Colorado Lamb Dip, Goat Cheese Biscuit

Colorado Lamb Dip, Goat Cheese Biscuit

From: Executive chef/ owner Jennifer Jasinski, Rioja Restaurant, Denver, CO. Yield: 8 servings.

For lamb:

½ cup pure olive oil

6 sprigs rosemary, chopped

12 cloves garlic, chopped

1 whole leg of lamb, deboned

to taste, kosher salt and black pepper

16 goat cheese rosemary biscuits (recipe follows)

1 cup roasted garlic lemon aioli

1 recipe lamb sauce (recipe follows)

2 cups arugula

as needed for accompaniment, root vegetable chips

Goat Cheese Rosemary Biscuits
(yields 14 large biscuits)

1½ lb. all-purpose flour

2 Tbsp. baking powder

1 tsp. kosher salt

¼ cup sugar

1½ Tbsp. chopped rosemary

6 oz. butter, diced, very cold

8 ounces goat cheese, crumbled small

1¼ cups buttermilk

¾ cup whole milk

Lamb Sauce:

¼ cup pure olive oil

as available, reserved lamb trim

½ cup sliced shallots

¼ cup sliced garlic

2 tomatoes, diced

1 Tbsp. tomatoes, diced

1 Tbsp. thyme leaves

1 tsp. black peppercorns

1 cup red wine

1 quart veal demiglace

to taste, kosher salt and black pepper

For lamb: Preheat grill to high. Rub the oil, chopped rosemary and garlic all over the lamb and let it marinate at least 1 hour. Season the lamb well with salt and black pepper. Grill the lamb medium-rare. Wait for lamb to completely cool, then using a sharp slicing knife, shave the meat as thinly as possible.

For assembly and plating: Preheat the grill to medium. Warm up the goat cheese rosemary biscuits on grill. Cut each warm biscuit in half and smear 1 Tbsp. roasted garlic lemon aioli on 1 side. In a pan over medium high heat, quickly warm up to ½ cup lamb per biscuit (for a total of 8 cups of shaved lamb) in just enough lamb sauce to reheat the meat. When just warm, so the lamb stays medium rare, remove lamb from juice and reserve liquid. Place lamb on the biscuit. top with arugula and repeat process as many times as needed. Place reserved jus in small bowl for dipping. Serve with root vegetable chips.

For goat cheese rosemary biscuits: In a bowl, mix together dry ingredients, including rosemary. Add diced butter to the bowl, rubbing it into the flour with your hands so it is in pea-sized specks. Do the same with goat cheese.

Add the buttermilk and milk all at once, mixing enough just to make the dough come together. Do not overmix.

Preheat oven to 400°F. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and roll it out about 1" thick. Make a 4-fold by turning the two outside edges together into center and then folding the entire piece of dough up like a book. Roll out again to 1" thick. Next, do a 3-fold (like folding a trifold wallet).

Roll out the dough about 1" thick. Using a 3" cutter, cut the biscuits. Transfer them to a parchment paper-lined baking pan and brush the dough with a bit of buttermilk. Sprinkle the top of each biscuit with salt. Bake them in the 400°oven until puffed and golden brown (about 18 minutes). Depending on your oven, you may need to turn the tray once for even browning.

For lamb sauce: In a saucepot over medium heat, add the olive oil and reserved lamb trim to brown. Add the shallots and garlic. Do not finely mince garlic: It should be sliced a similar size as the shallots so they cook at the same rate. Cook the shallots and garlic until they are golden, and then add the tomatoes and stir until the tomato gets pulpy.

Add the thyme and peppercorns and then deglaze the pan with the red wine. Reduce the wine until it is syrupy.

Add the veal demiglace to the pot and bring it to a simmer, skimming the impurities away as needed until all the flavors have melded and the sauce is a nice consistency to coat the lamb. Strain the sauce through a fine-mesh strainer and season to taste with salt and pepper. Hold warm until ready to sauce cooked lamb.