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Coffee and Garlic-Rubbed Lamb Lollipops + Donkey & Goat's Grenache Noir


This was the second course for our Christmas dinner. You can read a bit about the tasting and planning here. Though this wine wasn't on the tasting menu for the day, Kelsey poured us a taste when we started talking about lamb lollipops. And I knew she had a winning combination.


In the Glass
This is the 2016 Grenache Noir from the El Dorado appellation. This is a lighter bodied red which makes it extremely food-friendly. I like that it's mineral-driven and simultaneously soft and playful.
Light and fruity with hints of berries at the forefront, the flavor deepens with each sip to reveal more complex fruits - think pomegranate or tart cherries - with just the right amount of fresh herbs.


On the Plate
Lamb lollipops are a family favorite. To complement the earthy tannins in the wine, I decided to go with a coffee and garlic rub with a bit of dried thyme.


Ingredients serves 4 as an appetizer (2 ribs per person)
  • rack of lamb with 8 ribs, sliced into lollipops
  • freshly ground salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • olive oil
  • sixteen 1/2 t minced garlic
  • sixteen 1/2 t espresso-ground coffee
  • caper berries, for serving



Procedure
Lay ribs on a plate or parchment-lined tray. Season each side of lamb liberally with salt and pepper. Spoon 1/2 t minced garlic and 1/2 t coffee grounds on each lollipop. Flip over and repeat. Let meat stand for at least 10 minutes, longer, if you have time.

Heat olive oil in a skillet on medium heat. Once hot, add the lamb and sear for 1 minute and flip it over. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes on the second side. Flip over again. This time cook for 3 to 4 minutes. At a total of 4 to 5 minutes per side, these were medium done. Adjust cooking time to your preferred doneness.


To serve, plate them with caper berries on the side. Serve hot.

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