Saddle of lamb stuffed with ratatouille
- Preparation and cooking time
- A challenge
- Serves 6
Lamb and ratatouille were made for each other, and this is the dish to make when autumn vegetables are at their peak
For the ratatouille
For the lamb
- STEP 1
First make the ratatouille. Heat 3 tbsp olive oil in a large frying pan. Add the onion, peppers, aubergine and courgette. Season with salt and pepper, then sizzle for 10 mins, tossing occasionally. Add the tomatoes, garlic, basil and tomato purée, plus a drop more oil if the pan is dry. Sprinkle over the sugar, add the vinegar and continue to cook for 5 mins more. Tip into a bowl and leave to cool slightly.
- STEP 2
Open out the saddle of lamb and remove the 2 small, loose fillets of meat. Make a cut into each fillet, but do not completely cut them in two. Open them up and flatten them out, then set aside.
- STEP 3
Place the saddle on a board, skin-side down, and season with salt and pepper. Spoon about one-quarter of the ratatouille down the gap in the centre between the main fillets of meat, then lay the 2 flattened smaller fillets over the ratatouille.
- STEP 4
Lift one of the flaps up and over the meat and ratatouille, then repeat with the other flap to make a neatly packaged joint. Place the joint, flap-side down, on the board ready to be tied.
- STEP 5
Using a good 3m length of butcher’s string, tie the meat around the width twice. Secure with a knot but do not trim. Use the long piece of string to make a loop, then pull it over the lamb like a lasso. Pull to secure, but not too tightly. Repeat 6 times at even intervals along the joint. Flip the joint over and weave the string through the loops on the bottom of the joint. Tie the string and trim with scissors. You are now ready to roast your lamb.
- STEP 6
Heat oven to 240C/220C fan/gas 9. Put the lamb in a roasting dish and drizzle with oil. Season generously, then roast, undisturbed, for 20 mins. Lower oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6 and continue to roast for 40 mins. Remove the lamb and leave to rest for 30 mins.
- STEP 7
Cut off the string, pour the roasting juices into a bowl, then remove the lamb to a board. Spoon off all the fat and, if needed, reheat the juices in a pan. If the remaining ratatouille is cold, reheat in the microwave. Dress the salad in a drizzle more oil and plate up.
- STEP 8
Neatly carve the lamb into slices about 3cm thick. Carefully lift the slices and place onto warmed plates. Use a couple of tablespoons to shape 2 quenelles of ratatouille and place them next to the lamb. Pile a few dressed salad leaves between the lamb and ratatouille. Serve straight away with the roasting juices on the side.
SADDLE OF LAMB
Once boned, the saddle is a lean cut that consists of both loins or fillets left attached to the skin and the two small fillets cut away. Ask your butcher to bone the saddle but leave the meat attached to the skin, and also leave the meat attached to the flaps – this should give you a similar piece of meat as I’ve used here. Ensure your butcher doesn’t over-trim the joint with the meat and the skin completely separated.
You can make the ratatouille and stuff and roll the lamb, up to a day ahead – keep both in the fridge until needed. If you do this, take the lamb out of the fridge for an hour before roasting to bring it to room temperature.