What a coincidence it was during the week, when I caught the very last segment of The Hairy Bikers, a.k.a. Simon King and David Myers, on tour in Argentina. They were cooking Patagonian Lamb, and of even greater coincidence, I had two perfect lamb backstraps sitting in the fridge. The backstrap is sometimes called the eye of loin or or lamb sirloin or lamb fillet. It would have to be the most expensive cut of the sheep, way up there with the frenched loin cutlets, so it's not something you would buy everyday, it's more of a delicacy, at least it is in this house.
I had to improvise with this recipe slightly, as I couldn't source dried porcini mushrooms; I just couldn't find them anywhere, so used plain old ordinary sliced button mushrooms. I'm sure the porcini would have added even deeper flavour to the dish, but it was still good. I also substituted prosciutto parma ham for the pancetta, but you can still use a good quality, thinly sliced bacon. I also added some semi-sundried tomatoes to the paste.
Served with balsamic roasted root vegetable salad, consisting of parsnips, swede, carrot, beetroot and potato, smothered in balsamic vinegar, this made a very impressive dinner. Scott from Real Epicurean is this weeks host of Weekend Herb Blogging #97. How good is this event to be going so strongly after nearly two years, and still gathering momentum? Congratulations Kalyn.
20g/¾oz dried porcini mushrooms
2 x 225g/8oz lamb loin fillets
2 tsp red wine vinegar
1 onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
½ tsp dried oregano
½ tsp sugar
½ tsp salt, or to taste
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
250g/9oz streaky bacon or pancetta or prosciutto
1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.
2. Soak the porcini mushrooms in hot water for 20 minutes, then chop, discarding the liquid.
3. Trim any sinew from the loin fillets and set aside.
4. Place the chopped porcini into a food processor with the remaining ingredients, except the lamb and bacon, and blend to form a paste.
5. Place half of the bacon rashers side by side on a chopping board to form a sheet. Place one lamb fillet over the rashers at one end, so it can be rolled up.
6. Spread half the paste evenly over the top of the fillet. Then roll the fillet, wrapping it up in the bacon sheet.
7. Repeat the process with the second fillet.
8. Place the two fillets in a roasting tin, making sure the rasher ends are tucked under the fillet.
9. Transfer to the oven and roast for 15 minutes for medium-rare meat, 20 minutes for medium and 25 minutes for well done. Remove from the oven and set aside to rest for 5-10 minutes.