William Thomson’s Borders Scotch Lamb Stack
Coming from Barony Castle’s award winning restaurant, Thomsons At The Castle, in the Scottish Borders, William Thomson is an executive chef with an eye for great meat. We had a chat with him about the benefits of cooking with lean lamb fillets, as well as securing a delicious and easy recipe for Borders Scotch Lamb Stacks that’s packed with healthy seasonal vegetables.
The fillet from a lamb is the long lean strip of meat from the loin. It has no bones to pick at, no fat to keep it succulent and none of the crispy skin that you find on a shoulder of lamb. Despite this, it remains a very useful cut of meat. Lean as a whippet and with no sinew to remove, it can be cooked quickly and is fairly cheap to buy. The fillet will however need help from a chef to make it truly delicious!
My recipe for the borders lamb stack uses some lovely vegetables, garlic, herbs and lots of olive oil. It’s an easy dish to prepare and it looks amazing too! Pair your lamb stack with a dressed salad and some steamed baby potatoes tossed with freshly chopped mint and butter, or a mint infused couscous. Don’t forgot to select a good wine to go with your lamb stack too. Lamb is one of the most wine-friendly meats and it goes well with a fruity Bordeaux or Rioja.
Borders Scotch Lamb Stacks
- 8 x Scotch Lamb fillets (trimmed)
- 3 x bell peppers
- 2 red onions
- 1 x aubergine
- 1 butternut squash
- 3 x heirloom tomatoes or plum tomatoes
- 4 x Portobello mushrooms
- 1 x bulb of garlic
- 1 x bottle of balsamic syrup
- 1 x large bunch of fresh basil
- ½ of bottle of red wine
- 4 sprigs of rosemary
- 1 x large shallot
- 300mls of olive oil
- Seasoning, cracked black pepper and sea salt
- Make your marinade by peeling and finely chopping your shallots and one clove of garlic. Place them in a bowl with the red wine and the lamb fillet. Cover the bowl with cling film and put it in the fridge for 2-3 hours.
- Meanwhile, peel and thinly slice your onions, chop each of the peppers into quarters, and slice the tomatoes into round pieces. Top and tail the aubergine and peel the butternut squash (or leave the skin on for some crunch). Slice both vegetables into circles approximately 10mm thick, and cut up the mushrooms length ways into 5mm thick pieces. Peel and slice 4 cloves of garlic, and gather the larger leaves of basil.
- Grill the peppers, aubergine, butternut, tomatoes, onions, and mushrooms with a little olive oil and garlic. Remember that the squash and bell peppers will take longer to cook. Remove from the heat, season, and set aside.
- Heat up a flat pan and spring it with seasoning. Remove the lamb from the marinade and place it in the hot pan. Cook the lamb until it is nice and brown on the outside and pink in the middle. Remove from the pan and leave to rest- this will make the meat juicy and tender. You can then fillet the lamb length ways with the grain of the meat. You should see a nice line round the edge where the marinade has been sealed in, and a lovely pink middle.
Plate up your dish by stacking it anyway you like! I would start with the squash first and some strips of lamb before adding a layer of tomato, basil leaves, mushroom, pepper, aubergine and onion. For presentation and to keep the dish together, insert a sprig of rosemary through the centre of the stack and drizzle it with balsamic before serving.