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Lamb Loin with Herbs, Cognac & Port Recipe for Christmas

Don’t feel like the traditional gammon and turducken this Christmas? Try Chef Ian Bergh’s rolled lamb loin, grilled over the fire, and serve with your favourite festive side dishes.


  • 1 whole lamb saddle, deboned with the loin and rib meat attached
  • 5 tbsp oregano, roughly chopped
  • 5 tbsp rosemary, roughly chopped
  • 4 tbsp thyme, roughly chopped
  • ½ cup harissa paste (easily replaced with chermoula paste)
  • 100ml olive oil
  • 16 shallots, sliced in halve with skin on
  • 16 baby turnips
  • 16 baby fennels, halved
  • 16 baby carrots
  • 16 baby potatoes, thinly sliced halfway through
  • 14 broccolini sticks
  • ½ onion, finely chopped
  • 2 gloves of garlic finely chopped
  • ¼ cup shaved parmesan 

For the stock

  • Lamb saddle bones
  • 3 large carrots, sliced
  • 2 large onions, skins removed, sliced
  • 1 head garlic, sliced
  • 4 sticks celery, sliced
  • 2 large leeks, sliced
  • ½ medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup cognac
  • 1 cup port


Light your fire. Hard wood will always give better results.

Making the stock:

  • Add the finely chopped onions to a small pot with a splash of oil and cook over a very low heat until brown and crispy, strain and set aside.
  • Preset your oven to 180°C, now combine all the stock ingredients in a large roasting tray, add a drizzle of vegetable oil, mix well and roast until the bones and vegetables are golden brown.
  • Remove from the oven, pour off any access fat, transfer to a large stock pot, add 5L water, bring to the boil and simmer for at least 5 hours. Strain the stock, remove any excess fat.
  • Add the finely chopped onion and garlic with a splash of olive oil to a sauce pot, cook over a low heat.  Add the port and brandy, reduce by half. Add the stock, reduce until coating consistency, then remove from the heat and whisk in 2 large knobs of butter. Set aside and keep warm.

Roasting the veggies & grilling the lamb: 

  • Preheat the oven to 160°C. Add the turnips, carrots, potatoes, fennel and shallots to a large roasting tray, drizzle with olive oil, season, roast for 1 ½ hours or until the veggies are cooked, set aside and keep warm.
  • Mix the oregano, rosemary, thyme, harissa and olive oil well to form a paste, evenly rub the paste over the lamb loin, season, now roll and tie with butcher string into a circular shape.
  • When the coals are on a medium to low heat, add the rolled loins, turn constantly for 15 minutes to achieve an evenly golden browned surface and cooked to medium, rest for 5 minutes, remove the string, set aside and keep warm.
  • Bring a medium pot to the boil, cook the broccolini for 2 minutes, strain and sprinkle over the crispy onion and parmesan, set aside and keep warm.
  • Slice the lamb and arrange all the ingredients onto a beautiful serving platter, pour over the jus and serve immediately with the rest of the feast!

Enjoy with a glass of De Grendel Rubaiyat.

De Grendel Chef Ian Bergh Christmas Recipe Lamb Loin

December 14, 2021