Lamb with Cherry and Rum Sauce

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I was given, this recipe by Christian Ghisays, the chef at the Royal Plantation hotel in Ocho Rios on the beautiful north coast of Jamaica. Christian loves the natural produce of the island and in this recipe cooks cherries (he uses wild, ones) with lamb. Serve the dish with a green vegetable, such as French beans.

Ingredients

  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 4 × 200 g (7 oz) racks of lamb, trimmed
  • 4 tsp. finely chopped rosemary leaves
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

For the Sauce

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 18 fresh or preserved cherries, stoned and quartered
  • 400 ml (14 fl oz) lamb or beef stock
  • 2 tbsp rum
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • salt and black pepper
  • couple of mint sprigs, finely chopped

To Serve

  • steamed French beans
  • 16 fresh or preserved cherries, stoned
  • fresh coriander leaves
  • 4 small rosemary sprigs

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 220°C/425°F/gas mark 7. To make the sauce, heat the oil in a saucepan and add the onion and garlic. Cook over a medium-low heat for 3-4 minutes, stirring often, until softened. Add half the cherries and all the stock and let the sauce simmer for 5 minutes. Add the rum and boil hard to reduce the liquid by half. Add the remaining cherries and the soy sauce, then season and add the mint. Set aside.
  2. Spread the mustard over the lamb and rub with salt and pepper, then pat on the rosemary. Heat the oil in an ovenproof frying pan and sear the meat for about 3 minutes each side, then transfer to the oven for 6-7 minutes, until cooked but still pink inside. When cooked through, remove from the oven, cover with foil and allow to rest for a couple of minutes. Meanwhile, reheat the sauce.
  3. Make a bed of steamed French beans on 4 serving plates, then cut the lamb into cutlets and fan them out on top of the beans. Spoon around the sauce and garnish with the cherries, fresh coriander and rosemary sprigs.