Win with Alto Wines & Make this Karoo Lamb Loin with Rocket Butter & Oven Roasted Leeks

Words: Crush

This year, Alto wines celebrates 100-years of winemaking history in South Africa. This is not only the celebration of wine but also of family, of shared memories and of time spent together – all things worth honouring.

We’ve teamed up with Alto and chef Jacques Erasmus, of Hemelhuijs restaurant, to create a series of five recipes, each paired with an Alto wine. If you’ve been following the series, then you’ve seen this delectable Beef Carpaccio dish and this deliciously crispy Pork Belly with Vermouth-soused Prunes. It simply couldn’t be a South African celebration without Karoo lamb, so our next recipe highlights this local treasure.


We’re exploring all things peppery with this dish. The lamb loin is cooked to pink perfection and is served with a peppery rocket browned butter sauce and oven roasted leeks. The flavour profile of the rocket butter needs a bold wine to stand up to it and Alto Shiraz is just that.

Chef Jaques Erasmus, “The peppery profile of all the ingredients in this dish and pairing are a match made in heaven.”

Alto Shiraz

Alto Shiraz is a rich, ruby red wine with a nose of red fruit and wood spice with white and black pepper notes, ideal for this meaty lamb dish.

The grapes for this wine came from vineyards planted in deep, red, decomposed granite and clay soils on a north-westerly slope, situated some 100m to 150m above sea level.

Meet Alto’s winemaker Bertho van der Westhuizen.

Karoo Lamb Loin with Rocket Butter and Oven Roasted Leeks

Serves: 6
Difficulty: easy
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes

Rocket Butter

180 g rocket leaves
60g butter
salt and pepper to taste

Oven Roasted Leeks 

24 baby leeks, washed and trimmed
2 cloves of garlic, sliced
1 Tbsp (15 ml) fresh thyme, chopped
olive oil to dress
salt and pepper to taste

Karoo Lamb Loin

splash of olive oil for rubbing
700 g Karoo lamb loin, trimmed and fat scored
2 tsp (10 ml) coriander seeds, crushed
salt and black pepper to taste

Rocket Butter

Bring a pot of salted water to boil over high heat.  Blanch the rocket leaves for 30 seconds and then refresh in ice cold water.  Drain in a colander and place into a blender. Place the butter into a small saucepan and cook over medium heat until golden brown and frothy.  Pour the brown butter over the rocket and liquidise until smooth.

Oven Roasted Leeks

Preheat the oven to 200 ºC.

Cook the leeks in a pot of salted water for 4-5 minutes until tender, then remove and drain well.  Place into a bowl and add the garlic, thyme, olive oil and seasoning. Toss through and then transfer to a roasting tray.  Roast in the oven for 10-12 minutes until soft. Remove and set aside.

Karoo Lamb Loin

Rub the lamb loin with olive oil, then roll in the coriander seeds and season with salt and pepper.  Place a frying pan over medium-high heat and seal the lamb on all sides, about 4-5 minutes. Place the lamb into a roasting tray and finish in the oven for 8-10 minutes and remove. Let the meat rest for at least 10 minutes before cutting into slices.

Serve the lamb loin over the oven roasted leeks, dressed with rocket butter.

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Competition - Enter to win

Celebrate Alto’s 100th year of winemaking history and enter to win prizes valued at a total of R24 000!

Grand prize: Win an exclusive culinary experience at Hemelhuijs restaurant in Cape Town for you and nine of your favourite dinner party guests. Enjoy a stunning gourmet meal prepared by chef Jacques Erasmus, paired with a selection of Alto wines, valued at R10 000!

Four Additional Prizes: stand in line to win 1 of 4 special Alto 100-year celebratory wooden cases containing 5 wines (Rouge, Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Blend and MPHS) valued at R3 000 each.

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