Roast Saddle of Lamb with Southern Herb Sauce

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • (Serves

    8–12

    )

Appears in

A saddle of English or Welsh lamb for a large dinner party is so easy to do and yet always impressive and very delicious. My husband maintains that the French way of carving it in long thin strips down the length of the joint instead of across is much the best. A saddle can feed up to about 12 people but I usually do one for 8 or 10 and we have scraps of meat left over for the children next day. This is a way of roasting and flavouring a saddle which is meant to bring to you the smell and feeling of those dry hillsides in Greece and the South of France where thyme and oregano grow wild among the bright flowering cistus.

Ingredients

  • 1 saddle English or Welsh lamb
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 clove of garlic – crushed
  • about 1 tablespoon thyme leaves – fresh if possible
  • about 1 tablespoon oregano leaves
  • salt, black pepper
  • olive oil

For the Sauce

  • 1 oz butter (25 g)
  • 1 oz cornflower (25 g)
  • ½ pint milk (275 ml)
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon thyme leaves
  • 1 tablespoon oregano leaves
  • 1 clove garlic – crushed
  • juices from the meat

Method

Prepare the joint in advance. Put the lamb in a roasting pan. Squeeze the juice from the lemon, reserving the lemon skin. Mix the juice with a little olive oil, the garlic, salt and black pepper. Rub the lamb all over with this mixture. Sprinkle the herbs on the underside and in any cracks. Rub the top of the joint with a little olive oil and salt. Cut the lemon skin up roughly into quarters and place the pieces on the underside of the joint. Cover the pan with a cloth and leave at room temperature for several hours or overnight. Heat the oven to Gas 4 (350°F/180°C) and roast the joint in the centre of the oven for about 20–25 minutes per pound basting occasionally.

Melt the butter in a saucepan. Remove from the heat and blend in the cornflour. Stir in ½ pint milk (275 ml) and bring to the boil, stirring. Season with salt, black pepper, the crushed garlic and the herbs. Simmer gently for 2–3 minutes. When the meat is done pour off the excess fat and stir the remaining juices into the sauce. Remove from the heat and thoroughly stir in the egg yolk before serving with the roast meat.

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