Have you tried a roast saddle of lamb? This delicious cut of meat is extremely tender, tasty and easy to cook.
With no bones to worry about, this dish is perfect for entertaining or a special occasion and is so easy to carve in thick elegant slices too.
I've filled the lamb with a lemon, garlic, parsley thyme stuffing and roasted it on a bed of onions, which makes the perfect base for a fabulous gravy and helps the lamb cook to perfection in the oven.
This is the saddle area of the lamb, which is a cut comprising of both the loins in the lumbar region. One loin cust from one side of the saddle is known as a cannon of lamb.
It is a very tender piece of meat that does have a layer of fat around it, which keeps it beautifully moist when cooking.
Often, butchers prepare the saddle by boning and rolling the joint, which makes it a perfect candidate for placing stuffing where the bone was.
Chops made from the saddle are known as Barnsley chops
This is an extremely easy dish to make and serve because you can make the parsley thyme stuffing in advance and prepare the meat for roasting long before your guests arrive.
After cooking, the meat can be quickly carved into thick slices, which shows off the herby stuffing inside for an elegant presentation.
Although lamb is traditionally eaten at Easter, this dish makes a great Christmas roast too, as a change from turkey, with much less effort for a smaller gathering of four people.
❤️ Why you will love this recipe
- Very simple to prepare and cook.
- Easy to carve in slices for an elegant meal.
- Plenty of stuffing variations.
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- Lamb - 1 boned saddle of lamb prepared by the butcher. This will likely be ready rolled and tied. A kilogram, (around 2 pounds), will feed 4 people and a 1.5 kilogram saddle will serve 6 people.
- Onions - brown onions.
- Oil - olive oil or vegetable oil.
- Salt - cooking or kosher salt.
- Pepper - freshly ground black pepper.
- Thyme - fresh sprig of thyme
- Garlic - garlic cloves rather than granules or powder.
- Parsley - fresh parsely.
- Rosemary - fresh rosemary sprigs.
- Lemon - juice and zest of a lemon.
- Breadcrumbs - fresh white breadcrumbs. I removed the crust from 2 slices of bread, tore them into quarters and put them in a food processor.
The recipe card with ingredient quantities and detailed instructions can be found at the bottom of the post.
- sharp knife
- chopping board
- kitchen string
- lemon zester and juicy
- deep roasting tray
- mixing bowl
Take the thyme leaves and rosemary fronds from the stems and chop finely, along with the parsley.
Zest and juice the lemon.
Put all of the stuffing ingredients into a mixing bowl.
Mix the ingredients together.
Remove the lamb from the fridge 30 minutes before you are ready to cook.
Open up the lamb and place it skin down on a board.
Cut 3 or 4 pieces of string about 10 centimetres longer than the meat.
Scoop the stuffing into the middle of the saddle in an even sausage shape.
Roll up the lamb and tie the strings. Trim off any excess string.
Turn the joint over so that the string knots are underneath.
Peel the onions and cut them into thick slices.
Place the slices in the bottom of the roasting tin.
💭 Top tip
- The onions act as a trivet to allow the heat to cook the lamb evenly. The onions soak up the juices from the meat and make a great base for a sauce to serve with the meat.
Put the lamb on top of the onions and rub the remaining oil onto the outside.
Season with the salt and pepper.
⏲️ Roasting Time
Preheat the oven to 200 C / 400 F / 180 FAN / Gas 6.
Roast for 20 minutes and then turn the heat down to 190 C / 375 F / 170 FAN / Gas 5 and roast for 30 minutes per 500g or half a pound.
Put the lamb on a carving tray and cover loosely with foil to rest for 10 to 20 minutes.
Carve into thick slices and serve with the onions on the side.
Alternatively, chop up the onions in the pan, deglaze with wine and allow to bubble for a few minutes.
Scrape the crusty bits from the bottom of the pan then add some lamb stock and bring to the boil to reduce for a few minutes.
Adding a couple of tablespoons of redcurrant jelly makes a delicious sauce.
For a smooth sauce, transfer the contents to a liquidiser.
🥗 Side Dishes
Try some of these side dishes with
- Honey Roast Chantenay Carrots
- Leeks in White Sauce
- Honey Roast Carrots and Parsnips
- Fried Cabbage with Bacon
- Cavolo Nero Kale
- Easy Roast Potatoes
- Roast Savoy Cabbage
- Whole Baked Cauliflower Cheese
- Roasted Green Beans and Carrots
- Roasted Long Stem Broccoli
- Roasted Swede Chips
Serve with one of these sauces.
- Lamb saddle - use a rolled breast of lamb or shoulder.
- Herbs - use other herbs such as mint, savoury, celery leaf or oregano.
- Refrigerator - cool, cover and store leftovers in the fridge for 3 days.
- Freezer - slice the lamb abd place in sealed bags or containers. Defrost in the fridge overnight.
- To reheat - wrap in foil and reheat in the oven at 180 C / 350 F / 160 FAN / Gas 4.
🍱 Prepare in Advance
- Stuff and roll the lamb joint the day before cooking and keep in the refrigerator. Remember to take it out 30 minutes before cooking.
More lamb recipes
- Pan Fried Barnley Chops
- Roast Lamb Shanks in Foil
- Cannon of Lamb
- Slow Cooked Lamb Shoulder
- Minted Lamb Burgers
- Lamb with Pomegranate Molasses
- Lamb with Garlic and Rosemary
- Lamb Kleftiko
Roast Saddle of Lamb with Parsley Thyme Stuffing
- Sharp knife
- Chopping board
- kitchen string
- lemon zester and juicer
- deep roasting tray
- Mixing bowl
- 1 kg saddle of lamb
- 2 onions
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- ½ salt
- ¼ pepper
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
For the stuffing
- 1 tablespoon thyme
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 tablespoon parsley
- 1 tablespoon rosemary
- 1 lemon zest and juice
- 100 g breadcrumbs about 2 slices
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- Take the thyme leaves and rosemary fronds from the stems and chop finely, along with the parsley.
- Zest and juice the lemon.
- Put the stuffing ingredients into a mixing bowl and mix.
- Remove the lamb from the fridge 30 minutes before you are ready to cook.
- Open the saddle of lamb and place it skin down on a board.
- Cut 3 or 4 pieces of string about 10 centimetres longer than the meat.
- Scoop the stuffing into the middle of the saddle in an even sausage shape.
- Roll up the lamb and tie the strings. Trim off any excess.
- Peel the onions and cut them into thick slices.
- Place the slices in the bottom of the roasting tin.
- Put the lamb on top of the onions and rub the remaining oil onto the outside. Season with the salt and pepper.
- Preheat the oven to 200 C / 400 F / 180 FAN / Gas 6.
- Roast for 20 minutes and then turn the heat down to 190 C / 375 F / 170 FAN / Gas 5 and roast for 30 minutes per 500g or per pound.
- Put the lamb on a carving tray and cover loosely with foil to rest for 10 to 20 minutes.
- Carve into thick slices and serve with the onions on the side.
Disclaimer: The nutritional information provided is approximate and is calculated using online tools. Information can vary depending on various factors, but we have endeavoured to be as accurate as possible.
Detailed instructions for this recipe, including step by step photographs, hints and tips, can be found in the main article
More beef, lamb and venison recipes
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat.
- Wash hands after touching raw meat.
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods.
- Never leave cooking food unattended.
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds.
- Always have good ventilation when using gas.
Do you have a question or did you make the recipe?
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Beautiful herby stuffing and incredibly moist lamb! I followed your recipe to a T and it turned out amazing! Highly recommend it!
The parsley thyme is what really made the flavor pop and made this dish spectacular. I loved how easy it was and there wasn't a bit leftover. Will be making again!
My husband LOVES lamb, so I know he would love this. The stuffing sounds amazing too.
Everything about this recipe is amazing! The stuffing and all the flavors are just perfect! Thanks for the recipe!
I've never cooked this cut of meat before, and your instructions made it so easy! It turned out great and I love the stuffing
What a delicious main for a roast dinner. So many delicious flavours here.
So lovely to make and serve for a proper Sunday Lunch.
Great flavor! This is truly a satisfying roast saddle of lamb. The family loved it, thank you for the recipe!
The roast lamb looks super elegant. I really love the stuffing. Thanks for sharing.
Not tried it yet, but is the second cook for 30mins per half kilo or per half pound (500g is circa 1lb not 1/2lb)?
Hi Mark, Thanks so much for pointing this out, I've clearly muddled my conversion. It is per 500g or per pound and I've updated the recipe card to make it clear. Best wishes, Amanda