For this week’s recipe, we’re using an exceptional meat from Spain: Ibérico lamb. Normally Ibérico is known for the distinctive flavours and breed of the Black Iberian pig (we have a recipe using Ibérico Pork on our blog if you want to have a look). It’s these pigs that produce the most succulent ham and charcuterie.
But this ancient breed of lamb also gets the Ibérico name and is considered by many the best in the world. About 10 years ago, the reknowned Paul Bocusse tried this meat, and it only took about 3 weeks for him to have it on the menus of all his restaurants across the world. He coined this meat the ‘Kobe of the Lambs’.
This particular lamb breed is fed only with breast milk, corn and sunflower seeds. Due to its specific diet, it has an impressive fat infiltration that is not not common in lamb meat.
With a product as incredible as this, we wanted to keep it simple and let the meat be the protagonist, so we’ve combined it with classic partners for lamb – butter beans, yoghurt and mint.
We’re using the loin of the animal, which has a fine layer of fat which will perfectly caramelise and give crispiness and texture to our roast. Normally lamb benefits from a medium cooking point more than rare, but this meat allows us to treat it as beef due to its tenderness. As always, this recipe is brought to you via our Executive Chef Fran Martinez.
400g Lamb loin
240g butter beans
80g natural yoghurt
1tsp Maldon salt
8 cherry tomatoes
1 garlic clove
100ml Sunflower/Rapeseed oil
50g fresh mint
For the mint oil:
Blanch the mint in boiling water for 45 seconds, then place in iced water to stop the cooking. Remove from the iced water and tap dry. Place the mint into a blender with the oil for about 20/25 seconds, then strain through a cheesecloth or a very fine strainer.
Note: You can keep this in the fridge for 7 to 10 days.
For the beans and yoghurt puree:
Drain the butter beans and keep the water. Add them to a blender and add the yoghurt, lemon juice and salt. Blend until you get a smooth puree. You can add water from the beans if you prefer it slightly thinner.
If you wish, you can prepare the puree in advance. Just remember to keep it refrigerated and then simply reheat on the day.
For the meat:
It is completely your choice how to cook the meat. As Fran always advises, take the meat out of the fridge about 1 hour prior cooking at least, so it relaxes and therefore enhances flavours when cooking.
Firstly, pre-heat your oven to 160 degrees celsius. Then heat a non-stick pan and place the meat in the pan once the pan is smoking hot, fat side down.
You can add a bit of pressure with your fingers, as we are looking to sear the cap of the fat quickly. To avoid burning it, searing should be done within a minute, ensuring you sear both sides of the loin, finishing with the fat side up.
Place the lamb in the oven (in the same pan, if possible). Fran suggests 6 minutes for medium rare, and about 8/9 minutes for medium. You can add the cherry tomatoes in too at this point.
Once finished, take the lamb out from the oven and leave it to rest for 4 to 5 minutes before slicing.
Serving up your dish
To plate up, reheat the butter beans puree and place on your chosen crockery. Use the juices from the roasting pan and pour them over the puree for extra flavour.
The final and most important part… gently place your succulent sliced Ibérico lamb on the bed of butter beans and add the roasted tomatoes. Finish with a drizzle of mint oil and Maldon salt.