Roast saddle of lamb with basil and mustard

A great recipe for a special occasion, this one will keep even the most gourmet of guests happy.

Saddle of lamb is an underrated cut that is well worth trying. More tender than leg, more flavoursome than chops, the meat is exceptional. And it is easily deboned and stuffed – here with mustard. If you have trouble finding the Savora and violette de Brive French speciality mustards, you can substitute any mild mustard, such as Dijon. 

Ingredients
For the saddle:
* 1 x 600g saddle of lamb, deboned (ask your butcher to do this for you)
* 120g white breadcrumbs
* 2 tsp Savora mustard
* 2 tsp violette de Brive mustard
* ¼ bunch of basil
* splash of groundnut (peanut) oil
* 25g salted butter
* fine sea salt, fleur de sel, freshly ground pepper

For the chard gratin:
* 3 bunches of Swiss chard (silverbeet)
* splash of olive oil
* 15g salted butter
* 100ml vegetable stock
* 20g grated parmesan
* 70g very ripe goat’s cheese
* 70g fresh sheep’s cheese
* 80ml single (pouring) cream
* fine sea salt, freshly ground pepper

Method
1. For the stuffing: open the saddle widthways, season, then scatter over the breadcrumbs. Spread the mustard all over the meat and strew with the basil leaves. Roll up and tie with kitchen string.

2. For the chard gratin: put the green leaves of the chard to one side. Trim the white stalks, wash in cold water and cut into pieces 3cm/ 1¼in long and 5mm/ ¼in wide. Season with fine sea salt.

3. Heat the olive oil and butter in a frying pan and, when the butter is foaming, add the trimmed chard stems. Stir to coat them in the oil and butter, then cook for two minutes. Add the vegetable stock and cook for another six minutes, until the chard is meltingly soft.

4. Drain, then place in the bottom of a gratin dish. Mix together all the cheeses and cream, then pour half of this mixture into the dish. Boil the chard greens for two to three minutes in salted water, drain well then add to the gratin dish. Pour over the rest of the cheese and cream mixture.

5. Cooking the saddle: heat the peanut oil and butter in an ovenproof frying pan, then add the saddle and colour it on all sides. Transfer to an oven preheated to 180°C (350°F; gas mark 4) and cook for six to seven minutes, basting every so often. Remove from the oven and leave to rest for 10 minutes.

6. Plating up: preheat an overhead grill (broiler). Reheat the saddle for a few minutes in the oven and quickly brown the gratin under the grill until golden. Untie the saddle and cut into slices, then sprinkle with fleur de sel. Serve immediately, with the chard gratin.

More Scook recipes:

Scook by Anne Sophie Pic, £40 Jacqui Small


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