IOTM: Rack of lamb with shiraz/blueberry reduction & blueberry johnnycakes

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IOTM: Rack of lamb with shiraz/blueberry reduction & blueberry johnnycakes

Postby Jenise » Thu Jul 13, 2006 12:55 pm

So I decided that some kind of blueberry sauce would be cool with lamb. Use half the bottle, have the other half with the food, and drink some white as an aperitif.

For the sauce, I used the approach I learned from Wolfgang Puck: saute shallots in butter, add chopped tomato, combine wine and chicken broth, maybe or maybe not add an herb (I added fresh thyme) and reduce. I did all that and cooked that for around 30-40 minutes. I then added a handful of blueberries, watched that for about fifteen minutes, then adjusted the seasoning by adding about a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar. That extra bit of complex acidity was all that was needed to make the sauce perfect, and I did the sauce in those stages so I could observe the difference, good or bad, the blueberries made. And they did make an excellent difference, the flavor was delish and they gave the sauce a mid-palate it had lacked. Oh, and the sauce had thickened very nicely on it's own because of them--I wasn't going to need to add back the cold butter thickener at the end.

And that's where I screwed up. Although I thought the flavor of the sauce was wonderful--it had certainly exceeded expecations for a first-time experiment--I decided to not just strain it, but mash the strained stuff to get more blueberry flavor into the sauce. Mistake! What had been elegantly essenced became rustic and blunt. In wine terminology, you could say it was over-extracted and 'muddied'. Still good--Bob raided my plate for the rest of my sauce he liked it so much--but I knew that I'd overdone it and therefore wasn't happy with the result.

Oh, and I made some nice little Johnnycakes (savory corn meal pancakes) with fresh chives, which into which I pressed three blueberries each. Nice touch.
Last edited by Jenise on Thu Jul 13, 2006 1:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: IOTM: Rack of lamb with shiraz/blueberry reduction & blueberry johnnycakes

Postby David M. Bueker » Thu Jul 13, 2006 1:01 pm

Very good start. I never leave the berries in or squish them. I find the skins/seeds too tannic, and they make a sauce drying to my palate.
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Re: IOTM: Rack of lamb with shiraz/blueberry reduction & blueberry johnnycakes

Postby ChefCarey » Thu Jul 13, 2006 2:04 pm

For the sauce, I used the approach I learned from Wolfgang Puck: saute shallots in butter, add chopped tomato, combine wine and chicken broth, maybe or maybe not add an herb (I added fresh thyme) and reduce. I did all that and cooked that for around 30-40 minutes. I then added a handful of blueberries, watched that for about fifteen minutes, then adjusted the seasoning by adding about a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar. That extra bit of complex acidity was all that was needed to make the sauce perfect, and I did the sauce in those stages so I could observe the difference, good or bad, the blueberries made. And they did make an excellent difference, the flavor was delish and they gave the sauce a mid-palate it had lacked. Oh, and the sauce had thickened very nicely on it's own because of them--I wasn't going to need to add back the cold butter thickener at the end.


This sounds like some of the "berry" sauces I developed for game at Mudd's around 1980. We had all kinds of berries and a wonderful wine list - I was allowed to cook with *any* wine on the list. Of course, I never needed a full bottle in the sauces. :)
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Re: IOTM: Rack of lamb with shiraz/blueberry reduction & blueberry johnnycakes

Postby Jenise » Fri Jul 14, 2006 11:40 am

Of course, I never needed a full bottle in the sauces.


Which of course, you never admitted to the wine steward! :) It was a great sauce (before I goofed it up), bold and bright which a meat like lamb can carry so well. Would have been terrific on venison, too.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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