It was billed as a mini Lamb Jam, but there were some MAJOR flavor going on at last weekend’s American Lamb Throwdown in Ballard between the chefs at Staple & Fancy, Bastille Café and Bar and butcher extraordinaire Russ Flint from Rain Shadow Meats.
The friendly competition challenged cooks to come up with clever creations featuring leg of lamb and shoulder, and they certainly nailed that assignment. There was lamb pho, a lamb-centric slider and grilled lamb tucked into a steamed bun, topped with kimchi. So dang delicious!
How do I know? I was one of the judges. Yup, tough duty.
Actually, picking the top dog was no picnic, as the dishes were all carefully thought out and presented with a whole lot of style.
Yet, when it came time to select the winner, the verdict was unanimous. The lamb shoulder sausage banh mi, which we later learned was made by chef Jason Stoneburner from Bastille, was two bites of bliss. So fiery, this sausage had such great snap, and the pickled veggies on top provided just the right balance to the heat. The adorable “baguette” that was as soft as a marshmallow? They were made with pâte à choux, so they were as tender as a cream puff. Oh my. I am now ruined for any other banh mi.
Guess what? You can taste this winner, next week. Those bomb-diggity banh mi will be served in Bastille’s bar. Go!