Saturday 27th of November 2021

An alternative to the Christmas Turkey

For many, the thought of turkey at Christmas conjures up giblet fear and wasted hours basting and worrying that all the heat won’t get to the potatoes, not to mention the dreaded turkey curry à la Bridget Jones!

Help is at hand from our friends at Bere Mill Butchery, who have commissioned this delicious saddle of lamb recipe with private chef, Joe Cathers.

Bere Mill Farm | Photo credit: George Maxwell Hiles aka @the_running_photographer

Whole Saddle of Bere Mill Black Welsh Mountain Lamb with Herb, Apricot & Hazelnut Stuffing – Serves 6 to 8 people


1 whole saddle of lamb or hogget, boned

300g lamb mince

2 garlic cloves, chopped

1 anchovy fillet, mashed

1 large sprig of rosemary, leaves removed and chopped

1 large sage leaf, chopped

2 sprigs of thyme, leaves removed and chopped

½ the zest of an orange

60g dried apricots, diced

30g toasted hazelnuts, chopped

1 thick slice white bread, made into crumbs

Sea salt flakes and black pepper

Butcher’s twine


Preheat Oven to 200°C.

Spread out the saddle of lamb so the flesh is facing you. You should have the main saddle and two separate fillets, place the fillets to one side while you prepare the saddle. With a knife remove excess fat. Then sprinkle with sea salt, half the rosemary, half the sage, half the thyme, half the zest and half the garlic. Massage these ingredients into the flesh then sprinkle over half the hazelnuts.

In a bowl mix together all remaining ingredients (mince, garlic, anchovy, herbs, zest, apricots, hazelnuts, breadcrumbs). Place half the mix down the centre of the saddle. Now lay both lamb fillets on top of the mix followed by the rest of the mix. Carefully fold one side of the saddle over the stuffing and then roll the other side around the first side.

Now tie the rolled saddle in place with a few lengths of butcher’s twine (see photo below).  Fold tin foil around the ends of the saddle to prevent the stuffing from squeezing out. Rub the outside of the lamb with olive oil, salt and pepper.

Now place the saddle on a wire rack in a roasting tin and cook in a preheated oven for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and wrap tightly in several layers of tin foil, leaving to rest for at least 20 minutes in a warm place. Remove foil and string. The stuffed saddle is ready for carving.

The saddle can be prepared in advance and frozen if desired. De-frost thoroughly before cooking.

For a Christmas dinner, serve the stuffed saddle with roast potatoes, Brussel sprouts and glazed carrots.  For an alternative festive feast, serve with Dauphinoise potatoes, and sautéed leeks and spinach.

Joe Cathers, private chef in Hampshire can cater for your event – contact him on

To place an order with Bere Mill Butchery for Christmas, please click here

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