Lamb Chops, Red Rice and Stone IPA
I was bored, hungry and in the mood to cook something quick and simple for lunch, so I picked up a lamb shoulder chop from the deli. Conveniently forgetting that meats from the deli are usually chilled-to-frozen, I did a quick thaw by keeping the air-conditioning in the car low on the drive home (Global warming is a reality – summer heat in what should be the coldest month in the Philippines), and that was pretty much as effective as using a microwave. Because of this, the lamb ended up a bit tough in the end, compounded by the fact that the shoulder chop isn’t the most tender of cuts. Still, I had a fun lunch. The lamb was just seasoned with sea salt and pepper and pan-grilled with a spot of olive oil and finished with more sea salt. To the drippings, I added garlic, a pinch of dried rosemary, and fried some leftover red rice. Not bad for a Php200, 350g cut of lamb. The shoulder has some thick beautiful fat which rendered nicely to flavor the rice, as well as some bones which give a meatier, more smoky taste even when pan-grilled.
I devoured my meat with a Stone IPA. This is a go-to American India Pale Ale, as definitive of the West Coast style as Stone Brewery itself: a citrusy nose with an initial rush of malts immediately overcome by a hopbomb. Full of attitude, overbearing flavor and not for the weak of heart. For me, however, the real value of this particular experience of Stone IPA was in the following exchange:
My mom saw me drinking the Stone IPA with my lunch and asked if she could try it. I warned her, “Mapait ‘yan,” expecting a reaction of disgust and shock. She took a sip and said, “It’s sweet,” and noted how it tasted fruity and noted that there seemed to be other ingredients mixed in (Quite the opposite, in fact. Stone uses only the big four ingredients – malted barley, water, hops and yeast. It’s the macrobreweries that include additives and preservatives). I love my mom.
If my dad were still allowed to drink beer, I’m sure he’d say the same (Somehow I have a feeling his body only reacts negatively to fizzy yellow water and not real beer). I guess hopheadedness runs in the family, and as far as Stone Brewing’s beers go, one could say that we were born worthy.