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Ale-Brined Lamb with Walnut Mint Pesto and Burrata Recipe

In this recipe, the lamb is brined with IPA and savory and sweet ingredients, which makes for a rich, well-rounded flavor. Burrata is a fresh, semisoft Italian cheese that is basically mozzarella pouches filled with cream.

Justin Burdick February 17, 2017

Ale-Brined Lamb with Walnut Mint Pesto and Burrata Recipe Primary Image

The process of brining draws salt into the fibers of the meat, fetching the other flavors in the brine as well. The result is piquant, incredibly tender, meat. In this recipe, we’re brining with IPA and savory and sweet ingredients, which makes for a rich, well-rounded flavor. Burrata is a fresh, semisoft Italian cheese that is basically mozzarella pouches filled with cream.

Active preparation time: 2 hours, 45 minutes
Total time: 1 day
Serves: 4

Ale-Brined Lamb

½ cup black peppercorn, whole
5–6 bay leaves, whole
Six-pack (72 oz/2 kg) Troëgs Blizzard of Hops IPA
2 yellow onions, roughly chopped
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup kosher salt
5 cloves garlic, crushed
4 lamb chops
Salt and pepper to taste

In a stockpot over high heat, toast the peppercorns and bay leaves, then combine the remaining ingredients, except for the lamb. Boil until all the sugar and salt are dissolved, then cool to 40°F (5°C). Place the lamb chops in a gallon-sized resealable bag and pour in the liquid. Let sit in the refrigerator overnight, completely submerged.

Once the lamb is ready to cook, preheat the oven to 400°F (204°C). Remove the lamb from the bag, rinse thoroughly with cold water, and season generously with salt and pepper. In a hot sauté pan, sear all sides of the lamb chops, then place in the oven to finish cooking to an internal temperature of 135°F °(57°C). Serve with the Mint Pesto with Burrata.

Mint Pesto with Burrata

1 oz fresh mint leaves
1 cup flat leaf parsley
2 cloves garlic
2 oz (57 g) walnuts
1 tsp lemon zest
1 ball burrata mozzarella

In blender, combine the mint leaves, parsley, garlic, walnuts, and lemon zest. Blend on low, stopping occasionally to scrape the sides. Season to taste.

Cut the buratta ball in half and cover with mint pesto.

Beer Suggestions: For the brining mixture, you’ll need a 6-pack of Troëgs Blizzard of Hops IPA (Hershey, Pennsylvania), but don’t forget to buy another 6-pack to pair with the dish! Other hoppy IPAs you could try include Firestone Walker Union Jack IPA (Paso Robles, California), Ska Modus Hoperandi (Durango, Colorado), and The Alchemist Heady Topper (Waterbury, Vermont).

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PHOTO: MATT GRAVES

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