Roasting lamb is traditional for Easter.
The rack, leg and saddle of lamb are the ideal sort of cuts to celebrate this feast.
Saddle is a rarer cut in Hong Kong, which is lean and flavoursome.
In this recipe, it is stuffed with mushroom and spinach;
Herb-wise, sage and thyme are used.
Pinot Noir and lamb are often a perfect match
The fruit notes, acidity and earthiness of Pinot Noir match perfectly with gamey dish.
If you prefer full bodied wine, a red Rioja Reserva makes a great pairing.
A fine Tempranillo wine is an ideal partner with any lamb dishes, here we offer
INGREDIENTS (Serves 4)
1 boned saddle of lamb (approx. 1 - 1.2kg)
Few sprigs of sage
Few garlic cloves (skin on, lightly crushed)
Salt & pepper
200g baby spinach (cleaned)
200g mushrooms (cleaned and thinly sliced)
2 tbsp. mascarpone cheese
1 small bunch of thyme (remove stalks and chopped finely)
1 egg yolk
Salt & pepper
100ml red wine
200ml beef stock
2 tbsp. redcurrant jelly
HOW TO MAKE THIS RECIPE
Prepare the stuffing:
1. Heat olive oil and butter in a frying pan over medium heat. Sauté the mushrooms and finely chopped thyme leaves in the hot oil until lightly browned, season with salt & pepper and cook until the water dried out. Take the mushroom out into a colander to drain any excess moisture and let it cool.
2. Again, heat olive oil and butter in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the spinach into the hot pan, pat it down a bit, lightly season with salt & pepper. Turn the spinach over for a couple of time until it is wilted. Remove it to colander, drain any excess liquid and let it cool with the mushrooms.
3. Put the mushrooms and spinach into a bowl, mix completely with mascarpone cheese and egg yolk to combine everything together. Put the mixture into the fridge to set.
Stuffed saddle of lamb:
1. Lay the saddle joint skin-side down on a board. There should have 2 loins and 2 fillets, remove and cut the fillets lengthwise to butterfly them, set aside. Season the saddle joint with salt & pepper, line sage leaves and the stuffing evenly down the middle. Put the butterflied fillets back on top of the stuffing. Fold the lamb saddle over so the flaps of fat overlap and looks like a sausage roll.
2. Drizzle a little olive oil onto 2 sage leaves and stick on each end to stop any stuffings coming out. Tie the saddle tightly with butcher string at 2 - 3cm intervals along the whole length, then rub with salt & pepper.
3. Preheat oven to 200°C. Heat olive oil in a ovenproof sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the lightly crushed garlic cloves, few sprigs of sage into the hot pan, then seal the lamb saddle all over until light golden brown.
4. Place the pan into the oven and roast for 20 minutes, then lower the oven temperature to 180°C and cook for a further 20 - 30 minutes or internal temperature of the meat reaches 55 - 60°C for medium.
5. Remove from oven and leave it rest for at least 10 minutes on a plate. Place the roasting pan with the pan juice on the hob, simmer the red wine until reduced in half. Add the stock, redcurrant jelly and whisk gently. Season and bubble until thicken, turn off the heat then add the resting juice and a knob of butter to finish the gravy.
6. Carve the saddle into 2 - 3cm slices and it is delicious to serve with roasted potato / gratin dauphinoise / sautéed green bean.