Bring on the meat! This post is for the serious meat lover, it features a lamb saddle that is stuffed with a beef tenderloin and a ground meat stuffing made with veal and pork. I served this for a private banquet made up of a group of gourmets who enjoy exquisite dining experiences. After the dinner was over the group asked for me to come out into the dining room where they gave me an enthusiastic round of applause. If you prepare this dish you too will receive this type of response; however only the serious home cook or professional chef should attempt this preparation. It is a complicated procedure using expensive cuts. When done it is truly a carnivore’s dream.
Begin with a lamb saddle. Certified American lamb is what I used for this dinner.
This primal cut of bone-in lamb is cut from the carcass between the rack and hind legs, which includes the strip loin and the tenderloin. The first step is to break it down into the usable parts by de-boning the meat by cutting through the inside of the saddle. Basically flip it over and first remove the two rib bones, then the tenderloin and finally the back bone, leaving the strip loins intact. The finished piece should be boneless and in one large square piece. Next trim any excess fat from the skirt (flap below the strip loin) and then use a meat hammer to pound out the skirt on both sides of the loin. Lastly trim the the tenderloins and place them next to the strip loins inside of the saddle and cut up the bones with a large cleaver; then roast them. These bones will be used to make the lamb Bordalaise Sauce. For more on lamb recipes and techniques for cooking go to the American Lamb Board website
The next step is to prepare a stuffing (called a force meat in culinary jargon). To be more specific, this type of force meat is known as straight force meat. It is made from one part lean veal, half a part of fatty pork and half a part of pork back fat, all marinated in brandy, thyme, tarragon, shallots and ground black pepper. Once marinated (preferably over night) the chilled meat is passed through a ice cold meat grinder two times and then pureed in a food processor with salt and a small amount of egg white.
The next step is to fabricate (technical term for cutting or butchering meat into usable portions) a beef tenderloin by removing the fat, chain meat and silver skin. The clean tenderloin is then seasoned with salt and pepper and seared off in a hot pan. It is then chilled and cut to the length of the lamb saddle.
Once the force meat and tenderloin are ready the next step is to is season the saddle with salt and pepper and then cover it with a thin layer of force meat. The tenderloin is then in-layed in the center of the saddle; then rolled up tightly and wrapped with caul fat ( the stomach fat from pork). Lastly, it is tied up with butchers twine (the culinary term for this is known as trussing) as in the photo below.
The boneless stuffed saddle is then seared off in a hot pan and placed onto a roasting rack and roasted in a 350 F degree oven to an internal temperature in the middle of the beef tenderloin to 115 to 120 F.
After the roast is cooked make sure to let it rest for at least 20 minutes and then remove all of the butchers twine.
Slice the saddle and serve! For this dinner I served it on a bed of sliced roasted Fingerling potatoes with an array of seasonal vegetables and morel mushrooms on a carrot puree with lamb Bordalaise sauce.