A beautiful contrast to the coolness of the 2018 La Motte Cabernet Sauvignon, the delicious warm spices of Lebanon ensure this lamb noisette to not only be a taste sensation but also the definite highlight of your table.
Rolled whole lamb noisette with Lebanese flavours
Serves 8 - 10
1 medium-sized onion, peeled and quartered
30 g flat leaf parsley
20 g pistachios
20 g pine nuts
250 g lamb mince
salt and freshly milled black pepper to season
1 tsp baharat (see recipe below), plus 2 tbsp extra for the noisette
80 g Turkish apricots, chopped
40 g pipped green olives, chopped
½ tsp orange blossom water
1 whole lamb noisette, about 2.3 kg
18 vine leaves
juice of 1 lemon
whole head of garlic
2 red onions, peeled and halved
Place the onion and parsley in a food processor and pulse until fine. Dry roast the nuts in a pan and allow to cool. Chop roughly.
Place the lamb mince in a bowl, season with salt and pepper, and add the parsley and onion mixture, the nuts, the baharat (excluding the extra 2 tablespoons), the apricots and olives, and the orange blossom water. Using your hands, mix well. Refrigerate for 30 minutes while you prepare the rest.
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Wash the vine leaves. Bring a kettle to the boil.
Place the whole noisette on a large, flat working surface and unroll the meat. Season the inside with salt and pepper and rub one tablespoon of baharat onto the surface. Pour the boiling water into a wide bowl and dip one vine leaf into the water at a time to soften them slightly. Allow the water to drip off before beginning to pack the leaves onto the flat part of the meat, overlapping one another and forming at least two layers. Remove the mince mixture from the fridge, form a thick sausage and place that against the meaty saddle. Starting from the saddle part, roll the meat as tightly as possible and tie with string to keep it together. Now season the outside with salt and pepper and rub the last tablespoonful of baharat onto the roll.
Drizzle the bottom of a roasting pan with a little olive oil and place the roll in the dish. Add the red onions and cut the very top off the whole head of garlic and place it in the roasting dish. Drizzle the garlic and onion with a little olive oil and squeeze the lemon juice over the meat.
Place in the preheated oven for 90 minutes and then lower the heat to 150°C for another 60 minutes.
Serve with rice pilaf and generous glasses of 2018 La Motte Cabernet Sauvignon.
What is a whole noisette: Ask your butcher to cut this for you. The meat is removed from the ribs and kept whole with the saddle on one end - so, there is a flat surface with the thicker saddle. It is a delicious and unknown cut which is mostly served in individual portions and not whole.
Tip: When the vine leaves are big enough but still tender, pick them and freeze them, about 20 per bag, without washing them. Remove all the air and place flat in the freezer. When needed, remove from the freezer, allow to defrost, and wash well before using.
To make your own baharat: The word ‘baharat’ means ‘spices’ in Arabic. It is easy to make your own spice mixture, but make sure that the spices you use are fresh.
2 tsp ground nutmeg
2 tsp allspice
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp ground cardamom
Store in an airtight container.