Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Lamb Tenderloin with rosemary Au Jus

Many of my friends and acquaintences in the Rocky Mountain and Midwest parts of the country don't care much for lamb. I think it may be because they never had fresh lamb, most of which is shipped to the east and west coasts. Fresh lamb - and I mean up to a week old - is one of the finest tasting meats there is. The previously frozen New Zealand lamb in many of our supermarkets, would in all probability, turn off the most avid lamb lover. Lamb tenderloins with feta cheese ravioli is a culinary delight that is rarely - if ever - found even in the best of restaurants. This is primarily a combined Italian and Greek dish that will delight your palate.

The following recipe is from a dear friend - Linda Pilo - who lives in North Carolina; one of the most creative cooks I have ever known.


8 tenderloins of lamb (lamb loin or leg may be substituted)

Goat (Feta) Cheese filling

4 ounces goat (feta) cheese
1 ounce cream cheese
1 Tablespoon sun-dried tomato, diced
2 teaspoons chopped rosemary
Salt and pepper to taste
8 wonton skins (thin) or homemade pasta dough rolled out thin
Egg wash

Mix cheese with remaining ingredients. Egg wash one side of wonton. Place 2 TBS of filling and cover with other wonton to form a large ravioli. Cut or trim into circles. A cookie cutter will work well here.

Sauteed Swiss chard and Pancetta:

Beet greens (or spinach as a last resort) can be substituted
2 TB olive oil
2 oz pancetta chopped finely
1 TB minced garlic
1 bunch swiss chard, leaves coarsely chopped

Heat a sauté pan over high heat. Add Olive oil and pancetta and cook until lightly browned. Add the garlic and swiss chard and sauté until the greens are wilted and tender. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Au Jus:

8oz lamb trimmings
1-1/2 quarts Veal or Lamb stock
2 cups Merlot or Red Wine
1/2 cup shallot, minced
1 Tablespoon fennel seed

Brown lamb trimmings and degrease. Add 1 cup veal stock at a time and reduce to sauce consistency. Add 1 tsp fennel seed; continue additions until you develop enough sauce. In a separate pan, combine the red wine, shallot, 1 tsp fennel seed and reduce to a syrup. When you have enough reduced stock, add the reduction and simmer 10 min. Adjust salt and pepper and strain.


Season lamb; grill or saute, let rest. Saute chard and cook ravioli; toss in butter and salt. Place a bed of chard in center of plate, top with the ravioli. Drizzle sauce around the plate. Slice the lamb on a bias and lean up against the ravioli. Garnish each tenderloin with a sprig of rosemary and on top of the ravioli with julienne of sundried tomato.