Executive Chef Greg Gettles of farm-to-table Piedmont Restaurant in Durham, N.C., makes an apple jus to brighten and balance his dish of lamb loin chops. Starting with a lamb stock, he adds caramelized lamb trimmings, aromatics and caramelized apples.
“Sweet and sour is my favorite—I love really bad Chinese food,” he says with a laugh. “So apple jus is taking that flavor combination and incorporating it into my French-cooking background. To me, lamb is light. We didn’t want to burden it with a heavy flavor. The apple jus is a needed pop with the lamb.” The lamb is plated atop freekeh and roasted butternut squash.
For the jus, Gettles uses tart apples like Granny Smiths, saying the acidity from them acts as a vinegar in the jus. “Apple jus lightens anything you put it on,” he says. “It brightens up and balances flavors.” He recommends it with any seasonal protein, taking the place of gravy.
“We love this creative twist on jus that adds more flavor to protein,” says Wendy Brannen, U.S. Apple Association’s director of consumer health and public relations. “When you first taste it, you get the caramel flavors, then it balances out on the back of the palate. And pairing it with such an on-trend ingredient like freekeh makes this jus just marvelous.”