The loin is one of the most highly prized lamb cuts – exquisitely tender and flavorful. Here we’ve paired elegant alpine origin merino with mint, roasted eggplant cubes, and romesco – a Spanish sauce made from herbs, toasted nuts, garlic and peppers.
Servings: 4-6 Drink Pairing: Garnacha Wine
4 Alpine Origin Merino Loin Fillets
1 slice of artisan-style Bread
1 large Eggplant
¼ C Sherry Vinegar
1-2 t Chile Flake
½ t Honey
3 cloves of Garlic
¼ C Almonds
2 Jarred Roasted Bell Peppers, drained
4 Roma Tomatoes
¼ C Hazelnuts, peeled
½ C Extra Virgin Olive Oil, plus extra for roasting eggplant
Salt & Pepper
Garnish: Fresh Mint
1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
2. Get an empty frying pan hot over medium heat. Add the hazelnuts and almonds. Toast them, tossing or stirring frequently, until they start to smell nutty. Take the frying pan off the stove and let them cool.
3. In a separate pan, fry the bread slice in oil until it’s crispy and golden brown. Remove it from the oil and put it on a paper towel to drain off any excess oil.
4. Cut the top off the eggplant. Dice the eggplant into half inch cubes.
Toss the cubes in extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper. Put a sheet of parchment paper on a baking pan. Spread the eggplant cubes out on the paper.
5. Roast the eggplant cubes in the oven until they turn light brown on the edges, then remove them from the heat and reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees.
6. Use a blender or food processor to turn the garlic cloves, parsley, paprika, roasted peppers, chile flakes, sherry vinegar, tomatoes, nuts and fried bread into a paste. Then continue to blend, while drizzling in the ½ cup of olive oil, until a sauce forms.
7. Trim any silverskin off of the loin fillets.
Optional: use butchers twine to tie the fillets and draw it tight to form the meat into pieces of more uniform thickness (so it will cook more evenly).
Season the fillets with salt and pepper.
8. Place the loin fillets in a hot, oiled frying pan over medium high heat and cook until the bottom has been seared to a brown crust. Then move the frying pan to the oven and roast them to your desired level of doneness.
They will likely cook more quickly than conventional lamb. For example, an internal temperature of 110 degrees should yield medium rare after resting.
9. Put the meat on a plate, loosely cover it with aluminum foil, and let the fillets rest for ten minutes.
10. Slice the loin fillets. Serve them with the romesco sauce, roasted eggplant cubes, and fresh mint leaves.