Skillet-Roasted Lamb Loins with Herbs
- ACTIVE: 40 MIN
- TOTAL TIME: 1 HR
- SERVINGS: 8
Cathal Armstrong's family always celebrated the end of Lent with lamb, and preparing the meal became an all-day event that left the adults "snoring on the couch." Cathal's preparation for lamb nowadays isn't exhausting at all: He rubs the loins with herbs, garlic and shallots, then ties them up, sears them and finishes them in the oven. The result is succulent, delicately flavored meat.
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 large shallot, minced
- 1 teaspoon minced rosemary
- 1 teaspoon minced sage
- 1 teaspoon minced marjoram
- 1 teaspoon minced thyme
- 2 boneless lamb loins with tenderloins attached (about 3 pounds), thin layer of fat and rib apron left on, at room temperature
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- In a small bowl, combine 2 tablespoons of the oil with the garlic, shallot and herbs. Lay the loins on a work surface, fat side down, and season with salt and pepper. Spread the herb paste all over the lamb. Roll each loin over the tenderloin and rib apron to make a neat roulade. With butcher's twine, tie the meat at 1-inch intervals. Season the lamb with salt and pepper.
- Preheat the oven to 350°. In a 12-inch skillet (preferably cast-iron), heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil until shimmering. Add the lamb loins and cook over moderate heat, turning, until browned all over, about 20 minutes total.
- Transfer the skillet to the oven and roast the loins for 10 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part registers 125°. Transfer the loins to a carving board to rest for 10 minutes.
- Cut off the strings. Carve the loins into 1-inch-thick slices and serve.
This lamb could pair successfully with many red wines. Its fragrant crust, though, makes Pinot Noir a particularly good option, especially Pinot from Oregon's Willamette Valley, which tends to be more herbal and delicate than California Pinot.