A little while ago we were invited to a dinner and demonstration focusing on Australian lamb. Australian master butcher Doug Piper provided the demo (and gave quite a carving show) and Executive Chef Travis Lenig, of Liberty Kitchen & Oysterette, provided the meal.
Felice and I have both been lamb lovers for quite some time and have recently been exposed to menu choices that reach far beyond the popular lamb chop. A recent sampling of lamb sausage was life changing. Yet it is so surprising that Americans are so far behind the eight ball only consuming a pound or so a year per person (compared to beef where we knock out a “mere” 60 pounds). Travel to Australia and New Zealand, or to a country in the Mediterranean/Middle East, and lamb is everything; and certainly more of the norm than the exception. Seems like we are missing out.
Whether you grill, braise, or roast lamb there are many alternatives when deciding how to enjoy this lean, but still extremely flavorful meat. Lamb is best served rare to medium-rare for the most part and shines when seasoned with European-style savory herbs, or heavily spiced giving it a Mediterranean/Middle Eastern flare. From lamb lollipops, to lamb shanks (boasting fall off the bone goodness), to racks of lamb, and even lamb burgers, lamb meatballs, and in dishes like a delightful Bolognese or ragout, the options are endless.
With that said, we thought we’d share a recipe so you could take a dive into the wonderful world of lamb.
Mustard and Belgian beer make for a piquant marinade on Aussie rack of lamb. Serve these two per person with salad and grilled vegetables. Or, pass them as lollipop-style finger food at a cocktail party.
Beer-Mustard Marinated Rack of Lamb (Serves 4)
Portion size: 2 lamb chops
Alternate cuts: T-bone chops
1 Australian rack of lamb
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1/4 cup Belgian beer
1 tablespoon coarse ground mustard
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon honey
In a medium bowl, mix together the oil, garlic, beer, mustard, pepper, salt and honey. Rub the marinade into the rack of lamb by hand. Let it marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes. Flip it over and let it marinate for another 30 minutes at room temperature. Preheat a grill to MEDIUM-HIGH heat for 15 minutes before cooking the lamb. Grill the lamb meat-side down for approximately 5 minutes with the lid open. Flip the rack over and cook an additional 5 minutes for medium-rare. Let the rack rest off the heat for 5 minutes, then cut it into individual chops. Serve immediately.
Chef Notes: Chef recommends Blue Moon brand beer and Maille brand coarse ground mustard.