Roast Lamb Saddle with Crispy Bloody Butcher Grits and Spring Greens - Wine & Spirits Magazine

Roast Lamb Saddle
with Crispy Bloody Butcher Grits
and Spring Greens

This recipe comes from Chef Chip Smith of The Simone on the Upper East Side in New York City. The lamb is decadently rich and ready for a wine made from a meaty Rhône red variety, whether from the Rhône itself or from the New World. ―W&S



  • 4 lb saddle of lamb bone-in, fat intact, local if possible (3 lb. bone-out)

Dry Rub

  • 2 cloves garlic crushed
  • 1.5 tsp crushed red chiles
  • 1.5 tbsp fennel seed freshly toasted and roughly ground with a mortar & pestle
  • 3 tsp coarse sea salt
  • 2 tsp black pepper, freshly and coarsely ground
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp honey local if possible
  • You can also use a dry mustard and brown sugar instead of honey and dijon.
  • Like any good rub, this can be created as your own personal seasoning selection and changed up with the season, no pun intended!


  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1 cup stock (lamb, beef, veal, chicken or vegetable)
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2-3 tbsp butter cold and cut into ½-inch cubes
  • 1/3 cup shallots minced

Bloody Butcher Grits

  • 2 cups coarsely milled grits preferably from non-GMO red corn
  • 5 cups liquid (you can make your own mix of water, milk, and/or stock)
  • 2 tbsp butter plus more for the pan
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cups freshly grated pecorino cheese

Fresh Greens Salad

  • 8-12 cups seasonal fresh greens dressed with a basic vinaigrette


Prep the Lamb:

  • With a knife tip, create small slices in the fat of the lamb shoulder. Mix your rub together and press/massage a generous amount to fully cover entire outer region of shoulder.
  • Cover and let sit for a minimum of 1 hour and up to 24 hours in the refrigerator.
  • Preheat grill/charcoal or wood chip. Also can be done inside (see 3b).
    a. Outdoor grill: place shoulder on very hot grill and caramelize/sear both sides for 3-5 minutes. Then transfer to a cooler section of grill/cover and cook for 20 minutes, turning lamb for even cooking, for medium temperature.  
    b. Indoor cooking: Preheat the oven to 325F. Get a cast-iron skillet smoking hot with just a coating of olive oil in pan. Place lamb in pan, fat side down, and sear for 2-3 minutes, turn and do same on other sides, turning to allow even sealing of spice and juices. Then move skillet to the pre-heated oven with the lamb sitting fat side up.
    Baste with juices created 2-3 times during roasting.
    For rare, cook 15 minutes per pound. For medium-rare to medium, cook 20 minutes per pound.
  • Let rest on stove top for at least 15 minutes before carving.


  • In a small saucepot, sweat shallots with a drizzle of olive oil over medium heat. Once translucent, transfer drippings from the lamb pan, pouring off the fat on the way. Scrape the bottom for good stuff! Then add the stock and red wine, bring to a boil and quickly reduce to a simmer. Stir occasionally until the sauce reduces by about half, never bringing to a boil. Your sauce should be getting silky and velvety in texture.
  • Remove from heat and whisk in the mustard, then stir in the butter. If made ahead: when ready to serve, rewarm the sauce very gently, making sure not to warm it so far that the sauce breaks, and whisking constantly. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Bloody Butcher Grits

  • Cook grits as instructed on package, aiming for a thicker consistency rather than creamy (if your brand doesn’t have specific instructions, whisk grits in a steady stream into just-boiling pot with the 5 cups of liquid, butter, and salt; reduce to a simmer, cover, and stir occasionally until desired consistency). 
  • Add grated pecorino/salt/pepper pinch of cayenne to the mix. Spread evenly in a small roasting pan to cool, a ½-inch to ¾-inch in thickness. (This can be done a day ahead, especially if you are giving the lamb 24 hours with its rub.)
  • Using a cookie cutter or simply a knife for squares, cut out serving sizes for individuals of chilled grits. Dust with flour on both sides.
  • Preheat skillet to a solid medium heat with butter in pan. Place grit cakes in hot pan and sear 3-4 minutes, flip, ditto on other side. Using a knife, test center for heat. Do not overheat as they will become too soft and lose the crispy delicious outside!
  • Serve with sliced lamb and its sauce, with lightly dressed, tossed spring salad on the side.

This recipe was published as part of our Regional Tasting Reports on the Rhône Valley and US Syrah & Rhône varieties.

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