Waste Not Want Not: Lamb Jam

So I live on a boat. I have limited access to grocery stores. The reality is that I cannot afford to waste… anything. After spending roughly a month on the ocean, I have become acutely aware to the level of waste that exists back home. People throw so much away: leftovers, scraps, ziploc bags, jars, etc. I spend a lot of time cooking to keep my crew happy. The power of the plate is, at least right now, one of the few to ease this adjustment. When a single bite transcends our physical limitation and returns us to even a moment of pure contentment, we cannot afford to waste my cooking.

After the beer braised lamb, I found we had a surplus of lamb gravy. I could have chosen to thrown it out. But let’s be real. That shit was just way too good. So I held on to it thinking I could use it as a sandwich spread, which worked fabulously. I spread the lamb gravy on a sandwich with ham, tomato, brie, arugula and a fig chutney. Then it hit me. Lamb Jam.

I had spent the last three years living on two acres nestled in the Santa Cruz mountains. On the property, I tended to a quarter acre vegetable garden and an acre orchard. I loved fall and late summer the most. Tomatoes, pomegranates, persimmons, peppers, green beans, etc. When harvesting, three methods worked best to make use of this food. One, I would eat it all myself, cooking up fantastical feasts with fresh vegetables. Two, I would give it away. On more than a few occasions, I would bring with bushels of produce to the restaurants I would be working at and tape on a sign that read “free me of my harvest and eat well.” Thirdly, I would make preserves. Countless jars of pickled vegetables, jams, pestos, jellies, syrups, flew through my kitchen during these months of harvest. The constant mess drove my dad absolutely up the wall. Then, Christmas would come around and I’d give these jars out like candy.

So instead of throwing away perfectly delectable lamb gravy, I might as well jar up some lamb jam.

Lam Jam

4 apples, peeled and diced

1 quart lamb gravy (recipe found in Beer Braised Lamb post)

1 cup fig chutney

2 lemons, zest and juice

2 tbsp freshly ground black pepper

1 Cinnamon stick

1/2 tsp nutmeg

½ cloves

4 tbsp rum

1 cup raisins

½ cup brown sugar

1 tsp ground ginger

Place all ingredients in a pot, except the sugar. I would crack the cinnamon stick and place the cloves in a cheese cloth bundle. Cook over medium low heat for 15 minutes uncovered. Add sugar, bring to a boil stirring constantly until sugar dissolves. Reduce heat and allow to simmer for 30 minutes. Remove spice bundle. Blend using an immersion blender or throw it all in a food processor. Pour into six half pint jars. Make sure to wash and sterilize the jars before use. Process for 15 minutes. Bon Appétit!

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