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Monday, August 1, 2011

Mulberry Wine, Beer, and Lamb Chops

Early July has come and gone, but I still remember the mulberries. I am still waiting to find out how the beer and wine will taste, but I have a good idea how it is going to turn out.

As it went, a few weeks ago, a few of my friends, my man, and I picked about 7 pounds of mulberries. Most from our yard, but a few in some areas where we were semi-trespassing. Oh well. We had a great time hunting for trees.

Mulberries are mostly sweet when ripe, with a little tang when they aren't as ripe. I love them. They're so juicy and pretty, and they stain your fingertips when you pick them. But I guess if you pick 7 pounds of anything, it's going to stain your fingers.

I guess I'll start with the wine. I made it with my friend Katy. We started out with a recipe from grape stomper and mixed it together with a few others to come up with this recipe:

4 lbs Mulberries
2lbs 7 oz Honey
1 Campden tablet
2 Quarts water

champagne yeast
1 tsp yeast nutrient

1 2 1/2 gallon bucket for fermentation

We boiled the honey in 2 Qts water for 15 minutes and brought it back down to 80 degrees. This didn't take nearly as long as I'm used to, so I was impressed.
Next we added the 4 lbs mulberries to the honey, smashed it all together, and added the campden tablet.
The campden tablet killed the wild yeast overnight. The next afternoon, I started the yeast in some yeast nutrient and water. And it grew. I added this to the berries.
And it got happy.
I was worried because it was really hot for a few days, but I continued to stir this for a week. After that we racked into a berry mush-less bucket.
We didn't have any wine specific presses to get out the excess wine, so I went old school. But obviously sanitized my hands. We've racked it once more since then.

The recipe for the beer we made is here. It has a pretty reddish tint, and tastes pretty good so far. I'm excited to find out. I call it the Mulberry Brown Sugar Porter. It finishes with a nice fruity, mulberry note. That will be done in a week! I don't know if I can wait that long.

Finally, to finish my mulberry adventure, I made mulberry marinated lamb chops. This was fantastic.

It starts out with:

2 lamb chops (mine were about a half a pound)
nice olive oil
Cabernet Sauvignon
salt 'n pepper

Most of my marinades are approximate, and I just add a little more of this or that until I get the taste I want. Mash the mulberries with the herbs and garlic and marinade lamb chops over night.

Cook until medium rare, and while the lamb is resting, deglaze the pan with the rest of the marinade until it cooks down a little. I served this with a little green salad, potatoes, some farmer's market kale cooked in chicken broth, and the pan sauce on top of the chops. And boy, was it good.

Happy mulberry hunting!

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