Fennel Hibiscus Chutney

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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.