I know that I told you all that I’d have a special lamb recipe for yesterday’s International Tempranillo Day (because my husband raises such fantastic grass-fed lamb—which is wonderful with the wine I’m talking about), but it didn’t happen (except in my very active brain). It’s a busy time at the wineries I work for right now, so there’s been more fun in the tasting room than in the kitchen! Not that it’s a problem for me—I’ll take fun in ANY form, plus this way I don’t have to run so many miles to off-set the calorie intake!
This doesn’t mean that we didn’t celebrate in any lesser fashion—no sirree Bob! The family still had a beautiful dinner out in the garden—Oregon weather has been cooperating in stunning fashion lately—it just had to hit the table a little faster and with out as much planning. Less than thirty minutes in fact, including picking the tomatoes and shucking the corn. I did have help in the form of some willing family members who did the aforementioned picking, shucking and putting together a magnificent tossed salad, but a solo version would be easily pulled off pretty stress-free.
The ‘non-recipe’ that I’m writing down then, as Cap’n Barbossa said, is “more of a guideline than actual rules”. Follow the guideline, add a fabulous Tempranillo, and you’ll have your own little celebration in honor of International Tempranillo Day too. Let me know how you like it—the wine or the meat!
Here you go, and thanks so much for coming to see me!
All you need is:
A bottle of Tempranillo (I had Artisanal Wine Cellar’s 09 Oregon Tempranillo-Ellis Vineyards, made from grapes sourced in Oregon’s Rogue Valley)
Lamb steaks or chops* (I used two 8 oz shoulder steaks)
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt (I used coarse Kosher salt)
A few sprigs of fresh rosemary, leaves removed and finely chopped
1 clove of garlic per steak, minced very fine
Fresh, coarse-ground pepper
Take a small bowl and mix together the salt, rosemary, garlic, and pepper. If you want to go ‘old-world’, you could put all of it in a mortar and grind it with the pestle—very tactile and satisfying, but still an extra step.
Open the Tempranillo and let it ‘breathe’ for a bit (Don’t pour yourself any yet, you still have to use sharp knives and fire J )
Rub the steaks on both sides with a little olive oil, and then do the same with the rosemary mixture.
Leave the meat to ‘rest’ on a platter and come to room temp—about half an hour, less if was room temp to start with.
Go start your grill (or in my case, the Traeger).
Now you can go in and finish any other meal prep—toss together a salad, shuck corn-on-the-cob (I rubbed mine with olive oil, salt, pepper, and threw it on the grill a few minutes before I put the lamb on) slice some crusty bread… (See? I did warn you this was a guideline…)
When the grill is ready (very hot!!), put the lamb steaks on and grill them according to their thickness and your liking. (We like our lamb medium-rare, so on the Traeger this was about 6 minutes on each side.)
If you’re doing corn, turn it when you turn the steaks.
When the lamb is done, pull it off the grill and let it rest on a foil-covered plate for a few minutes while you finish with the corn, dress and toss the salad, and get it to the table. And NOW you can pour your wine!!
*Pork chops are lovely with this treatment too, just serve a different wine as the Tempranillo would be a little over-whelming (I think) for the pork.