When you find a cheeky little lamb loin staring up at you from the shelf in the Organic, it’s time to grab it and rush home to cook this dinner party pleaser – you need the skin on the loin, but not if it’s a great big fatty lump of a thing, hence the choice of the Organic’s lamb rather than Spinneys’.
I served this one on a bed of wilted Thai celery leaves (because I could, that's why) and with sautéed potatoes and peas, but you can do what you want. Each loin is cut into two, giving you pretty much what you’d serve up with a 4-bone rack, but just without the bones getting in the way.
- 2 lamb loins, each @400g
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
- 6 cloves garlic, roughly grated
- 4 lemons, grated zest
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 2 tbsp olive oil
Red wine sauce
- ½ onion, finely chopped
- 1 tomato, skinned, deseeded & chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- ½ stick celery, chopped
- 300ml red wine
- 300ml good stock
- 25g butter
- 1 heaped tsp flour
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Fresh peppercorns
Mix together the rosemary, zest, garlic, salt and pepper. Oil a foil-lined baking tray. (I like to line it with foil to cut down on washing up because I’m bone idle). Cut each of the lamb loins in two and brush them with oil, sprinkling a little salt and pepper on them as you do so. Heat a grillpan and quickly sear the meat side of the loins, then turn them to cook the skin side down for a little longer, about 2-3 minutes. Spread the herb mixture over the loins on the meaty side as the skin side is cooking, adding a bit to the skin side too as you remove them to the baking tray to sit skin side up. These can sit around for a while until you’re ready to finish them.
For the red wine sauce, fry the onion, garlic and celery gently in a saucepan until everything’s nicely softened, then crank up the heat a little and add the tomato and then the stock and wine, then leave to cook away, partially covered, for 20-30 minutes over a medium heat, before blitzing it with a hand blender. Heat it for another 10-15 minutes, then strain it. Mix together the butter and flour to make a roux and add this to the sauce, re-heating it when you’re ready to serve.
I’m also fond of adding in a teaspoon of fresh pink peppercorns at the last minute.
Heat the oven to GM7/220C/425 and bake the lamb loins for 15 minutes (20 minutes for well done just a hint of pink showing and 25 minutes for cremated, Lamb Grise á la Goute de Femme Irlandais). Let them rest for five minutes in a warm place then serve ‘em up!