Lamb Backstrap recipes

Lamb is the most tender and delicate red meat, but there are some cuts that are particularly good. The backstrap or eye of the loin is one of these cuts. This cut is a favorite of Australian and British butchers, who prize lamb, but it’s rarely seen in the United States. This premium cut, like beef tenderloin is reserved for special occasions. Many recipes online for lamb backstraps, but they all rely on the same basic cooking techniques.

A Backstrap Primer

You’ve likely noticed the appearance of lamb loin chops if you’ve tried them. They are exactly what they appear to be, with a small amount of tenderloin on one end and a larger portion of loin on the opposite. The lamb’s backstrap is the larger loin portion, which corresponds to the strip loin from a beef carcass. Two back straps can be cut from one lamb. Each weighs a pound. This is what accounts for their high price.


  • 1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped coriander
  • 4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons harissa (see Notes)
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) olive oil
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 x 350g lamb backstraps. Trimmed


  • 1/2 cup (100g) couscous
  • 1 tablespoon harissa
  • 100ml olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of lime juice
  • One tablespoon of chopped coriander leaves.
  • One tablespoon of chopped mint leaves and whole leaves.
  • 100g blanched whole almonds
  • 2 butter lettuces, separate leaves
  • 6 spring onions, thinly cut at an angle


1. In a bowl, combine the following ingredients: parsley, coriander and garlic; olive oil; lemon juice; cumin. Turn lamb over and coat with the marinade. Allow chilling for at least one hour or for overnight.

2. Place the couscous into a heatproof bowl. Cover the bowl with 1/2 cup (125ml), then let it cool. After 5 minutes, use a fork to fluff it up. Cool. Mix harissa, 1/3 cup (80ml), olive oil, lime juice, chopped coriander, and mint. Set aside to season.

3. Place remaining oil in small fry pan on medium heat. Cook almonds for about 1-2 minutes, turning once or twice, until golden. Season with sea salt and drain on a paper towel.

4. Heat a barbecue or chargrill pan on medium heat. Once the heat is at medium, cook the lamb for 2 to 3 minutes per side or until it is cooked to your preference. Set aside for 5 minutes after removing from the heat.

5. Place the lettuce on a platter. Top with couscous, almonds, and drizzle the dressing. Sprinkle with additional mint, coriander and spring onions. Serve with salad and thickly slice the lamb.