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Hungry Mutineer Archive: Gin Soaked Lamb Sandwiches


Hungry Mutineer Lamb Sandwich

Last summer my column Hungry Mutineer featured a menu on cooking with gin. My favorite recipe from that was this Gin Soaked Lamb Sandwich with Fennel Salad and Blackberry Gin Sauce. From the moment you slather the leg of lamb with the herbaceous paste to your last bite, this sandwich is sexy, unctuous and utterly delicious.

Stay tuned; over the next few weeks I will be posting recipes for the rest of the menu such as, Cucumber Salad with Herbal Gin Dressing, Gin Baked Beans, and a Gin and Tonic Slushy.

The Lamb
4-5lb. leg of lamb or lamb shoulder (bone in)
6 juniper berries, crushed
1 TBS. fresh sage leaves, finely chopped
2 fresh bay leaves, finely chopped
1 tsp. coriander seeds
¼ tsp. cardamom seeds
1-½ tsp. peppercorns
1 tsp. dry mustard
1-½ tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. orange zest
1 tsp. lemon zest
¼ c. gin
4 shallots, sliced in half lengthwise
1 garlic clove,
4-6 brioche buns, lightly toasted

The day before roasting, combine the juniper, bay, coriander, cardamom, pepper, salt, mustard and zest with the gin in a blender and pulse. This can also be done using a mortar and pestle. Use the mixture to coat the lamb. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Allow the lamb to come to room temperature before roasting. Preheat your oven to 250F. Add the shallots and garlic to the pan and place in the oven. Roast for 10 to 12 hours. Remove the roast from the pan and allow it to cool enough to pull apart using your hands and check for additional seasoning. Reserve the pan drippings, garlic and shallots for the sauce. Keep the meat warm while you prepare the sauce.

Serves 6

Blackberry Sauce
drippings (fat separated out), shallots and garlic
¾ c. gin
½ c. beef stock (or lamb if you have it)
¼ c. fresh orange juice
1 lb. blackberries
½ tsp. dry mustard
2 whole juniper berries
1 TBS. agave
sea salt, to taste
freshly ground pepper, to taste

In the roasting pan, heat drippings, shallot and garlic over medium heat on top of your stove (this can be done in another vessel is you prefer). Deglaze the pan by adding the gin and loosening the brown bits from the bottom of the pan with a spoon. Add in the rest of the ingredients and simmer for 10 minutes then add it to a blender in batches and pulse until smooth, being careful not to burn yourself. Check for additional seasoning and run sauce through a sieve or cheesecloth to remove any seeds. Drizzle liberally over the Gin Soaked Lamb Sandwiches.

Fennel Salad
1 fennel bulb, sliced thin
1/4 of a small red onion, sliced thin
1/3 c. mayonnaise
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
sea salt, to taste
freshly ground pepper, to taste

Mix all the ingredients except the fennel and onion together in a medium sized bowl. Toss in the fennel and onion then use to dress lamb sandwiches.


  1. BuBBy | Wednesday, April 17, 2013

    Interesting. I wonder how this would work on a grill or smoker. Hmm…

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