After a long, hard winter, the first spring weekend in Michigan has arrived and it’s all the reason I need to get outside and fire up the barbecue! Sunshine, blue skies and the essence of smoky hardwoods in the air – outdoor cooking season has formally arrived. And, what better way to open up our backyard kitchen, then by throwing down a grate full of gorgeous Australian grassfed racks of lamb.
These beautiful hunks of lamb were frenched across the bones and scored in cross-hatch fashion through the trimmed fat cap. The lamb was then rested at room temperature for 2 hours, then seasoned in a homemade activated charcoal-coffee-garlic rub – yielding an incredible, rustic presentation, layers of brilliant texture and a unique flavor profile complimenting the mildness of the grassfed lamb.
With the grill lid open, the racks were positioned, fat cap-side down, directly over a thick bed of glowing charcoal and smoky hardwoods, searing and encrusting the exterior of the lamb for 4-6 minutes. Once encrusted, the racks were flipped bone-side down and positioned to the cooler, indirectly heated portion of the grill with the bones situated away from the heat source. Over the next 10-15 minutes, the lamb was basted in olive oil and slowly prepared to sweet, tender perfection.
Carved into chops, garnished with an aromatic parsley chimichurri and a birchwood-smoked fleur de sel, then plated for a crowd and served with two handfuls of ice cold Pure Michigan lagers! -Cheers and long live the adventure, David
Charcoal-Rubbed Australian Grassfed Rack of Lamb with Parsley Chimichurri
2racksAustralian grassfed lamb, frenched and trimmed
3tablespoonsolive oil, plus additional to baste
4tablespoonsactivated charcoal powder
2teaspoonsblack sea salt and freshly ground black peppercorn
1teaspoonfinely ground coffee beans, unflavored
Fleur de sel, to garnish
Homemade or store-bought parsley chimichurri, to garnish
Remove lamb from refrigeration up to two hours prior to grilling and rest on the counter, elevating to near room temperature. 30 minutes before laying lamb to flame, preheat grill to medium-high heat. Meanwhile, score the fat cap in crosshatch-fashion, brush entirety of the rack with olive oil, then generously season with charcoal, salt and pepper, coffee and garlic powder.
Position lamb fat-side down over direct heat and with the grill lid open sear until nicely charred. Flip rack to bone-side down and move lamb over to indirectly heated portion of the grill. Close the grill lid and cook for an additional 10-12 minutes, basting intermittently with olive oil, until internal temperature reads 125-130F. Remove lamb from heat, transfer to a cutting board and rest for 5-10 minutes before carving.
Slice the racks into individual chops and dress with parsley chimichurri. Plate for a crowd alongside and serve with an ice cold lager.
If this isn’t Heaven, it’s certainly somewhere close. What an incredible weekend hunting absolutely enormous King Salmon upon the deep blue, icy waters of Lake Michigan. And, by the grace of our Good Lord, with a bit of luck, an overabundance of patience and a degree of perseverance, our bounty was great!!
This freshly-harvested 22-pound wild salmon was butterflied with it’s pin bones removed, then seasoned with minced chilies, smoked paprika, roasted garlic, wildflower honey, fresh citrus and red onion, then finished with a splash of robust olive oil, shredded white crab claw meat, a dusting of smoked fluer de sel, and an aromatic selection of seasonal herbs from our backyard garden.
Positioned skin-side down directly atop the chef-grade, stainless steel grates of my All-American Twin Eagles Grill, this breathtaking beast covered all 42″ of grilling surface! The grill’s burners were dialed within 10% of their lowest setting in each cooking zone, elevating the grilling chamber to a steady 225F. Because this grill system was innovatively-designed to deliver both direct and radiant heat with precision and consistency from corner-to-corner and wall-to-wall, I was able to ensure from teeth to tail, this fish was prepared to tender, flaky perfection!
After gently removing the whole fish from the grill and resting for 15 minutes, the thick fillets were sliced and served over a rustic bed of Mediterranean-style ancient grains and paired alongside a beautiful glass of northern Michigan cabernet sauvignon. Life just doesn’t get much better than fishing and cooking out with family and friends!! -Cheers and long live the adventure, David
Fresh chives and parsley, roughly chopped, to garnish
Kosher salt and ground black peppercorn, to taste
Prepare salmon, by cleaning, scaling and butterflying the freshly-harvested fish. Pat dry the meat and skin with paper towel, then rub the meat olive oil, chili, paprika, garlic, cayenne, salt, freshly ground pepper and a drizzle of honey. Rest on the counter until near room temperature. 15 minutes prior to cooking, preheat the grill to low (225-250F).
Place the salmon skin-side down directly atop the grill grates. Toss the slices of onion and fennel in olive oil and dress dress the fish, followed by lemon and orange, then top with shredded crab meat. Season additionally with salt and pepper. Close the grill lid, basting intermittently with olive oil, until the internal temperature in the fattest part of the fillet reaches 135F, approx 45 minutes.
Remove salmon from the grill grates and rest under a tin foil tent for 10-15 minutes. Garnish with freshly chopped herbs, season additionally to taste, then plate in 6-8oz portions atop a rustic bed of cous cous and ancient grains. Pair with a beautiful cabernet sauvignon and serve.
David Olson is a nationally-recognized American Culinary Federation (ACF) Chef, television personality and social network influencer, award-winning recipe developer, live fire grill master, international adventurer, and the creator behind, “LiveFire Republic”…
Simply incredible!! Freshly harvested Copper River Coho Salmon. Rubbed in an earthy blend of chipotle peppers and sweet paprika, toasted cumin, roasted garlic and onion, pink peppercorn and an aromatic garden of finely chopped herbs. Smoked to flaky, tender perfection, then caramelized in a blend of brown sugar and wildflower honey, and finished with the zest of meyer lemon and orange. Best served alongside family, two handfuls of ice cold amber ale and a beautiful Michigan sunset!! -Cheers, David