Bacon-wrapped Lamb Loin with Apricot & Maple Chilli Sauce

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Bacon-wrapped Lamb Loin with Apricot & Maple Chilli Sauce

Ready in 5 hours. Serves 4-6.

Ingredients

  • 400g lamb loin or backstrap, trimmed of excess fat
  • 1 spring onion
  • Leaves from 2 large sprigs mint
  • Leaves from 1 rosemary sprig
  • Leaves from 4 sprigs thyme
  • Leaves from 2 large sprigs basil
  • 2 large cloves garlic, roasted
  • 20ml avocado oil
  • Generous pinch Himalayan sea salt
  • Freshly-ground black pepper
  • 10-12 rashers streaky bacon

For the sauce:

  • 8 dried apricot halves
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded
  • 1 tablespoon soft brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Chelsea maple flavour syrup
  • 1 tablespoon apricot jam
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • Juice of ½ lime
  • 2 cups beef stock

To serve:

  • Handful mint leaves
  • Handful pomegranate seeds
  • 6-8 broccolini stems, lightly blanched
  • Fresh sourdough

Method

To make the sauce base, combine all ingredients and blend to a paste. This can be made up to 3 days in advance and refrigerated.

To roast garlic, wrap whole bulbs in tin foil and place in a small baking tray with 1/2cm water in the bottom. Cook for 30 minutes at 180º. (This can also be done in advance – I usually put it in the night before if I’m cooking something else.)

To prepare the lamb, combine spring onion, mint, rosemary, thyme, basil, garlic, oil, salt and pepper and blitz to a paste. Spread paste down the inside of the two pieces of loin.

On a piece of cling film, lay strips of bacon vertically so they overlap. Place herb-laced lamb loin on the bacon slices, about 10cm up from the bottom end of the bacon (the part closest to you). Lift this smaller section of the bacon, and flip carefully so it falls just inside the lamb loin. Carefully roll the loin over the bacon, as if you were rolling sushi, using the cling film like a sushi mat.

Once lamb is completely encased in the bacon, keep rolling along the cling film, keeping the cling film taut, until you make a cling film sausage. Twist the cling film ends so your meat is tightly wrapped and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, preferably longer.

When ready to use, preheat oven to 180°. Take lamb out of cling film and tie, using cooking twine, to hold meat together. Using your hands, smooth a little oil over your halved garlic bulb and wrap in tin foil. Roast for 15 minutes.

Heat an ovenproof frying pan on high and sear meat to brown the bacon. Transfer frying pan to oven, and roast for 15 minutes (for medium).

Remove lamb and garlic from the oven, transfer to a warmed platter and leave to rest, covered, for 10 minutes. Heat pan and cook off apricot sauce with the meat juices. Add more water if necessary and reduce to a sticky sauce.

Sprinkle lamb with pomegranate and mint, and serve with a little sauce, fresh seasonal greens and fresh sourdough bread or rice.

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