when baking, follow directions.. when cooking, go by your own taste.. ~ Laiko Bahrs
when i asked the butcher for a full rack of lamb, there was only a bit left and i had to take it as the other lamb butcher’s stall wasn’t open for business yet.. there was a total of five ribs on the rack, so i asked the butcher to split it into half.. the big one for hubs, and the smaller one for myself..
i mentioned in my last lamb ribs recipe post that i normally do a rosemary+peppercorns+sea salt+sugar brine to marinate lamb.. well, that’s what i did for today’s recipe..
okay, now let’s talk again about brining..
so far, it’s my utmost favorite marinate method for red meat and chicken, especially for roasting in the oven.. not only does it yield wonderfully flavorful meat, it also gives extra moisture to it, making it super juicy once it’s cooked.. seriously, it’s THAT good.. hubs always says roast meat marinated this way doesn’t even need any sauce to accompany it.. it’s delicious all on its own, with perhaps some crisp, lightly seared veg and maybe another side of baked/boiled tatters to accompany it..
all you need is plenty of water, some strong herbs, spices if you prefer, salt and sugar.. you can also use stock, and infuse it with herbs or spices.. the only thing to remember is to watch the amount of salt and sugar you add to the brine.. you want it to be salty, but not too salty that it makes you cringe.. just bear in mind that the meat will act like a sponge and soak up the flavors and it will end up tasting like the brine, especially when it’s been marinating overnight or longer..
i like to use strong aromatic herbs like fresh rosemary and thyme, and sometimes for a more citrusy aroma, i use kaffir lime leaves.. for spices, you can use any dried whole spices like peppercorns, cinnamon, cloves, star anise, cardamom, coriander, or fresh ones like ginger, garlic or lemongrass.. for dried whole spices, it’s best to toast them for a bit in the pan until really fragrant before you add in the liquid.. the meat will soak up the aroma from these spices in the brine..
so, in short, if you want flavorful, aromatic and juicy roasts/steaks/chops, brine the meat.. it doesn’t take much effort at all.. just prepare the brining solution, let it cool, submerge the meat in it, and let it soak up all the goodness from the brine in the fridge overnight.. that’s it, and you’ll thank yourself for doing it when you take the first bite of the meat when it’s cooked to perfection..
i also mentioned that lamb roast goes really well with a tart and tangy sauce, like mint sauce and citrus based sauces.. i stumbled upon this recipe for passion fruit ponzu sauce somewhere online and i made it to go with lamb chops.. the sauce is superb, and really complemented the lamb perfectly.. ponzu is a sauce commonly used in Japanese cuisine.. this version has fresh passion fruit juice in it and i totally love its flavor in the sauce..