuously and reduce heat.  Simmer for 15-20 minutes until apple is tender and mixture thickens.  (You can also serve this as a side dish).

The Pairings:

2010 Cabernet Franc from Tarara:  Delicious with lamb.
3 Star Brewing Co., “Sea Change”, American Pale Ale (6.9%)
The newest offering in the DC brewery’s arsenal, the Sea Change’s bright hop character, created from Centennial, Cascade, and Zythos hops, lingers on the palate to mingle nicely with the gaminess of the lamb and tartness of the fruit. Since opening this past summer in the Takoma Park neighborhood of the District, the artisanal craft brewery has released more than 7 different styles for consumption at more than 35 restaurants and bars throughout DC.
 Allagash Four (10.0% ABV) Four is our Quad.  It has four malts, four different hop varietals and fermented FOUR times with FOUR different yeast strains. It’s almost like a big brother to the dubbel. It has similar characteristics but is more layered and complex.  It’s a big ol’ malt bomb. When one pairs beer and food one of two things typically happen –it’s either a complement or a contrast.  This dish might allow both. It’s going to complement the maple herb crusted lamb but should be a contrast to the tart chutney.  
Mad Fox Saison (6.0% ABV)
Sturdy farmhouse-style ale that showcases yeast from northern France, along the Belgian border. The earth and spice notes as well as the citrus fruit character are yeast driven. The balance and complexity of the aroma will change as the beer warms in your hand. Medium bitterness and honey-ish malt with a semi-dry finish.
Flying Dog Brewery, St. EADman Belgian Dark Ale
An extremely limited-release that pays homage to label artist Ralph Steadman, this Belgian Dark Ale has dark cherry sweetness and assertive Belgian yeast notes that match the intensity of this dish.
Topiary 2010 from Boxwood:  Brick-red color, with a very complex nose of strawberry, pepper, tobacco and molasses with some oak notes.  Medium-full bodied on the palate. Cherry pit and red fruit predominate, with a round midpalate and soft/sweet tannins. The finish is fresh and very long, with notes of dried herbs and a touch of oak.

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