I am very excited about entering my recipe in the 2009 Canadian Living Cook of the Year Contest. I am an avid home-cook and love creating new and exciting home recipes to make for my family and friends. I am a firm believer in seasonal cooking, using the freshest ingredients available, and making use of local ingredients whenever possible. Consequently, I was delighted to see that this year's contest was to feature Canadian ingredients. I wanted to take things a step further and include some local Newfoundland ingredients. Newfoundland and Labrador has some wonderful producers for fresh, often organic, produce, seafood and meat products...and of course the island is well known for it's abundance of wild berries. Berry picking is a provincial past-time in late summer and early fall and many families, including my own, can be found on the hillsides or barrens, bent over and collecting gallons of sweet, juicy berries to be used fresh, or to be frozen for use during the long winter months. I knew as soon as I read about this year's contest that I wanted to feature these berries, along with our wonderful, locally-raised lamb and artfully crafted local wines, in my recipe. I hope you enjoy a taste of Newfoundland!
- Portion size 6 servings
- Credits : mhaire byars
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 4 tablespoons good quality balsamic vinegar
- 3 cloves garlic minced or pressed
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves or 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 12 3-inch sprigs fresh rosemary
- 2 teaspoons grapeseed oil
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons canola oil
- 2 tablespoons shallots finely diced
- 2 cups Blueberry-Shiraz wine (Nautica)
- 2 cups low-sodium beef broth
- 2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- 2 cups fresh or frozen Canadian blueberries
- 2 tablespoons pure Canadian maple syrup
- 2 cloves garlic minced or pressed
- 6 sprigs fresh thyme about 1 tbsp chopped
- 1 2-inch sprig fresh rosemary leaf leaves only
Method1. Prepare marinade by combining first seven ingredients in a small bowl or glass measuring cup and whisking until incorporated.
2. Lay 6 lengths of fresh rosemary on bottom of a rectangular, glass baking dish. Cut each rack of lamb into two even portions of 3 or 4 ribs each. Lay the 6 portions of lamb on the bed of rosemary in baking dish and pour marinade over lamb, making sure to coat all the meat on top and bottom. Place a piece of rosemary over each portion of lamb. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Allow to marinade at least 1 hour, and as long as overnight.
3. About 30 to 40 minutes before you are ready to eat, turn on barbeque grill to heat at medium-high heat and preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Meanwhile, prepare reduction sauce as follows: Heat oil in saute pan (do not use non-stick) at medium-high heat. Saute shallots about two minutes until golden brown: do not allow to burn (reduce heat if necessary). The oil should be absorbed by the shallots, but if not, drain or pat any excess oil from the pan.
Add wine, broth, 2 cups blueberries, maple syrup, garlic, thyme, rosemary and pepper. The mixture should come to a boil fairly quickly. Continue to gently boil, reducing heat if necessary, until liquid becomes thicker and reduced in volume. This process should take about 5 minutes, but could take more or less time. It is important to watch closely and to stir frequently, scraping any brown bits from the bottom of the pan.
When the sauce starts to thicken, remove from heat and strain the liquid into a glass measuring cup, pressing down on the blueberries with a wooden spoon to extract as much liquid into the sauce as you can. Discard the solids and return liquid to pan, but not to the heat at this time.
Note: This step can be done up to a day ahead of time and the sauce can be stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator.
4. Remove rosemary from lamb and place lamb portions, meaty-side down on greased grill, to sear, about one or two minutes per side, turning a few times until nicely browned on all sides. Watch for flare-ups and move lamb to cooler section of the grill if necessary, or reduce heat slightly. Transfer the lamb to a medium-sized roasting pan, arranging the portions in a single layer. Place in centre of oven and cook 10 or 15 minutes until internal temperature reaches 130 degrees F, for medium-rare. Remove from oven and allow to rest for 5 to 10 minutes before slicing into individual ribs, making sure to retain and reserve any juices that run out.
5. While lamb is sitting, return blueberry sauce to the medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Add reserved 1/4 cup of blueberries and reserved lamb juices and continue to cook for about a minute. If sauce becomes too thick, add another dash of wine or broth and cook until desired consistency: if it is too thin, reduce it further. Sauce should be thin enough to pour but thick enough that it will not run all over the plate. Remove from heat.
6. Artfully arrange 3 or 4 ribs of lamb on each plate and spoon blueberry-shiraz reduction sauce over the top of each piece. Alternatively, pool sauce on plate and arrange lamb ribs over the bed of sauce. Garnish with sprigs of fresh rosemary or thyme.
Serving suggestion: Serve with fresh, local vegetables, such as swiss chard or grilled asparagus, and with either herbed mashed potatoes, or oven-roasted potatoes with garlic, olive oil and fresh herbs. For a lighter, summer dish, serve with a salad of mixed greens, nuts, and summer fruits with a white balsamic vinegarette dressing. This dish is lovely when served with a glass of the leftover blueberry-shiraz wine or your favourite, full-bodied Canadian wine.
1) Use partridgeberries instead of blueberries and use Auk Island's "Jellybean Row" strawberry-partridgeberry wine.
2) Use a combination of blueberries and partridgeberries with either a blueberry wine or the blueberry-shiraz.
3) Check out the Auk Island and Rodriques winery websites for other wonderful Newfoundland berry-based wines and ice-wines for other great substitution ideas.
4) Use the blueberry-shiraz reduction sauce with grilled chicken, pork, or halibut fillets.
Alternate preparation of lamb: Instead of grilling lamb, pat marinade off and pan-sear lamb portions, on both sides, in about 2 tbsp. olive, grapeseed or canola oil over medium-high heat in saute pan (will need to do it in batches). Transfer lamb to roasting pan, and continue main recipe from this step. Use the same saute pan to make the reduction sauce, scraping the brown bits (from the lamb) from the bottom of the pan as the sauce reduces. Make sure to add the pan drippings into the sauce as indicated in the main recipe. What you have lost in flavour from not grilling, you gain in flavour from decaramelizing the saute pan.