Peppered Loin of Lamb

Ingredients

  • 2 small boneless lamb loins, about 2 1/2 pounds trimmed

The marinade:

  • ¾ cup hoisin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
  • 1 tablespoon hot chili oil
  • ½ teaspoon five-spice powder
  • 1 tablespoon juice squeezed from finely minced fresh ginger
  • 3 tablespoons coarsely chopped coriander leaves and stems
  • ½ teaspoon grated orange zest
  • ¼ cup thinly sliced scallion (white and green parts)
  • 3 large cloves garlic, smashed

The lamb coating:

  • ¼ cup, plus 2 tablespoons, Sichuan peppercorns
  • ½ cup black peppercorns
  • 2 tablespoons white peppercorns
  • 2 tablespoons fennel seeds
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons corn or peanut oil, for searing
  • Nutritional Information
    • Nutritional analysis per serving (4 servings)

      1155 calories; 87 grams fat; 34 grams saturated fat; 0 grams trans fat; 35 grams monounsaturated fat; 10 grams polyunsaturated fat; 42 grams carbohydrates; 9 grams dietary fiber; 13 grams sugars; 51 grams protein; 211 milligrams cholesterol; 934 milligrams sodium

    • Note: Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available data.

Four to six main-course servings

Preparation

  1. With a sharp slender blade, separate the 2 thin tenderloins from the sides of the 2 larger loin pieces. Separate the 2 main loin halves, if the butcher has not done this for you. You will have 4 pieces of meat. Carefully trim away all fat, tendon and tough silvery skin.
  2. Combine the marinade ingredients in a shallow dish just large enough to hold the lamb snugly. Add the lamb and massage the marinade into the meat. Seal air tight and marinate in the refrigerator for 24 to 48 hours, turning occasionally. Bring the lamb to room temperature.
  3. To make the lamb coating, heat a small heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the coating ingredients and stir gently until the Sichuan peppercorns crackle and become fragrant, 4 to 5 minutes, adjusting the heat so they toast without scorching. The Sichuan peppercorns will smoke; do not let them burn. Coarsely grind the mixture in a spice grinder or with a mortar and pestle.
  4. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Position the rack in the center of the oven. Remove the lamb from the marinade, wiping off excess marinade with your fingers. Spread the pepper coating on a plate or baking sheet. Press the lamb pieces into the spices, coating thoroughly on all sides.
  5. Heat a large heavy skillet over high heat until hot enough to evaporate a bead of water on contact. Add 1 tablespoon of the oil and swirl to coat the pan. Heat until nearly smoking. Add the lamb in a single layer with room between the pieces. (Brown the lamb in batches if necessary, cleaning the pan and adding more oil between batches.) Sear the lamb to golden brown on all sides, 1 to 2 minutes per side.
  6. Place the lamb on a rack set in a roasting pan. Roast until an instant-read thermometer registers 115 degrees in the thickest part of each piece, 6 to 7 minutes for larger pieces, 3 to 4 minutes for the smaller pieces. Promptly remove the lamb to a cooling rack. Let stand 10 minutes before carving. Serve hot, tepid or at room temperature, thinly sliced against the grain.

1 hour, plus marination

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