Let’s talk huckleberries. This little wild berry from the Northwestern USA and Western Canada is very closely related to the (much more readily available) blueberry and (it’s European cousin) bilberry. However, unlike the latter berries, the huckleberry has a special meaning to my wife and me. Let me take you back to August of 2016, when we were dating, and we went on vacation to Glacier National Park in Montana.
We hiked every day…at least 10 miles/day for 9 straight days. We could barely walk by the end. During our stay, we learned to tell the difference between huckleberries and their poisonous doppelgangers, dogberries. We saw adult mountain goats teaching their young how to navigate the steep mountain slopes. We nearly capsized a tandem kayak in huge waves on Lake McDonald, and we were offered a can of Moose Drool (local beer) by two campers when we finally managed to paddle our imperiled vessel ashore.
It was a pretty awesome trip…but there’s one thing that makes it my favourite trip of all time: After a hike up to Grinell Glacier, in front of a gorgeous view of the mountain lake, my girlfriend became my fiance.
We served this over our Sneaky Mashed Potatoes (Reduced Carb). However, we think this would also go very well with regular mashed potatoes, long grain wild rice, or even couscous if you wanted to change it up a bit.
As a side note that may only amuse me, I was initially planning to make the huckleberry sauce to drizzle over cod just so that I could name the dish “Huckleberry Fin [sic].”
Time: 60 Minutes
- Mutton or Lamb Chops
- Huckleberry (or Blueberry) Wine
- Fresh Rosemary
- Flour (roughly a 1:1 ratio with the butter)
- Put your mutton or lamb loin chops on a cutting board, trim excess fat around the edge, and give the top and bottom of each loin chop a light salt sprinkle.
- Melt some butter in a pan (preferably one you have a tight fitting lid for, as that’ll help a lot with the braising process later), and when the butter is melted, add your rosemary.
- After about 30-60 seconds, add your loin chops to the pan, and let sear for about 2 minutes on both sides.
- Turn the heat off, and add your wine to the pan.
- Put the lid on your pan, and turn the heat to low. Let simmer/braise for about 40 minutes.
- While your loin chops braise, put equal parts butter and flour (we used about a tablespoon of each) into a bowl, and mash together with a fork to fully combine. Set aside…this will be used to form a roux and finish your sauce later.
- When your meat has braised for about 40 minutes, remove it from your pan, and set aside on a plate. Also, pull your rosemary out of the pan, and throw it away…it’s done its part.
- Add your butter/flour mixture to the wine, and whisk together. Turn up the heat a bit.
- When your sauce starts to thicken, put your loin chops back in the pan to reheat and coat them in the deliciousness.
- Plate, devour, and enjoy!