Recipe - whole saddle of lamb with black pudding & spinach
My recipe exemplifies how careful butchery and preparation can pay off in bounds, creating a dish that is full of flavour without using too many outlandish ingredients.
The thin layer of fat used to wrap up the saddle helps to infuse the loins and fillets with flavour from the outside, while the black pudding seasons the meat from the inside.
1. Firstly, remove the outer skin from the lamb (you could also get your butcher to perform this preparation for you). It is important that it comes off, as it is tough.
2. Extremely carefully, and using a sharp knife, take the whole saddle off the bone (again your butcher can do this for you, but you must emphasise to him that you want it with no holes through the middle of the saddle).
3. Remove the kidneys (these can be kept and used on their own) and take off the little fillets. Turn over the lamb so you can work on the skin side.
4. Working really carefully, remove the skin and layers of the outer fat to leave as thin a layer as you can - 1/2cm is perfect. The aim is to end up with a really thin layer of fat measuring about 32.5 x 23cm (13 x 9 inches) to wrap up the loins and stuffing - do not pierce this layer.
5. Trim off any fat or sinew from the loins and lay side by side lengthways along the centre of the piece of fat.
6. Quickly blanch the spinach in boiling salted water for 2 minutes, then refresh immediately under cold water, pat dry and lay out on a clean tea towel.
7. Next, lay the spinach leaves over the loins, making sure to cover both of the loins. Place the black puddings in between the 2 loins, stretching out if necessary so it fills the full length of the loins.
8. Lay the fillets on top of the black pudding. Roll the whole joint up and tie very tightly at 2.5cm (1 inch) intervals with butchers' string. This can now be kept for up to 48 hours in the fridge.
9. Preheat the oven to 190°C/gas mark 5.
10. Place a large heavy-based frying pan over a medium-high heat. Once hot, add the oil followed by the butter and allow to foam. Season the lamb and add to the pan, turning to seal and brown all over.
11.Transfer to the oven and cook for 25-30 minutes. Remove and rest in a warm place for an additional 10 minutes, then slice into rounds and serve with seasonal greens.
1 whole saddle of lamb, on the bone with kidneys and fillet underneath.
225g of large spinach leaves, picked from stalks.
2 black pudding sausages, skins removed.
3 tbsp of sunflower oil.
25g of butter.
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