May is National Barbecue Month! Four Roses Bourbon asked if I would write a recipe using their delicious, golden elixir in celebration. In the words of Michael Pollan, “Time and fire do a wonderful thing!” It was all I could do not to drink the five single-serving bottles of Four Roses Single Barrel when they arrived on my doorstep one spring afternoon. They also sent a Whole Foods gift card to do my recipe shopping.
I did indeed drink a few of those bottles with Pank, while the celebratory flavor profile was developed. It’s nose is full of fruits and spice. It hits your tongue with a Kentucky Proud level of bold. It finishes long and smooth just like a Sunday afternoon on our back porch. Being one of my favorite bourbon distilleries, I had more on hand just in case. As a side note, those little bottles are going to make playful bud vases this summer at Corbin In The Dell dinner parties.
Legend has it that the Four Roses namesake was a result of an acceptance of marriage proposal made by founder, Paul Jones, Jr. His bride-to-be showed up to the ball wearing a corsage of four roses signifying her mutual love for him. Click here for the full story. It will warm your heart about as much as their bourbon warms your belly.
Whole Foods does an excellent job sourcing local foods. The gift card was put to good use on staples that aren’t indigenous to Middle Tennessee. Shaking the hand that produces your food is a Corbin In The Dell principle. This celebration called for local farm flavor. Jennie and Darrin Drake own and farm Peaceful Pastures in Hickman, Tennessee.
Here they raise animals in the upmost humane and sustainable way. Their beef, pork, lamb, goat and poultry can be found at many Middle Tennessee farmers markets and are available through their CSA. Last fall was a particular good lambing season for the Drakes. Jenny assured me that if I wanted some lamb for the winter to buy it then. “When it’s gone, it’s gone,” she said. I made korma and tagine several times while being thankful for her harvest. I just so happen to have tucked away extra in my chest freezer for the right occasion.
Four Roses Minted Lamb
1/2 cup chopped mint
4 cloves minced garlic
1 tsp ground mustard
1 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tbsp local honey
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup Four Roses Single Barrel Bourbon
1 lb cubed lamb
Mix first eleven ingredients in a medium-sized bowl. Let stand at room temperature for one hour. Fold in lamb making sure that each piece is thoroughly coated. Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours. Using a madolin or vegetable peeler, cut zucchini lengthwise into paper thin ribbons. Book the zucchini ribbons and alternate with lamb on skewers. Grill on high heat to sear the lamb and seal in the juices. Lamb is best served medium to medium rare.
We couldn’t help ourselves. We ate the lamb standing over the grill. However, if you are so inclined to be more civilized, the kebabs would be beautiful served over a bed of couscous or quinoa. A pita wrap would also be excellent. Whatever you do, don’t forget a side of Four Roses Bourbon!