Saddle of Lamb Stuffed with Dates, Aubergines and Pistachios

When I made this BBQ lamb recipe for my birthday meal last weekend, I deliberately didn’t take a photo of it so I had an excuse to make it again today. I could just feel the love for the recipe even before I tasted the final result. I used the date and aubergine stuffing recipe here but I did away with the pine nuts, adding pistachios instead which worked a treat.

I cannot take the credit for the brilliant idea of laying the lamb out all resplendent on the big bread (top photo), which is perfect for a bit of messy sharing with your mates. The kudos for that must go to Sally Butcher, who runs this shop and wrote this book from which I made this ice cream for the same birthday meal. Sally didn’t have the same gargantuan flat bread in stock that we bought last week (I don’t know the name) so instead we used naan, warmed through on the BBQ while the meat was resting.

I dolloped some garlicky, minty yoghurt on top for a bit of contrast and it lifted everything nicely, while also providing a sauce for the inevitable sandwich making. I cannot eat anything with bread without making some kind of sammich. Ever. You tear off a hunk of the naan, stuff it with the lamb and a few salad leaves plus yoghurt sauce and you’ve got yourself a piece of smoky BBQ heaven. The lamb was charred without, tender and blushing within and the stuffing sweet with Iranian dates (so deep they are almost chocolately) and scented ever so faintly with cinnamon.

I didn’t have any problems cooking the saddle on the BBQ by the way – a saddle being the bit that Barnsley chops are cut from – the saddle has then been boned to allow for stuffing. I have a kettle style BBQ and after some research I discovered that the way to cook something slowly is to light the coals in the middle of the BBQ, in a kind of volcano shape, then when the flames have all gone and you are left with coals which have a light grey ash coating, you move them into the sides. This gets the indirect heat circulating nicely around the kettle when you put the lid on. Not too much peeking either, as that obviously lets the heat out. I would say the saddle was about 5 inches long and took 50 minutes (ish) to cook.

Saddle of Lamb Stuffed with Dates, Aubergines and Pistachios

Like I said, the stuffing recipe is here but I swapped the pine nuts for pistachios and used a saddle of lamb instead of a leg. I removed the string that comes on the meat, opened it out, packed the stuffing into the middle and re-trussed it with fresh string. It is worth making sure that the string is covering the ends of the saddle too, to stop the stuffing falling out during cooking. Then I browned the lamb in a skillet to render some of the fat down before putting it on the BBQ.

Category: Barbecue, Main Dishes, Meat, Sandwiches 27 comments »

27 Responses to “Saddle of Lamb Stuffed with Dates, Aubergines and Pistachios”

  1. Kang

    Awesome stuff Helen! I wish I had a backgarden now, really would love a good bbq, amazing shot of the Lamb, I am officially salivating :D

    Kangs last blog post..Eat Liz McClarnon’s food in the city on Tuesday… and tell me if it’s good or not.

  2. Fiona Beckett

    that looks really great, Helen. My kind of BBQ!

  3. Su-Lin

    I’ve never tackled a large cut of lamb so this is inspiration! This looks so good!

    I think the large flatbread (Iranian/Persian, no?) is lavash.

    Su-Lins last blog post..Roasted Artichokes

  4. Kevin

    That stuffing sounds so good! What a great meal!

    Kevins last blog post..Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Mango and Cardamom Jam

  5. Helen

    Hi Su-Lin – I do love Lavash but it wasn’t that. It was kind of like a cross between a ciabatta and a naan in that it was the shape of a naan but with a spongy kind of texture. I shall find out!

  6. Su-Lin

    Barbari? That’s my last idea! :D

    Suddenly I want some lavash pizzas.

    Su-Lins last blog post..Roasted Artichokes

  7. The Graphic Foodie

    Wowsers that looks lush. Bet that stuffing made the meat lovely and moist and love the idea of the pistachios.

    The Graphic Foodies last blog post..Crispy chicken with pancetta and butter beans and the death of the cookbook

  8. Y

    Oh my, that looks amazing! What a great way to celebrate your birthday. Better than any overpriced meal in a restaurant ;)

    Ys last blog post..One Perfect Day

  9. Christie @ Fig & Cherry

    Yum yum and yum! Pistachios with dates is such a lovely combo.

  10. Peter G

    Helen, as a fellow lamb lover myself this is sensational. The “naan sandwich” is what really won me over though! Beautiful!

  11. nina

    Oh mother, that looks so absolutely delicious!!!!

    ninas last blog post..Tuscan Lamb and Bean Stew

  12. Helen

    Thanks all! Su-Lin – I think you’ve got it this time! Thanks :)

  13. MsGourmet

    Nothing short of perfect!

    MsGourmets last blog post..Grateful – for every day

  14. Oliver

    Looks fantastic – what a great use of the BBQ. The dates were an inspired addition.

    Olivers last blog post..Franco Manca, Brixton, London

  15. Lizzie

    I am dribbling into my keyboard. Want want want! So glad I Picked up my bbq this weekend…

    Lizzies last blog post..Ba Shan

  16. youngandfoodish

    I moved to London in Nov 2004, but only now, upon reading this post, have I grasped the inner meaning of sammich. Thank you, Helen.

  17. Gourmet Chick

    Ok Helen your BBQ is making me VERY jealous. Dates, aubergines and pistachios – sounds like a perfect combination.

    Gourmet Chicks last blog post..Djemaa al Fna (Gourmet Chick in Morocco)

  18. James

    ….and if you have herbs growing in the garden you add a few of those to the barbecue too, stalks as well so the flavours infuse into the meat as they smoulder.

    Jamess last blog post..Roast tenderstem broccoli

  19. Kerri

    Lovely! I’ve not used the saddle before, it looks great.

    So glad that the weather is good enough for barbecuing!

    Kerris last blog post..Asparagus and Barbecued Lamb

  20. Thom

    Wow! Wow! Wow! What a great thing to put on the BBQ….and of course then to eat. I am am going to have to follow your blog. Best to you and your family!

  21. Jenn AKA The Leftover Queen

    Looks AMAZING Helen! Yum. I love everything about this one!

    Jenn AKA The Leftover Queens last blog post..Finest Foodies Friday – April 17, 2009

  22. Bron

    Oh. My. God.

    And happy belated birthday.

    Brons last blog post..Bean & Pasta Soup

  23. Mark

    I wanna eat this right now! It’d be perfect for this lovely day, but I’m stuck in an office wishing I was home BBqing this lamb!

    Marks last blog post..To Garrett Oliver, Cheers!

  24. Peter

    Just when I though I’d had enough lamb, you spring this on me! I like how you kept some fat around the outside…yum!

  25. gen.u.ine.ness

    That lamb looks simply exquisite…

    gen.u.ine.nesss last blog post..One-O-One – Review

  26. Jeanne

    Hey – happy birthday (belatedly!). All the best people are Aries, I always say… but then I may be biased!!

    The lamb looks totally divine – will have to bookmark it for inclusion in our summer BBQ rota :)

    Jeannes last blog post..Nectarine & ginger tarte tatin

  27. Vincent

    Gorgeous!!! Have to try it soon!
    and happy belated birthday, of course.

    Vincents last blog post..Wheat Berry and Black Eyed Peas Salad

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