Slow-Roasted Stuffed Lamb Belly, Farro Salad, and Yogurt Dressing Recipe

Slow-Roasted Stuffed Lamb Belly, Farro Salad, and Yogurt Dressing Recipe
Staff Writer
Roast lamb belly

SPQR

Roast lamb belly

If a roast leg of lamb is too much to take on when planning your Easter menu, there are a variety of other cuts to choose from, from chops and racks to shanks and lamb belly (well, breast). It's easy to prepare, and the fat on the meat melts away during cooking, insuring that you have a moist and tender end product every time. Perfect for an Easter dinner for eight!

In this recipe, Matthew Accarrino, the executive chef at SPQR, fills the butterflied lamb breast/belly with a delicately-spiced lamb and raisin stuffing before rolling it up into a roulade. — Allison Beck

Ingredients

For the lamb belly:

  • ½ red onion, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon fennel seed, toasted and ground
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper, toasted and ground
  • ¼ teaspoon chili flakes
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin, toasted and ground
  • 1 cup stale country bread, diced
  • 1 tablespoon raisins, soaked and drained
  • 2 tablespoons bulgur wheat, soaked in hot water, water reserved
  • 1 egg
  • ½ pound ground lamb shoulder
  • 1 lamb breast, bones removed and butterflied
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Twine
  • 1 cup white wine

For the farro salad:

  • ¾ cup farro, rinsed and boiled till tender in salted water
  • 1 cucumber, medium sized, halved, seeded and sliced into ½ rounds
  • ½ red onion, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 tablespoon mint, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
  • 3 radishes, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon raisins, soaked and drained
  • Lemon juice, to taste

For the yogurt dressing:

  • ¼ cup yogurt, preferably Greek-style
  • 1 ½ tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ tablespoon dill, chopped

Directions

For the lamb belly:

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Sauté onion in olive oil over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add spices and toast in the oil for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and cool.

Combine the onion mixture with the bread, raisins, bulgur, egg, and ground lamb. Season the boneless lamb belly with salt and pepper to taste. Place the stuffing inside the belly, roll the belly up and tie with cooking twine.

Place the stuffed lamb on a racked roasting pan with one cup of white wine in the bottom. Cover with foil and roast the lamb covered in the oven for 2 hours. Remove foil cover and cook for an additional 15 minutes, basting with the cooking juices. Remove lamb from the oven and allow it to rest for 20 minutes. 

For the farro salad:

In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients for the farro salad and season with salt, pepper, and lemon juice to taste. Set aside.

For the yogurt dressing:

Combine all ingredients in a small jar. Add the yogurt dressing to the farro salad and toss until combined.

Slice the lamb belly and serve with farro salad.

Lamb Shopping Tip

Look for meat that is bright red. Red meat turns paler as the hemoglobin within releases oxygen – a sign that the meat has been sitting too long at the butcher's counter.

Lamb Cooking Tip

When browning meat, resist the urge to move the meat – you must allow a flavorful crust to form over high heat. Once it has formed, the meat should slide freely with the shake of a pan.

Lamb Wine Pairing

Most red wines, especially cabernet sauvignon, but also including cabernet franc, mourvèdre, Rhône blends, zinfandel, petite sirah, nebbiolo, nero d'avola, primitivo, barbera, and sangiovese.