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Basque Style Meat Marinade and Roasted Lamb Sirloin

Basque Style Meat Marinade and Roasted Lamb Sirloin

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It is time that I start sharing some Basque recipes with you.  Don’t you agree?  This recipe is for a Basque Style Meat Marinade and Roasted Lamb Sirloin is one of my favorite recipes.  It was one of my favorite childhood food memories,  and I appreciate it even more as an adult.  Rich in flavor as well as Basque heritage.

Basque Style Meat Marinade and Roasted Lamb Sirloin

We have been re-evaluating Chez Us the past couple weeks.  Sometimes we I feel like we I let the blog-world grab it and run away with it into a direction it shouldn’t be going.  It is time to bring in the reins a little, and not let others get into our heads.  When we started Chez it was a place for us to come, share a meal with you, and to share a bite of two about us.  The pun is that, “she cooks” and “he devours”.  Over the course of the next few months, I am going to still cook and he will continue to devour but we are going to try to make a few changes here and there.  You may notice or you may not.  

One thing that we always discuss is sharing more of our heritage with you.  You know the type of recipes that are good, and wholesome cooking, that ones you tend to only enjoy with families.  We clearly do not take advantage of it in our home, and feel like we should be.  Some of these recipes are old family favorites that cannot be found anywhere online.  Who are we keeping them from?  What’s the big “secret”?  Why aren’t we sharing them?  

Last week, I dusted off one of my favorite Basque cookbooks, From the Basque Kitchen.  It is not in print any longer.  It was my Tia Anne’s, and when she passed, it was passed down to me.  It was published in 1973, by the Zazpiak-Bat Basque Club, and I have not even begun to appreciate cooking from it since I received it.  

The cover is made of thick red paper, and the words were typed out with a typewriter. The pages are that faded old yellow, and it smells of cooking oil.  The recipes are rustic but easy.  Some of them don’t even have measurements, just words, recipes that were recited by grandmothers, great-grandmothers, and theirs.

Basque Style Meat Marinade and Roasted Lamb Sirloin

I was toying with how to cook a gorgeous lamb sirloin that Lava Lake’s Ranch sent our way.  I wasn’t sure if it would be a bit tough and require some braising or if I could simply grill it.  I decided to have some fun.  I dug through the still packed boxes that are coveting our cookbooks, and finally found what I needed, that little red cookbook.  I turned to page 25 and found the recipe, Meat Marinade.  It is simple.  A 1/2 gal of burgundy wine, bay leaves, oil, garlic, onion, and vinegar.  That’s it.

I pulled my ingredients, grabbed a mixing bowl, measuring cups and spoons and got to work.  The recipe clearly had to be changed a bit as 1/2 gallon of burgundy would marinate a small animal.  I crumbled the bay leaves into some red burgundy wine, minced lots of garlic along with shallots and let the red-wine vinegar mingle with the mixture.  Then I submerged the sirloin, and let it bathe for 24 hours.  

The next day I roasted the meat at a low temperature until it was 135 in the middle.  Just before serving, we thinly sliced the lamb, and served it alongside a big bowl of Basque Beans.  I felt like I was 10 years old, enjoying a meal at the wooden table in my Tia Anne’s kitchen. The meat was tender as well as very flavorful.  Subtle hints of garlic with a smooth jammy finish;  like a fine glass of burgundy.

Basque Style Meat Marinade and Roasted Lamb Sirloin


Recipe:  Basque Style Meat Marinade


* feel free to use this marinade with lamb, beef, rabbit, or venison

4 cups red Burgundy wine
3 bay leaves, crumbled
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup minced garlic
1/2 cup shallot, minced
1/2 cup red wine vinegar

How To:

Mix everything together in a large mixing bowl.

Pierce the meat with a fork, and then submerge in the wine mixture.

Cover and put into the refrigerator.

Turn the meat every few hours.

The next day, remove the mixture, 2 hours before cooking.

Cook the meat as usual.

Feel free to baste with the leftover mixture.

Recipe:  Roasted Lamb Loin


2-pound lamb sirloin

Basque Style Meat Marinade

How To:

Preheat the oven to 350.

Lay the lamb on a roasting rack over a pan.

Cook for 15 – 20 minutes per pound.

The middle of the sirloin should register 135 degrees.

Remove from the oven and let the meat rest 10 minutes before thinly slicing.



* read more about cooking lamb here

Disclaimer:  Lava Lake Ranch supplied us with their amazing lamb to use in the development of recipes for their website.  The views on this blog are our own and in no way were we monetarily compensated for writing this entry.  

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Shawna Maitia

Monday 4th of May 2020

I have a really old Basque Cooke book that fits this description except the cover is blue. It was my great grandmother's! I haven't used it yet but I think I will now. It has been years since I had Basque food.

Denise Woodward

Tuesday 5th of May 2020

HI Shawna - this is very interesting. I hope you decide to try making something from it. Are you Basque?

Ed Mayfield

Saturday 17th of March 2018

Would love to get ahold of a Good Basque book.

Denise Woodward

Sunday 25th of March 2018

I have a few - I will send you a list.

Ed Mayfield

Saturday 17th of March 2018

Would love to get ahold of a Good Basque cooking book. Love it..

Catherine Chertudi

Friday 27th of February 2015

I too have the cookbook From the Basque Kitchen. It was a gift from my mother in law who was an amazing Basque cook. She learned to cook for the sheepherders on their ranch near the Owyhee Reservoir as a young girl. We continue her cooking legacy with our children! We have worked to recreate some of her wonderful recipes, usually just a little short of how great her meals always were. Thank you for sharing your recipes and traditions!


Thursday 29th of March 2012

This looks amazing. I agree, it's time to dust off the old cookbooks and revisit what we grew up with. Delicious and comforting.