Lamb Loin with Artichokes and Red Wine-Kalamata Olive Sauce

Lamb Loin

Of all the harmonious pairings of foodstuffs, artichokes and lamb certainly rank in the upper echelon. Here, with lentils for body and olives, capers, and red onion for zest, we have the makings of a heavenly dish. While the sheer earthiness of this preparation may satisfy on a very basic level, the flavors are actually quite delicate. Coarse sea salt and a few leaves of chervil are all that are needed to round things out.–Charlie Trotter

LC In Charlie Trotter We Trust Note

Quite the interesting juxtaposition of flavors. But in Charlie Trotter we trust….

Lamb Loin with Artichokes and Red Wine Sauce

  • Quick Glance
  • 1 H, 15 M
  • 3 H, 30 M
  • Serves 4
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  • For the meat stock reduction
  • 2 cups chopped yellow onions
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 2 quarts (8 cups) beef stock
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • For the artichokes
  • 2 raw artichoke bottoms, with stems attached
  • 2 cups extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • For the lamb and sauce
  • 2 pounds lamb loin, with extra fat slab attached
  • 2 tablespoons puréed Kalamata olives
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1 cup julienned red onion
  • 1/2 cup julienned red bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup sliced Kalamata olives
  • 1/2 cup meat stock reduction
  • 2 tablespoons capers, rinsed and chopped
  • 1/2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped chives
  • For the garnish
  • 1 cup freshly cooked French green lentils, hot
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 teaspoons micro parsley or chervil leaves (or chopped flat-leaf parsley or regular chervil leaves)
  • 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil


  • Make the meat stock reduction
  • 1. Saute the onions, carrots, and celery in the grapeseed oil in a medium saucepan over high heat for 10 minutes, or until golden brown and caramelized. Deglaze the pan with the wine and cook until most of the wine has been absorbed. Add the stock and simmer over low heat for 1 hour.
  • 2. Strain and return the liquid to the saucepan. Add the thyme and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove the thyme and simmer for about 30 minutes, or until reduced to 1 1/2 cups. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve. Store in the refrigerator up to 4 days or freeze up to 2 months.
  • Make the artichokes
  • 3. Slice the artichokes into 1/3-inch-thick wedges. Place the artichokes in a small saucepan with the olive oil, thyme, garlic, bay leaves, and lemon juice; cook over low heat for 15 minutes, or until the artichokes are cooked al dente. Remove the artichokes from the pan to prevent overcooking. The artichokes can be prepared several hours ahead of time. Reheat them in the oil just prior to serving. Drain the artichokes and season to taste with salt and pepper at the last minute.
  • Make the lamb and sauce
  • 4. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Rub the lamb loin with the olive purée and roll up in the attached fat slab, covering the whole loin. Secure with butcher’s twine.
  • 5. Season the outside of the loin with salt and pepper. Heat the grapeseed oil in a roasting pan over high heat. Add the loin and sear on all sides until golden brown and crispy.
  • 6. Roast in the oven for 30 minutes, or until cooked to medium-rare. Transfer the lamb to a cutting board and let rest. Drain off any excess fat from the pan.
  • 7. Deglaze the pan on the stove top with the wine, then add the onion and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the onion is tender. Add the bell pepper, sliced olives, stock reduction, capers, vinegar and chives; cook for 3 minutes longer to bring the flavors together. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove the cooking twine from the lamb and cut into 1 1/2-inch-thick medallions. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Assemble the dish
  • 8. Spoon some of the lentils and artichokes in the center of each plate. Place a slice of the lamb atop the lentils and spoon the sauce around the plate. Top with pepper and sprinkle with the micro parsley. Drizzle the olive oil around the plate.

Wine Notes

  • The brightness of the Red Wine-Kalamata Olive Sauce and the earthiness of the lamb direct the match to a Rioja from San Vicente. The brown spice notes of cumin and coriander from the San Vicente enhance the roasted flavors of the lamb. Another characteristic of wines from the Rioja region of Spain is their elevated level of acidity, which ties in precisely with the olive sauce.

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