Cocoa-Seasoned Lamb with Sweet & Sour Beets

Ingredients:
  • 1 lb Lamb Leg
  • 1 tablespoon Cocoa Spice Rub
  • 1 Beet, medium size
  • 2 Shallots, peeled and sliced
  •  Olive Oil
  •  Salt and Pepper
  • 3 tablespoon Sugar
  • 1/2 cup Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1/2 cup Stock - Lamb, Chicken or Pork
  • 1 ounce Bissinger's 75% Dark Chocolate
  • 2 tablespoon Walnuts, toasted
  •  Rub
  • 5 tablespoon Cocoa Powder
  • 4 teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
  • 3 tablespoon Shiitake Mushroom, powdered from a food mill
  • 1 tablespoon Brown Sugar
  • 2 tablespoon Smoked Paprika
  • 1 teaspoon Chili Flakes
  • 2 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 1/2  tablespoon Kosher Salt

Directions:
1. Season lamb leg with cocoa spice rub. Refrigerate uncovered for a few hours.
2. Wash beet, rub with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Wrap in foil with a few tablespoons of water. Seal and place on a sheet pan. Bake at 375 F until tender when poked with the tip of a knife.
3. Allow beet to cool and then peel. Dice into about 1/2" chunks. Set aside.
4. Heat a heavy-bottom sauce pan over medium heat. Add sugar and melt until slightly caramelized. Add shallots and allow to soften. Add vinegar, a few grinds of black pepper, salt and sprigs of tarragon.
5. Bring the mixture to a simmer and allow to reduce by half. Add stock and allow to reduce by half. Taste: the mixture should have balanced taste of sweet and sour.
6. Heat a heavy skillet with a touch of olive oil. When a whiff of smoke comes from the oil, carefully add lamb leg. Brown well on first side, then turn over and allow to brown. Place in oven. Cook until meat is mid-rare. Pull from oven and allow to rest covered for a few minutes.
7. While meat is resting, warm beets, whisk in chocolate, taste again and adjust seasoning. Add a splash of vinegar if needed.
8. Slice lamb across the grain. Spoon beets on plate and arrange lamb on top. Drizzle with olive oil, top with toasted walnuts and a few grains of salt.

Yield: 4 servings