We are empty nesters again as my youngest Son has flown the coop to attend University in Bathurst. This means we get to eat cuts of meat that would cost an arm and a leg to feed a strapping teenage boy. No fear though, I would still use this fabulous combination of lamb, quinoa & roasted beetroot with him here, I would just substitute the lean and tender back strap for a more affordable lamb choice such as, rump or curly tails. This was really delicious and made more so by the crumble topping combination of toasted walnuts, Goat’s fetta and mint and the sweet, syrupy balsamic reduction. Yum.
Prep time: 20 Minutes Cooking time: 25 Minutes $$ Medium budget
600gm of lamb back strap
Sea salt and pepper
11/2 cups of quinoa
3 cups of water
2 large beetroot, peeled and cut into wedges
1 large red onion, peeled and halved (roots intact) and cut into wedges
6 thyme sprigs, leaves removed and stalks discarded
Extra virgin olive oil for dizzling
A couple of handfuls of green beans, ends removed and then sliced diagonally
A couple of handfuls of baby rocket leaves
1/2 cup of walnuts, roughly chopped and toasted in a dry pan
100gm of Goat’s Fetta, crumbled
1/2 cup of mint leaves, thinly sliced
1 cup of red wine
1/2 cup of balsamic vinegar
2 tbs of brown sugar
1 sprig of rosemary (optional)
Pre heat the oven to 180°C.
Place the beetroot and onion wedges in a lined baking tray. Drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and scatter over the thyme leaves. Bake in the oven for approximately 25-30 minutes or until tender.
Combine the wine, balsamic, rosemary and sugar in a small saucepan over heat until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer for approximately 15 minutes or until reduced by half. Remove the rosemary sprig, allow to cool and the sauce will thicken on standing.
Place the quinoa in a saucepan with the water and season with a little salt. Bring to the boil, stirring occasionally and once boiling, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes with the lid on. Remove from the heat and allow to rest with the lid on for 5 minutes. After is has rested, remove the lid, fluff with a fork and allow to cool slightly.
Place the beans in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Allow to stand for 3 minutes and then drain.
Combine the quinoa, roasted beetroot, onion, beans and rocket in a large bowl and drizzle a tablespoon of the balsamic reduction with a tablespoon of olive oil, tossing gently until combined.
Place the toasted walnuts, feta and mint in a bowl and toss with your fingers to combine.
Heat a frypan or griddle pan to nice and hot. Rub a little olive oil into the back straps and season with salt and pepper. Fry for about 3-4 minutes on either side for medium rare. Remove from the pan and allow to rest for a couple of minutes before slicing on the diagonal about 2cm thick.
To serve the salad, divide the quinoa and beetroot mixture between four serving plates. Fan the lamb over the top and scatter over the feta & walnut crumble. Drizzle over the remaining balsamic reduction and give a final drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
Leftover walnuts & fetta? This recipe would be perfect!