Often considered the most- tender cut of the lamb the saddle (also known as the double loin or double rack of lamb) is always best cooked simply seasoned in a hot oven. It is the ideal choice for a main course for 6 – 8 persons . . . especially when you don’t want to spend a day sweating in the kitchen preparing a special meal for family or friends.
As meat roasting goes, cooking a saddle of lamb is pretty simple. However, for easy slicing some say it’s best to remove the backbone before you cook it as it creates the perfect cavity to stuff it with herbs, breadcrumbs and seasoning. I say it’s much easier to just cook the lamb saddle whole, with the bone in . . . having made incisions with a sharp knife on each side of the backbone (see photos below) creating just enough space for herbs and seasoning and if you want a little extra butter! This way, when cooked, the meat can easily be removed from the saddle and served up with veggies, hearty greens or salads for a complete meal.
In my family we normally roast the baby potatoes alongside the meat but on special occasions we roast the saddle separately and serve it with caramelized potatoes (see tips below) and fresh seasonal veggies and/or salads.
Now for those who can’t live without sauces with your meat, like many in my family, I suggest sautéing some mushrooms in butter and/or oil and cooking them with a bit of stock with seasoning of your choice. Thicken the sauce a wee bit with cornstarch or another thickening agent and bring to boil. Now whisk in some heavy cream (whipping cream) to make the sauce extra luscious and totally irresistible!
Try it and you’ll understand what I’m talking about . . . as long as you like mushroom cream sauces!
Recipe for Oven Roasted Saddle of Lamb with Baby Potatoes
1 whole lamb saddle (bone in) - also known as the double loin or double rack of lamb
Olive oil, salt and ground pepper
Fresh rosemary, thyme or sage (or a mixture), to taste
Unpeeled golden or red skin Baby potatoes
Before cooking, make sure to take the saddle of lamb out of the fridge at least an hour before cooking to bring it to room temperature
Once ready to cook, heat the oven to 180°C - 190°C /350°F-375°
Place the saddle of lamb into large roasting tin and with a sharp knife, make incisions alongside the backbone on both sides.
Rub the meat with olive oil, salt and ground pepper and stick the fresh rosemary, or if you prefer fresh thyme, sage or mixture, into the small cuts next to bone.
For those who like it roasted with butter, add a few slithers or chunks to meat. Instead of the oil, if preferred, use melted butter.
Place the baby potatoes into roasting tin (around meat) and drizzle them with a bit of oil and seasoning but without herbs! Add a little tap water to roasting pan and place the meat with potatoes into a hot oven for about 1 – 1 ½ hour ( depending on size of saddle ) or until the core temperature reaches 60°C/140°F. . . or to your taste!
While the meat and the potatoes are roasting, I like to take the pan out of the oven once or twice and to give it a quick shake to move the potatoes around a bit for a more even cooking. Simultaneously, I make sure the roasting pan isn’t dry and if needed, I add a bit of water.
Once the meat is cooked to your liking, remove from oven and place the cooked lamb saddle on a warm plate to rest, uncovered, for about 15 – 20 minutes before serving.
In my family, for easy serving, we normally remove the meat from the bone as slicing the meat at the table can get a bit messy . . . but then again, sometimes that’s part of the fun . . . especially when eating outside in the garden on a warm sunny day!
To make caramelized potatoes you will need pre-cooked and peeled potatoes at room temperature, castor sugar, butter and salt, to taste.
Normally I caramelize the potatoes while the meat is resting, always having cooked and peeled the potatoes ahead of time. So when ready, just place sugar into a large deep skillet and melt stirring continuously. When melted, add a spoonful or two of butter and mix carefully . . . until you have a nice caramel consistency. Now add the potatoes and with a wooden spoon, turn potatoes in the caramel butter until evenly coated and thoroughly warmed. Serve immediately.
For more Icelandic/Greek lamb and various other recipes check the Cook section on my other website. Here is a link: https://www.cook-eat-go.com/cook
© KaritasM - October 2021