So yes, this is a real thing. At least now it is! Why not give a sexy title that invokes joy in everyone to something that has nearly NOTHING to do with a drink that you get at your favorite coffee shop? This is no gimmick…not at all. Coffee and chocolate (cocoa) are brothers from different mothers, and they work so well together. And if you didn’t know, they work brilliantly on their own with many proteins, especially with lamb!
So we created this Caffè Mocha Lamb Lollipop recipe for a fun appetizer with rich flavors perfect to enjoy during the chilly fall and winter months. Or really any time you want something unique on the menu that will intrigue your guests!
Why Caffè Mocha?
So here we are trying to marry a threesome of lamb, chocolate, and coffee.
This combo may sound odd at first glance, but we can remember on several occasions having either cocoa powder or coffee (in one form or another) be a focal part of a savory dish that was really impressive in overall flavor. For example, chocolate chicken, a coffee-rubbed brisket, and a coffee-marinated ribeye, to name three. We even did some experimentation with coffee and beef with really good results. But that was so many years ago and there is more to it than we knew then!
The most important lesson learned testing this dish is to be subtle.
Making these flavors work
Coffee and chocolate are both in the deep bitter zone of tastes. You have salty, sweet, acidic, and bitter (and umami if you subscribe). And combining two very bitter components to flavor a protein might sound like hanging a picture with a sledgehammer. That’s exactly why we chose to do this. Chocolate and coffee are A-list pairings, like basil and tomato, or peas and carrots, Jenny.
But how does it work? Balance, plain and simple. Harmonizing the bitterness with sugar, salt, and other flavors that complement the lamb make this a beautiful starter (or main dish if you like)! Even though we have not had (nor heard of) it, the sexy concept of coffee, chocolate, and lamb has certainly been done by someone…but so has everything!
We just turned a petit lamb lollipop appetizer into mouthwatering flavor-missile that will make those you serve this to remember this dish! With the addition of chopped sage, a bordelaise sauce, and crumbled blue cheese, this Caffè Mocha Lamb Lollipop dish becomes something to be desired and the flavors will blow you away!
What about the sauce?
The sauce here is a flavorful component of these luscious lamb lollipops. Technically, it isn’t a bordelaise, because most people don’t have high quality demi glaze laying around, so we didn't use it here. We decided to make this sauce with beef stock instead to make it more approachable for people.
The red wine component is the important part of the sauce. Ideally it should be a good, full-bodied red wine matching what you’re drinking. In this case, the wine in the sauce should complement the flavors of the dish and stand out on its own when paired with the lamb and bleu cheese.
You may be wondering where to start when it comes to a wine pairing for this flavor bomb of a dish. You really need something to not just stand up to the flavors of coffee and cocoa in this dish, but you need a wine to really give it a run for its money and complement every component of this dish.
We created this particular dish for the Rebellious Wine. This unique red wine blend capitalizes on the art of wine blending. Like the lamb lollipops, Rebellious Wine blends wine in a way that has not been done before with an incredible deep and complex wine that will impress any red wine lover. Some noteworthy aromas in this wine are dark cherry, dark chocolate, brown sugar, cardamom, black pepper, and licorice. On the palate, you will get bright and vibrant flavors of blueberries, with the warmth of allspice, finishing smooth and luxurious. Follow the link to find out more about Rebellious Wine.
This is definitely a wine to be enjoyed with food, and we absolute love it with our Caffè Mocha Lamb Lollipops!
We hope you enjoy this unique recipe for Caffè Mocha Lamb Lollipops! If you give it a try, leave us a comment below, or tag us on Instagram @cooking_with_wine!
Looking for more fun recipes like this? Check out the following:
- Habanero Honey Soy Rack of Lamb cooked Sous Vide
- Peppercorn Crusted Steak with Brandy Cream Sauce
- Blueberry Thyme Red Wine Reduction
- Pork and Shiitake Mushroom Ragù
- Veal and Beef Shepherd’s Pie
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