The lamb loin, also called a saddle, contains meat from the three most prized cuts, equivalent to the T-bone, Porterhouse and tenderloin in beef. The famous tenderloin lies protected under the backbone and is a very small strip. The loin meats are delicately marbled, with an elegant flavor that brings a note of luxury to any meal. The fat of grass fed lambs should taste clean and fresh.
In this recipe, the backbone will be removed (see steps in video) leaving the meat to be rolled and tied before grilling. The result is a very tender roast, easy to carve and with a minimal amount of fat. With no bones and a nice cylindrical shape, just slice as medallions and serve. It is perfect for any special occasion.
This recipe is by chef Ben Spangler. Hailing from Minnesota, Ben draws from his Midwestern roots to create dishes that are unpretentious and delicious. Ben has competed on national television for the Food Network and appeared on local Minneapolis food networks. He is currently executive chef at Mercy in Minneapolis.
Shepherd Song Farm loin roast untrimmed (or loin saddle)
20 fingerling potatoes
1 small sunchoke (Jerusalem artichoke)
1 garlic clove
1 bundle of sage, rosemary, and parsley
1 cup watercress
2 Tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
- Remove large stems of herbs and finely chop
- Chop and mince garlic
- Fine dice shallot
- Discard green parts from leeks and thinly slice remaining whites into small rings
- Mix together 1 teaspoon of fine, diced shallot, 1 teaspoon minced garlic, the chopped herbs and sliced leeks. Set aside.
Lamb Loin Roast
- While preparing the loin roast boil potatoes on medium heat until tender
- Drain potatoes and allow to cool to room temp
- Trim extra fat off the bottom of the loin.
- Remove tenderloins (on both sides of the backbone) and retain.
- Using a boning knife separate the backbone from the loin eye. Do not separate the 2 halves at the center of the backbone. Then carefully remove the backbone from the meat resulting in 1 boneless piece of meat (see video).
- Season the inside surface with salt, pepper and chopped herbs
- Roll and tie with 100% cotton string
- Season the exterior with salt and pepper
- Grill lamb saddle with indirect heat and move coals as needed to allow a consistent heat and good caramelization.
- Slow cook–don’t rush. When the internal temperature reaches 130-135 °F. Remove from grill and allow to rest.
Finish and Serve:
- While meat rests heat a cast iron skillet.
- Cut the cooked potatoes in half and on medium high heat sear and caramelize potatoes in olive oil.
- Add the herb mix and slowly cook with the potatoes.
- Add an additional Tablespoon of butter if needed.
- When leeks are tender, add watercress and sunchokes.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Drizzle meat and potatoes with oil and fresh parsley