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A Contemporary Twist on a Traditional Irish Menu


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(ARA) - If Irish cooking brings to mind the standard “meat and potatoes” of old, one chef’s innovative Irish dish will transform that perception. American Lamb Marinated in Guinness and Honey is the gourmet Irish creation of Chef Jennifer Jasinski, executive chef and owner of the popular Rioja restaurant in Denver and protégé of the renowned Wolfgang Puck.

“When I created this dish, I wanted to honor Irish tradition and ingredients like lamb, honey, onions, potatoes and, of course, great beer,” says Chef Jasinski. ”The result is a contemporary twist on traditional Irish cooking.”

In making this succulent dish at home, Chef Jasinski suggests using quality local ingredients, which she cites as a trend many American chefs are moving toward, to guarantee the freshest taste.

“While ethnic cuisines are popular here in the U.S., we have wonderful domestic products available to us, such as the fresh American Lamb I recommend in my Irish dish,” says Chef Jasinski. “Its sweet, mild flavor provides the perfect accompaniment to the robust flavors of the Guinness and herbs.”

When shopping for this recipe’s star protein, American Lamb loin, head to the local butcher and pre-order whenever possible. Look for meat with a soft pink to red coloring with white marbling. Lamb loin is a mouth-watering tender and flavorful cut that is superb grilled, oven-broiled or pan roasted.

While some may choose Guinness to accompany their meal, those who prefer wine should look no further than a California zinfandel to pair with this hearty dish, suggests Chef Jasinski. Peppery zinfandels pair especially well with dishes rich in flavor, like the honey and fresh thyme found in this lamb dish.

Lamb has a rich history in Irish cooking and family-style celebrations. This recipe uses the best of traditional ingredients to create a gourmet ensemble that is a surefire crowd-pleaser for all types of social gatherings.

Courtesy of ARA Content


American Lamb Loin Marinated in Guinness and Clover Honey

Chef Jennifer Jasinski, Rioja (Denver)

Prep time: 1 hour

Marinating time: 2 to 4 hours

Cooking time: 1 ¼ hours

Makes: 4 servings

American Lamb Loin Marinated in Guinness and Clover Honey

2 pounds AMERICAN Lamb Loin, trimmed of fat and tissue

2 ans Guinness beer (14.9 oz. each)

3/4 cup clover honey

2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme

1 tablespoon black peppercorns

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 cups lamb or veal broth prepared from demi glace*

4 tablespoons butter, cut into chunks

Salt, to taste

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

4 ounces Chervil

Combine beer, honey, thyme and peppercorns in saucepan. Warm over medium-low heat, stirring, until honey dissolves; chill. Reserve 2 cups marinade for cipollini onions; pour remaining chilled marinade over lamb loin in plastic bag or dish. Tie bag or cover dish and refrigerate 2 to 4 hours. Prepare braised Cipollini Onions and Yukon Gold potatoes (follow recipe directions). Remove lamb from marinade; reserving marinade. Brown lamb in large, hot sauté pan in olive oil on both sides; place in shallow roasting pan. Place in hot 400 degree oven and cook until desired doneness, about 16 to 18 minutes for medium-rare. Let stand 10 minutes before carving. Meanwhile, pour marinade into a medium saucepan and cook over medium-high heat until reduced to about 1 1/4 cups. Add the lamb broth and heat through; add butter, stirring until melted and season with salt and pepper to taste; keep warm.

*Lamb or veal demi glace may be purchased at www.clubsauce.com or at Whole Foods Market. Prepare according to package directions.

Braised Cipollini Onions

16 cipollini onions*, peeled

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 cups Guinness marinade

2 cups chicken stock

2 tablespoons butter

1 tablespoon clover honey

Salt, to taste

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Sear onions in olive oil in large hot sauté pan, stirring, until nicely browned on both sides. Remove onions to a covered heatproof dish. Pour off excess oil and deglaze the sauté pan with reserved 2 cups of Guinness marinade; cook over medium-high heat until reduced by half to 1 cup. Add chicken stock and bring to a boil; pour over onions in a baking dish. Cover and bake in 400 degree oven until onions are tender, about 30 minutes. Remove onions from juice and keep warm. Reserve juice for lamb sauce. Just before serving, melt butter and honey in large sauté pan, add onions and cook over medium-high heat until nicely glazed; season with salt and pepper.

*Cipollini onions are sweet, yellow, flatly shaped onions. If onions are smaller than 1 1/2 -inch diameter, increase the number of onions to 20 to 24.

Roasted Yukon Gold Potatoes

4 to 5 large size “A” Yukon Gold potatoes

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

Salt, to taste

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley

Dice potatoes into neat 3/4 X 3/4-inch squares. Melt butter in large sauté pan; add potatoes and cook over medium-high heat, tossing gently, until browned lightly on all sides (this may be done in two batches, using half the butter for each batch). Spread potatoes onto a 15 X 10 X 1-inch pan and bake in 400 degree oven until done, about 10 minutes. Keep warm and toss with chopped Italian parsley just before plating.

To serve: Divide potatoes evenly among 4 warm plates. Carve lamb loin and fan over potatoes; top with onions. Drizzle sauce all around the plate and garnish with chervil. Serve remaining sauce on the side.

Wine Pairing Suggestion: Chef Jasinki suggests pairing Chardonnay with this dish.

Nutrients per serving: 1435 calories, 72 g protein, 133 g carbohydrates, 63 g total fat (39% calories from fat), 266 mg cholesterol, 5 g fiber, 2724 mg sodium, 16 mg niacin, 0.46 mg vitamin B6, 4.95 mcg vitamin B12, 7 mg iron, 10 mg zinc.

Recipe provided by the American Lamb Board.


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