Roasted Saddle of Sonoma Lamb with Mustard Spinach Spaetzle and Cabernet Sauce

INGREDIENTS:1 lamb saddle with flaps
as needed, salt
as needed, freshly ground white pepper
2 cloves peeled garlic
butcher twine

Sp'tzle:
½ pound high gluten flour
pinch baking soda
fat pinch baking powder
½ tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. dry mustard
5 fl. oz. spinach milk (see note)
2 whole eggs
2 oz. usalted butter to reheat sp'tzle before serving

Rutherford Red Wine Sauce:
½ cup finely minced shallots (must be hand cut)
2 Tbsp. finely chopped bacon
4 black peppercorns, crushed
2 cups Rutherford red wine
2 cups fine veal stock
2 oz. unsalted butter
to taste, salt and pepper
DIRECTIONS:For sp'tzle:
Mix separately the dry ingredients and the wet ingredients. Add the wet to the dry and mix well to develop the gluten. Let batter rest at least 10 minutes. Make a sp'tzle cooking set-up with a 600 pan filled with 2 ½ inches boiling water topped with a 200 perf pan. Using plastic spatula, force batter through perf pan into boiling water below, 2 cups per batch, and cook each batch 30 seconds. Remove with a spider and chill in ice bath, then drain on sheet pan covered with clean kitchen towel. Repeat with remaining batter until done. Reserve in refrigerator until ready for service.

For red wine sauce:
Use a good quality red wine. Combine shallots, bacon and cracked pepper in a saucepan and cook over moderate heat until fat is rendered and shallots barely begin to brown. Deglaze with red wine and reduce until about ½ cup remains. Add veal stock and continue to simmer and reduce, skimming impurities occasionally. When sauce begins to thicken, remove from heat, verify and adjust seasoning, then whisk in unsalted butter. Reserve warm.

For service:
Season outside of lamb with salt and pepper. Sear golden brown on all sides and roast in a 450°F oven for 15 minutes for perfect pink lamb. Allow to rest out of oven for another 10 minutes before slicing. In meantime, heat remaining butter for sp'tzle in saute pan until it just begins to brown. Add sp'tzle and shake pan immediately to prevent sticking. Saute 3-4 minutes until they crisp a little on the outside. Place a few spoonsful in center of each warm plate. Top with sliced lamb and surround with sauce.

Note: For spinach milk, blanch, shock and wring dry a large handful of spinach leaves; puree with approximately ¼ cup milk to make 5 fl. oz. total.SERVINGS:8-12 servings, depending on portion sizeFrom:From: Ken Frank, La Toque Restaurant, Rutherford, Calif.PHOTO CREDIT:Photo Credit: TERRY MCCARTHY