This recipe is sponsored by Shepherd Song Farm.
The lamb loin, also called a saddle, contains meat from the three most prized cuts, equivalent to the T-bone, porterhouse and tenderloin in beef. The famous tenderloin lies protected under the backbone and is a very small strip. The loin meats are delicately marbled, with an elegant flavor that brings a note of luxury to any meal. The fat of grass fed lambs should taste clean and fresh.
In this recipe, the backbone will be removed (see steps in video) leaving the meat to be rolled and tied before grilling. The result is a very tender roast, easy to carve and with a minimal amount of fat. With no bones and a nice cylindrical shape, can be easily sliced into medallions and served. It is perfect to enhance a special occasion.
LAMB LOIN ROAST: HERBED AND ROLLED
Photo, video, and recipe by Ben Spangler
1 Loin roast untrimmed (or loin saddle)
20 fingerling potatoes
1 small sunchoke (Jerusalem artichoke)
1 garlic clove
a large handful each of sage, rosemary, and parsley
1 cup watercress
3 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon olive oil or enough to coat the pan
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
Prepare the herbs:
1. Remove large stems from herbs and finely chop leaves. You should have about 6 tablespoons of mixed herbs. Set aside.
2. Chop and mince garlic. Finely dice shallot. You should have 1 teaspoon of each. Set aside.
3. Discard green parts of leeks, and thinly slice remaining whites into small rings. Set aside.
Prepare the roast:
1. While preparing the loin roast, boil potatoes on medium heat until tender. Drain potatoes and allow to cool to room temperature.
2. Trim extra fat from the bottom of the loin. Remove tenderloins (on both sides of the backbone) and retain.
3. Using a boning knife, separate the backbone from the loin eye. Do not separate the 2 halves at the center of the backbone. Then carefully remove the backbone from the meat resulting in 1 boneless piece of meat (see boning video).
4. Season the inside surface with salt, pepper, 5 tablespoons of the chopped herbs, and the shallots and garlic. Roll and tie with 100 percent cotton string. Season the exterior with salt and pepper.
5. Grill lamb saddle with indirect heat, and move coals as needed to allow a consistent temperature and good caramelization. Slow cook — don’t rush.
6. When the internal temperature reaches 120°F for rare or 130°F for medium to medium rare, remove from grill and allow to rest.
Finish and Serve:
1. While meat rests, heat a cast iron skillet.
2. Cut the cooked potatoes in half.
3. Set the pan over a medium high heat source. Add olive oil to the pan to coat. Add a tablespoon of butter, and sear and caramelize the potatoes. Add the remaining tablespoon of the herb mixture, the leeks, and salt and pepper to taste, and slowly cook the mixture.
4. When leeks are tender, add the last tablespoon of butter and then add watercress. Using a vegetable peeler or mandoline, slice the sunchoke onto the potatoes. Mix together, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.
5. Drizzle meat and potatoes with additional oil and fresh parsley.
For a visual overview of the full recipe, please see our video on YouTube.
Each Friday, this list will track five of the best things Heavy Table’s writers, editors, and photographers have recently bitten or sipped. Have a suggestion for the Hot Five? Email email@example.com.
The Hot Five is a weekly feature created by the Heavy Table and supported by Shepherd Song Farm.
Meat Pie from Heirloom
We’ve never had a meat pie like this before. But we’ll definitely have it again. The combination of cracker crust, shredded chicken and pork, fruit, mustard, and pickled green tomatoes is delicious, balanced, and soulful. And the pie is just so damn adorable.
[Debuting on the Hot Five | From an upcoming review by Joshua Page]
Chocolate Raspberry Bismarck from Taste of Love Bakery
The Chocolate Raspberry Bismarck from Taste of Love Bakery in West St. Paul is not filled with curd or even jam — it’s filled with tart, macerated berries. The berry flavor is intensely bright and sour, in contrast to the ganache frosting. A welcome — and affordable — departure from the typical filled pastry.
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Submitted by Paige Latham]
Barrel-Aged Silhouette Imperial Stout from Lift Bridge Brewery
It was a surprise to encounter one of the world’s best fruitcakes in liquid form, but that’s exactly what happened when we tried this year’s edition of the bourbon-barrel-aged imperial stout known as Silhouette. The monks of the Holy Transfiguration Skete on Lake Superior’s Keweenaw Peninsula make a confection called Abbey Cake, a dense, molasses-based, bourbon-soaked, dried-fruit-studded wonder that lasts just about forever when wrapped in cheesecloth and sealed in plastic, and it always tastes like a rich, funky dream. Silhouette takes many of those flavors (notably the molasses and dried fruit, plus the pleasantly boozy kick of bourbon) and translates them into a drinkable, 10 percent ABV dream. Best served approaching room temperature so all those lovely cocoa and spice notes express themselves fully.
[Last Week on the Hot Five: #1 | Submitted by James Norton]
BBQ Pork Banh Mi at Ha Tien Deli
Easily one of our favorite banh mis on University Avenue, and we’ve tried a few: It arrives wrapped in tinfoil and stuffed with great jalapeno heat, tons of cilantro flavor, and the crowning glory of big pieces of pork. The meat is rich in fatty flavor and a bit of char, touched with sweetness but not overly sauced, and uniformly tender.
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Submitted by James Norton in advance of the Green Line Checklist series]
Adapted Tarte Tatin with Gjetost
The recipe is pretty simple: Fill one cast iron pan with quartered apples, butter, and sugar. Top with a crust, heat until bubbling, and then melt thin strips of the caramel-like Scandinavian cheese called gjetost for a dessert that is easy, primal, and delicious.
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Submitted by James Norton]
The post is sponsored by Mississippi Market. As Valentine’s Day approaches, our Giftable series features a range of food- and drink-related items.
Mississippi Market’s Chocolate Tasting & Gift Fair
Saturday, Feb. 13
11 a.m.–3 p.m.
All three St. Paul locations:
740 E 7th St
622 Selby Ave
1500 W 7th St
Are you a chocolate lover or someone in need of a unique Valentine’s Day gift? Try something sweet at Mississippi Market’s Chocolate Tasting & Gift Fair! Mississippi Market’s annual sampling and educational event highlights local and artisan chocolates and gifts to celebrate Valentine’s Day.
The Chocolate Tasting & Gift Fair offers you a chance to taste some of our favorite artisanal chocolates, to shop for fair trade and local Valentine’s Day gifts, make valentines with your kids, win prizes, and enjoy a number of limited-time-only sales at all three Mississippi Market locations.
While supplies last, shoppers receive a FREE goodie bag full of chocolate and body care samples with any purchase of $50 or more! The West 7th Street location will also have a harpist for shoppers to enjoy from noon-2 p.m.
About Mississippi Market Natural Foods Co-op:
Mississippi Market Natural Foods Co-op has been offering local, organic food at a fair price to its St. Paul neighbors for more than 35 years. As a consumer-owned grocery store and Certified Organic Retailer, Mississippi Market provides high-quality, fair-priced goods and services, and works toward a sustainable local economy and global environment.
We first learned of Dot’s Pretzels of North Dakota when compiling our annual Holiday Gift Guide late last year. The shop at the American Swedish Institute carried them, which didn’t seem like a logical choice for a gift shop focused on Swedish heritage, but the cashier told us that regardless of Swedish relevance they were flying out of the store.
And still are. A recent visit to buy more pretzels ($8 for a 1-pound bag) after we ate the first test batch — because, you know, eating one pound of pretzels wasn’t quite enough proof of how delicious they were, so we thought it prudent to buy two more pounds just to be sure — found that people are just as crazy about them after the holidays as they were before. While carrying around two bags of pretzels and looking at other items, we were stopped twice by shoppers wanting to know where the pretzels were, and the cashier told us that someone had purchased six bags earlier that day.
What’s the deal with Dot’s? They’re crazy addictive, that’s what. The little twisty sticks pack a bit of a punch, with a complex flavor reminiscent of ranch dressing (no doubt due to the buttermilk) as well as garlic, onion, and what tastes like cayenne and black pepper (buried under “spices” on the ingredient label). They’re generously salted, and have a good crunch and a slightly denser center than the run-of-the-mill pretzel, with the spicier flavors coming in after a few bites. By “spicy,” we’re talking Minnesota nice (or maybe North Dakota nice?), so not at all overwhelming, just a little afterburn. They’re a much better version of the various homemade ranch pretzel recipes in that the flavor is baked in, rather than just coating the outside.
The Swedish Institute was not sure how long they would continue to carry the pretzels, so it’s best to call ahead. If they don’t have them, you can check the where-to-buy list on Dot’s website. At the time of this writing, the only other Twin Cities locations on the list were the Methodist Hospital Gift Shop in St. Louis Park and Nicollet Ace Hardware in Minneapolis. (Yes, Dot’s has an eclectic array of retail outlets.) There are quite a few outstate areas that sell them, and you can also order them from the Dot’s website. If you’re going with the latter, take our advice: Order the 2-pound party bag. You won’t regret it.
The post is sponsored by Nordic Ware. As Valentine’s Day approaches, our Giftable series features a range of food- and drink-related items.
What is it? The Tiered Heart Cakelet pan, a downsized version of Nordic Ware’s popular Tiered Heart Bundt pan. These cakelets are sized to please.
Who’s it a good gift for? Baker friends who want to share their dessert love in miniature form or who just can’t decide which decorating style they love best.
Where’s it available? The Nordic Ware Factory Store, 4925 Highway 7 / Minnesota 25, St. Louis Park, MN 55416