Cooking with cuttings from the vineyards is somewhat of a tradition in the Ribera Y Rueda wine regions. While pruning the branches the elders would instruct their family to "gather the branches" as they serve to prepare the best barbecue lamb. The Sarmientos are the branches that result from pruning the vines in the winter. The Sarmientos are stored, and used the following year when they are completely dry. Many restaurants in the region use the branches to grill meats, particularly baby lamb chops, as the taste obtained is much better than for meat grilled over embers of pinewood or oak. Although they are mostly used in meat grilling, Sarmientos can also be used in preparing grilled vegetables and fruits.
Recipe from Ribera Y Rueda Wine Region: Lamb Grilled on Wine Vines
- Yield: 4
- Cooking Time: 1 hr 30 min
- 10-12 Cuttings of Sarmientos or Wine Vine For Grilling
- 2 Pounds of Mesquite Charcoal
- 2 Large Crushed Garlic Cloves
- 1 Tablespoon of Rosemary Leaves
- 2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
- Salt and Pepper to Taste
- 6 Lamb chops
- Prepare the Charcoal. When ash covers the charcoal add grapevines.
- In a food processor blend the garlic, rosemary, thyme, cayenne, and salt.
- Rub herb mixture on both sides of lamb chops, and marinate for 1 hour.
- Cook lamb to your desired temperature over Sarmientos or Grape Vines
Enjoy lamb chops with a bottle of wine from the Ribera Y Rueda wine region.
By Mosaka Williamson