Stuffed Saddle of Lamb

Jean-Christophe Novelli's tender lamb is stuffed with a deliciously creamy spinach and roast garlic filling and roasted with aromatic herbs for a stylish main course
By Jean-Christophe Novelli
Stuffed Saddle of Lamb
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 6
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes plus 30 mins resting time
  • Effort: medium


For the lamb

  • 1 small saddle Welsh lamb, with kidneys (about 2 kg) boned. Ask your butcher to do this (keep the fillets and kidneys)
  • 2 pieces caul fat
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 6 banana shallots, halved lengthways
  • 1 heads garlic, halved crossways
  • 6 sprigs rosemary, soaked in water
  • 6 sprigs thyme, soaked in water
  • 6 small bay leaves, soaked in water

For the stuffing

  • 20 cloves garlic, halved, centres removed
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 900 g spinach
  • kidneys, from the lamb saddle, diced small
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 50 ml double cream


1. Preheat the oven to 200C/gas 6.

2. To make the stuffing: blanch the garlic for 1 minute in boiling water. Drain and wrap in foil with the butter, oil and salt and pepper to season. Roast for 30 minutes, and then crush the garlic flesh.

3. Blanch the spinach in boiling water until wilted. Drain well and rinse under cold running water. Squeeze dry and chop roughly.

4. Toss the kidneys in a non-stick pan for 15 seconds. Drain and mix with the spinach, egg yolks, cream, roasted garlic and season with salt and pepper.

5. Lay the boned saddle flat on a work surface, and season the canons (lamb loins) with salt and pepper. Spread some stuffing between them and place one of the reserved fillets on top. Cover the fillet with more stuffing.

6. Repeat with the second fillet, covering with more stuffing to make a double sandwich. Reserve any surplus stuffing to serve with the lamb.

7. Lift up one of the belly flaps and fold it over so that the canons sandwich the fillets and stuffing in the middle. Tuck in the end of the flap then repeat with the other side to make a neatly packaged roll. Rub all over with salt.

8. Preheat the oven to 220C/gas 7.

9. Wrap the rolled lamb in the caul fat: lay the lamb in the centre of 1 piece of caul fat, bring the sides up and over to enclose. Repeat with the second piece.

10. Tie with string at 8 regular intervals all the way along the saddle, starting in the middle. Do not tie too tightly or the stuffing will burst out of the ends. Season all over with salt and pepper.

11. Heat a roasting tin, add the olive oil and when hot add the saddle and cook quickly until golden brown on all sides. Add the shallots, garlic and herbs and roast in the oven for 30 minutes. Remove the saddle from the tin and place in a warm place to rest for 30 minutes.

12. To serve: remove the garlic, shallots and herbs and serve with gravy and new potatoes

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