Lamb Cutlets with Mountain Goat Hightail Ale

Caroline: I love lamb. I love pumpkin. They seemed to be all we ate all winter, but we haven’t had any in a while. It was a cold spring day, so lamb, pumpkin, jus, and a beer jacket were on the menu.

 Kris : Mountain Goat Hightail Ale is a classic Australian craft beer. Nothing tastes better than Tasmanian spring lamb cutlets and amber ale. It is all about the malt in this beer and the sweetness matches really well with the lamb, vegetables and sauce in this dish.

 First, I marinated the lamb cutlets with olive oil, fresh rosemary, garlic and seeded mustard.
I left these covered in the fridge for 1 hour.

I really love making stock from sctratch. It’s a bit time consuming, but nothing compares to the flavour.

Jus is basically finely strained stock (beef, lamb or venison) that has been slowly simmered and reduced to make a rich sauce.
If you don’t have time to make stock, use a good quality liquid beef stock. Add some gelatine to help thicken it.
If you are making your own stock, you can add a couple of pig trotters(cut in half by your butcher). I also added some tasmanian pepper berries. You can use mustard or peppercorns also. 

 I took the lamb out of the fridge to come to room temperature before cooking and started preparing the rest of the dish.

 I grilled some thick slices of butternut pumpkin (tossed in some olive oil, salt and pepper) on a hot griddle pan until they were cooked through (about 5 minutes on each side). The key is NOT to move the pumpkin while its cooking so you get the chargrill lines on them.

I sauteed some finely sliced leek’s and mushrooms in some butter with some sprigs of fresh thyme. To this, I added a small amount of the amber ale and seasoned with salt and pepper.

 Keep the griddle pan going and cook off the lamb cutlets. A few minutes on each side so they are medium-rare.

At the same time, steam some green beans, which have been tipped and french cut (slice long ways down the middle). When they are done, toss them in a bowl with olive oil, some finely sliced mint and a little salt and cracked pepper. 

Take out the lamb cutlets, season with salt and pepper, and let them rest for a couple of minutes.

Place the jus back on a low heat to warm through before serving. 

Stack the pumpkin, leeks, mushroom and beans on the plate. Place the lamb cutlets on top and pour over some of the strained jus.Garnish with some sprigs of thyme flowers.

 Kris: The sweet malt in the Hightail ale matches really well with lamb, grilled pumpkin, sauteed leek and mushrooms. A great dish for a chilly spring evening.


Sashimi and Ginger Beer

Kris: Our friend Tom New, a winemaker at Ballendean in the Granite Belt, Queensland, sent us some bottles of his wines and ginger beer recently to sample. I thought I would match a dish with his Ginger Beer, Mille Plateux.

It is brewed with a champagne yeast, organic ginger and honey. It is dry, with a zippy, ginger spice and really refreshing. A great match for sashimi.

Kris: Sashimi is a simple and easy dish to make, as long as you have access to really fresh seafood. We got some beautiful Tasmanian salmon to match with the ginger beer.

 Caroline: as a side note, don’t you love those chopsticks??
they made eating the sashimi so much more fun for me.
Ok, sorry, girl moment done. Continue Kris…

Kris : I thinly sliced the salmon, added some lime zest, a few coriander sprouts and a few drops of sesame oil. Just dip a piece of salmon in a little bit of soy sauce and take a sip of the ginger beer. A simple and tasty combination.

Caroline: One of the things I love most about living in Tasmania is the awesome fresh seafood you can get. I never have to think twice about eating it raw. My only change would be not to have included wasabi in the soy sauce. The ginger beer  had enough spice that the wasabi was a bit overkill. Other wise, a perfect match! I must say I was skeptical, how could a ginger beer match and not overpower the subtlety of raw fish?  This ginger beer wasn’t too sweet and actually tasted like GINGER. YUM!!