From the kitchen of Stuart Brioza

Stuart Brioza has chops. He has run the kitchen in some of America’s best restaurants like the famed Rubicon in San Francisco and Tapawingo in northern Michigan. If you have not been fortunate enough to eat his food yet, seek him out. He is at the top of my list of the country’s best chefs. Since this is the Syrah issue and there is no better complement to cool climate syrah than lamb, Stuart offered up his lamb chop recipe. The smoky, sanguine and iron qualities amplify when eaten together and result in a frenzy of “man, that is so good!”


24 hour Marinade

6 Lamb Chops
2 ounces Olive Oil
2 ounces Soy Sauce
2 ounces Honey
4 ounces Syrah
1 teaspoon Pimenton Dulce, (sweet smoked dried pepper) or Chili Flakes
1 tablespoon Toasted Fennel Seed, crushed in a mortar
3 cloves Garlic, microplane or diced
1″ chunk Ginger, microplane or diced
Salt & Pepper for Grilling

Fried Farro

1/2 pound Raw Lamb or Pork Sausage, removed from casings
1 bulb Fennel, small dice
1 branch Fresh Rosemary
2 tablespoons Whole Butter
2 cups Cooked Farro
As needed Salt & Pepper

Charred Red Grapes

1 pound Small Red Grape Clusters
As needed Smoked Sea Salt
Several branches Peay Vineyards dried Syrah Grape Vines or a handful of Applewood Chips, lightly moistened

Serves 3

To Prepare

For the Lamb & Grapes

Marinate the lamb with all of the ingredients turning as needed for 24 hours. Build a nice blaze on a grill, and just before tossing the lamb and grape clusters on, disperse the grape vines or the wood chips over the coals. This will lightly smoke the meat and grapes. Place the grapes over the hottest part of the grill and blister/char the skins, remove when tender. Then follow with the lamb chops and grill at high flame to render the fat and caramelize the flesh. Remove when the meat still feels soft to the touch (around 3 minutes per side) and save juices.

For the Farro

In a large sauté pan, place the butter & rosemary branch in the pan and turn the heat on high. When the butter begins to brown, the pan will be hot, and the rosemary aromatic. Add the sausage and diced fennel together, render & brown the sausage crushing as you go. When the sausage is cooked and starts caramelizing on the bottom of the pan add the cooked farro, and fry as you would fry rice. Brown and toast the farro for a few minutes on high heat stirring continuously until nutty. Season with salt and pepper as needed.

On a large platter, set the fried farro as a base, place the lamb chops & grapes on top & drizzle the reserved pan juices on top. Sprinkle a bit of smoked sea salt over the meat & serve.

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