with roasted radish, beetroot, pickled red onion and mint
2 hours minimum pickling
45 minutes cooking
Sml/med lamb loin fillet
1 sml red onion
Red wine vinegar
Few beetroot leaves
Sml handful mint leaves
Salt & pepper to season
Firstly you will need to pre-prepare the pickled red onion; two hours of soaking or overnight is best. Slice the onion into thin discs, place in a small bowl and cover with red wine vinegar, then cover and transfer to the fridge to soak.
The beetroot is the other one that will take a little time. Place a pan of water to a simmer and and add the beetroot. It should take around 40-45 minutes to cook through.
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
For the lamb, place a frying pan on a medium to high heat with a little oil in. When hot, lightly season and sear the lamb loin fillet for a minute or two on each side.
Place the lamb on a roasting tray and place in the oven for 20 minutes for a medium. You can adjust the time to less for rare or a little longer if your fillet is bigger or like it well-done.
For the radishes, carefully slice into discs across the middle, keeping their shape as stacks as best you can. These stacks can then be placed, discarding the rounded bottom layer, on the same tray as the lamb for 10-15 minutes.
When the lamb is done to your liking, remove from the oven, cover, and let rest for ten minutes before calving.
When the beetroot is ready, remove from the simmering water and plunge into cold water for 30 seconds so that it is easy to handle. Peel off the outer layer, then slice the beetroot into cubes.
To serve, calve the lamb loin fillet into thick slices and dived over the two plates. Also divide the beetroot cubes and reddish stacks. Place 2-3 pickled red onion discs on each plate, then scatter over some beetroot and mint leaves followed by a little drizzle of oil if you wish.
A starter of lots of little bits; whether it is eaten as a succession of small bites or a few loaded up forks, the flavours really work well together in this dish. The strong flavoured mint and the pickled red onion definitely pack the punch needed to cut through the lamb.
Bits of lots…!
This is a little too fussy for me as a quick lunch or weeknight meal, but is exactly the kind of thing that I would prepare as a starter for a dinner with friends. With a little preparation to soak the onions the night before, and even cook the beetroot beforehand to be reheated just before serving, leavening only the lamb and radishes to bung in the oven at the time. A little extra thought and effort goes along way sometimes when entertaining.