Beekeeper, chef, café owner, and spokesperson for the National Honey Board Laurey Masterton offers honey-tasting tips and vibrant recipes that deliver amazing dishes in The Fresh Honey Cookbook (Storey Publishing, 2013). Masterton encourages a deeper appreciation of honeybees through fascinating glimpses into the life of a hive. The following excerpt is from the “April: Avocado” chapter.
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This is a version of one of the staples at Blueberry Hill. My mother made a roast leg of lamb for special occasions, basting a brown sugar and mustard crust with coffee. Here’s the way I like to do it, using dark avocado honey.
• 1/4 cup toasted fresh bread crumbs
• 1/4 cup honey, preferably avocado honey
• 1/4 cup coarse-ground mustard
• 1 small rack of lamb (about 2 pounds)
• Sea salt
• Coarsely ground black pepper
• Granulated garlic
• 1 cup strong brewed coffee or espresso
• 1/4 cup white wine
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
2. Make a paste of the bread crumbs, honey, and mustard in a small bowl, mixing until just combined.
3. Season the lamb rack with salt, pepper, and granulated garlic. Spread the honey-mustard paste on the meat side of the rack. Place the lamb rack in a baking dish just large enough to hold it, preferably one that can also be placed directly on the stove top. Pour the coffee into the bottom of the baking dish.
4. Bake for 10 minutes, or until the crust is set, then baste with the pan drippings, trying not to dissolve the honey-mustard mixture. Continue to bake until a meat thermometer reads 130 degrees, 20 minutes or longer. Keep a careful watch. If your racks are small, this may take less time. Similarly, larger racks will take longer. When the proper temperature is reached, remove from the oven. Transfer the lamb rack to a warmed plate to rest while you prepare the sauce.
5. Place the baking dish on the stove. Simmer the drippings over medium-high heat and add the wine to deglaze the pan, stirring with a wooden spoon. Add any additional juices that might have collected on the plate from the resting lamb. Stir until the drippings and wine are well mixed and slightly thick, about 5 minutes.
6. Cut the rack into rib portions and serve with the warmed sauce.
Fresh Bread Crumbs
To make fresh bread crumbs, simply cut a few slices of bread into tiny pieces, or pulse a few slices in a food processor for a few seconds. You are looking for coarse crumbs, not grains of sand. To toast, toss in a dry saucepan over medium heat for a few minutes, until the bread dries and turns golden brown.
More from The Fresh Honey Cookbook:• Onion Crusted Wild Salmon
• Cranberry Honey Pie
• Pork Tenderloin with Orange Blossom Honey Mustard
Excerpted from The Fresh Honey Cookbook, © by Laurey Masterton, photography by © Johnny Autry, used with permission from Storey Publishing. Buy this book from our store: The Fresh Honey Cookbook.