Monday, February 21, 2011

2nd Annual Lamb Jam

When I heard that last year's wonderful Lamb Jam event was going to be repeated, I started spreading the news. My parents haven't stopped talking about how much they enjoyed the event last year. Sponsored by the American Lamb Board and, the event pits some of the top restaurants in Boston against each other in a battle for lamb domination.

When I reached out to my press contact about getting a ticket, I was surprised and happy when she offered me a judging spot instead. I arrived early and joined my fellow judges for what ended up to be a rigorous tasting schedule. Each dish was presented to us without a hint of who created it, and we judged on presentation, creativity, and taste. There seemed to be a general consensus on things down at my end of the table, but I was surprised at some of the eventual winners. Restaurants had picked their cut of meat - leg, loin, shank, or shoulder - and we picked a winner for each category, as well as a "best in show."

People's Choice: Oleana
Leg: Citizen Public House
Loin: Gargoyles on the Square
Shank: The Fireplace
Shoulder: Garden at the Cellar
Best in Show: Gargoyles on the Square

All of the entries (in the order of our tasting):

  • 606 Congress - Pulled Lamb Shank Agnolotti with Balsamic Brown Butter and Chocolate Gremolata (picture)
  • Bondir - Chilled Braised Shank set in Clarified Broth with Parsley and Carrots, Pistachio Vinaigrette and Salad (picture)
  • The Fireplace - Braised Lamb Shank with Sheep Milk Cream over Winter Squash Stew and Cheesy Cornmeal Porridge (picture)
  • Henrietta's Table - BBQ Beer Braised Lamb Shank with Charlie Baer's Money Beans and Stone Ground Grits (picture)
  • Tomasso Trattoria - Braised Lamb Shank Ravioli with Marscapone Cheese (picture)
  • Garden at the Cellar - Lamb Sausage Ssam with Nuoc Cham, Kimchi Slaw, and Crispy Garlic (picture)
  • Red Lion Inn - Porcini Braised Lamb Shoulder with Berkshire Blue Hominy and Equinox Farm Kale (picture)
  • Rialto - Lamb Scotch Eggs with Winter Salad, Lamb Bacon Lardons, and Truffle Vinaigrette (picture)
  • Oleana - Lamb Cammama - Spiced Lamb Shoulder with Onions, Moroccan Dates, Almond Bread, Carrot Salad, Blood Orange, and Cilantro (picture)
  • Bistro du Midi - Cumin and Garlic Sous Vide Lamb Loin with Braised Lamb Neck Ravioli, Baby Carrot, Pine Nuts, and Lamb Jus (picture)
  • Gourmet Caterers - Sumac Dusted Lamb Loin with Crispy Chickpea Cake and Preserved Orange Tomato Chutney (picture)
  • Sel de la Terre - Shepherds Pie Napoleon - Maple Smoked Lamb Loin, Pea and Carrot Pastry, Pommes Dauphin, with Carrot Gelee and Pea Foam (picture)
  • Gargoyles on the Square - Poached Lamb Loin with Black Truffle, Cauliflower Espuma, Bee Pollen, and Fried Garlic (picture above)
  • Aura - Roasted Leg of Lamb with Merguez Sausage Cassoulet, Bruleed Eggplant, and Yogurt (picture)
  • Citizen Public House - Jerky 3 Ways: Whiskey Smoked, Honey Ginger, Rosemary Sea Salt (picture)
  • Pain D'Avignon - Lamb Leg Frankfurter cooked in Rapscallion Honey Beer with Lamb Bacon Sauerkraut and Rapscallion Honey Mustard on Lamb Fat Griddled Brioche Bun (picture)
  • Russell House Tavern - House-made Merguez Sausage Slider with Warm Smoked Lamb Belly Vinaigrette, Minted Pickles, and Harissa Ginger Aioli (picture)

Full Disclosure note: My ticket to the event was given to me for free by the American Lamb Board.


Fun and Fearless in Beantown said...

It sounds like this was a fantastic event!

Anonymous said...

Fun to see you! I haven't eaten meat since!