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Lamb Back strap

Masterchef New Zealand on TV ONE and TVNZ Ondemand

Lamb Back Strap with Lentils and Pomegranate
Recipe by David Jamieson

WINE MATCH: Wither Hills Pinot Noir

Preparation Time: 15 Minutes

Cooking Time: 45 minutes

Serves 2

Pomegranate Sauce

1 tbsp butter

1 shallot, peeled, finely diced

200ml pomegranate juice

100ml Campbells Real Beef stock

1 bay leaf


1 tbsp butter

2 shallots, peeled, finely diced

1 cup Puy lentils

1L Campbells Real Chicken stock

1 bay leaf

150g spinach leaves, picked, washed

Butternut Squash Puree

½ butter nut squash, peeled, seeds removed, evenly diced

200g butter


A pinch of white pepper

¼ cup cream, plus more if required


2 lamb back straps

Canola oil for frying

1 lemon


1 tbsp butter

1 tsp honey

10 baby carrots, trimmed, peeled and cleaned around tops

1. To make the pomegranate sauce, place a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and then add the shallot. Gently cook the shallot until soft, then add the pomegranate juice, Campbells Real Beef stock and bay leaf. Bring to a simmer then lower the heat and allow to reduce to a thick, syrupy consistency. Season to taste then strain and set aside.

2. To cook the lentils, place a large saucepan over medium heat and melt the butter. Add the shallots and cook gently until soft. Add the lentils and fry briefly. Add the Campbells Real Chicken stock and bay leaf and bring to a simmer. Stir regularly and simmer until the lentils are tender. Add a little more Campbells Real Chicken stock or water if required. Before serving, add the spinach leaves to the lentils to wilt. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

3. To make the butternut squash puree, place a large saucepan over medium heat and melt the butter. Add the butternut, season with salt and white pepper and cook until softened. Once the pumpkin is cooked through, pass through a fine sieve into a saucepan. Add cream until a soft, smooth consistency is achieved. Check and adjust seasoning. Set aside.

4. To cook the lamb, heat a frying pan over high heat until smoking. Season the lamb with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add a splash of canola oil to the frying pan, allow to heat and then add the lamb. Turn the lamb every 15-20 seconds for 4-5 minutes until rare-medium rare. Remove from the pan and allow to rest for 5 minutes.

5. To cook the carrots, place a small frying pan over medium high heat and add the butter and honey. Add the carrots and cook until al dente. Season to taste.

6. To serve, reheat the lentils, pumpkin puree and sauce if required. Remove the end tips of the lamb and cut the lamb into three even pieces. Season the cut sides with salt. Squeeze a lemon over the lamb. Place a smear of butternut puree in the centre of a serving dish. Place a spoon of the lentils to one side of the puree and lean the baby carrots against the lentils. Place the lamb on the other side of the puree with the cut ends facing up. Place the sauce in a jug and serve on the side.

This recipe is untested in the MasterChef NZ kitchen