This is a firm favourite in our home, and perfect for this time of year. In fact if you head to one of our local farmers’ markets, I am sure that you’ll be able to pick up most of the fresh ingredients, including the lamb, directly from the people who grow them. You know me, I love to support local, to have a chat to the people who grow the food that we eat, and then to bring the produce home, cook it and eat it.
I discovered this recipe in one of my French cooking magazines, Cuisine Actuelle, some time ago, and then promptly forgot about it. Flicking through my lamb scrap book recently, I was delighted to rediscover the recipe.
Here, beautiful lean lamb backstrap (from Forge Creek Lamb) is coated in a simple blend of olive oil, sumac and crushed garlic (fresh from our garden) and then set aside to marinate for a couple of hours before being cooked in a hot pan. Once rested, the lamb is sliced to reveal the succulent, rose coloured centre, ready to become the star of the show in this delicious salad.
As usual, I just can’t help myself, and have adjusted the recipe to suit our tastes, including the addition of olives and capers. I also swap the cherry tomatoes out for slow roasted Roma tomatoes if I feel like it.
- 2 lamb backstraps/eye of loin each approx 20cm/8 inches long
- 2 tbsp 40ml olive oil
- 2 tsp sumac
- 1 clove of garlic
- 100 ml muscat
- 12 chat potatoes washed and quartered
- 250 g green beans
- 10 cherry tomatoes halved
- 10 kalamata olives pitted and halved
- 2 tsp baby capers rinsed
- 2 tbsp Greek yoghurt
- 1 lemon
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Combine the sumac, garlic and olive oil in a dish, add the lamb and toss to coat. Cover and place in the refrigerator for two hours.
Place the yoghurt together with 2 tsp lemon juice into a small dish and mix to combine. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
Steam the chat potatoes for 15 minutes, adding the beans for the final 7 minutes, seasoning with a little salt to taste.
Heat a non-stick frying pan over medium high heat, add the lamb and cook for 8-10 minutes, turning half way through the cooking, until cooked to your liking. Remove the lamb from the pan and set aside to rest.
Deglaze the pan with the muscat and keep warm.
Cut the lamb into 1-2 cm slices
Arrange the potatoes, beans and cherry tomatoes on individual serving plates, top with the lamb and drizzle over the muscat sauce. Scatter over the olives and capers and serve with a flourish of the yoghurt sauce.
- Inspired by a recipe from Cuisine Actuelle No 268, April 2013, p.47
Until next time…
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