Lamb tends to get overlooked as a grilling candidate which is a shame because it is truly excellent. Lamb pairs well with bright flavors which is why mint sauce is such a common accompaniment. Since our Hibiscus Flower Infused Maple Syrup has a fruity, acidic punch to it I thought I would try it with some grilled lamb and my instincts were right. To use it in a chutney I paired it with sautéed fennel and onions for a sweet and earthy base. This chutney would be great on lamb burgers, chops or butterflied leg but here, I put it with kabobs. It would also work well with pork chops or scallops.
Fennel Hibiscus Chutney
Vegetable oil for sautéing
1 medium onion, peeled and diced
1 fennel bulb, trimmed, cored and diced
2 Tbsps. red wine vinegar
2 Tbsps. Hibiscus Flower Infused Maple Syrup
Chopped mint or parsley (optional)
Cubed lamb (approx 1/3 – 1/2 lb per person)
1 sweet red pepper
Salt and fresh ground pepper
To make the chutney, put 1 – 2 tablespoons of oil in a wide sauté pan, turn the stove on high and add the onion and fennel. Sauté the vegetables, letting them brown and stirring only occasionally. When they have developed a nice brown color add the vinegar and maple syrup. Stir to combine and cook a few minutes more until the liquid has mostly reduced to a glaze. Remove from the heat and let cool. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Thread the lamb cubes onto wooden or metal skewers, alternating occasionally with some red pepper. Drizzle a little of the vegetable oil on the meat and then season with salt and pepper. Heat a grill to medium-high and place the skewers in the middle. Grill until the meat has developed a little bit of char on the outside and is medium on the inside – about 8 minutes per side, depending on the intensity of your heat.
Just before serving, add the herbs to the chutney and serve in a small bowl. These lamb kabobs would be excellent with a side of mixed wild and white rice and some steamed snap peas.