- 50 g quince paste (see Note)
- 3 kg-piece lamb saddle, from the short loin, boned
- 60 ml (¼ cup) olive oil
- 1 lemon, halved, to serve
- 1 red onion, finely chopped
- 70 g (½ cup) caperberries, stems discarded, finely chopped
- 2 preserved lemon (see Note) quarters, flesh and pith removed, finely chopped
- 160 g (1 cup) dried currants or Craisins
- 80 g (½ cup) pine nuts
- 35 g (½ cup) fresh breadcrumbs
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1 bunch flat-leaf parsley, chopped
- 1 thyme sprig, leaves picked
- 1 rosemary sprig, leaves picked and chopped
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Resting time 30 minutes
Drink match 2012 Journey Wines Pinot Noir, Yarra Valley, Vic ($34)
A full saddle of lamb combines the backbone and loins from both sides of the lamb. As this cut can be hard to come by, pre-order it from your butcher, or substitute a 3 kg piece of lamb saddle from the short loin end, boned.
Michele sometimes cooks this dish in a covered barbecue, placing the lamb on a wire rack in a roasting pan; it takes about the same time as roasting in an oven.
Combine quince paste in a saucepan with 125 ml water. Stir over medium heat for 5 minutes until melted and smooth. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 220°C. To make stuffing, combine all ingredients in a bowl. Stuff mixture into the hollow of the lamb saddle and tie tightly with kitchen string at 2 cm intervals, making sure the filling stays inside.
Drizzle lamb with olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Roast, uncovered, for 15 minutes. Brush with quince syrup, then reduce oven to 180°C and roast for 1 hour and 10 minutes, brushing about every 15 minutes with the quince syrup and loosely covering with foil halfway through cooking. Lamb is ready when juices still run slightly pink after piercing through the thickest part with a metal skewer.
Allow lamb to rest for 30 minutes before slicing and serving with lemon halves.
• Quince paste and preserved lemons and are available from delis and specialist food shops.
Photography John Laurie
As seen in Feast magazine, November 2013, Issue 26. For more recipes and articles, pick up a copy of this month's Feast magazine or check out our great subscriptions offers here.