Maca lamb loin

Maca lamb loin with Olluco potatoes and Uchucuta sauce

  • serves 4
  • Easy

Introduce your dinner party guests to the soul warming flavours of Peru with chef Martin Morales's fresh and zingy recipe for seared lamb loin and nutty Uchucuta herb sauce. Don't be put off by the length, it's really easy to make and is a great idea for an impressive dinner party main.



  • lamb loin 400g, any fat or sinew removed
  • garlic 2 cloves, crushed
  • panca chilli paste or any smoked chilli paste 100g
  • red wine vinegar 2 tsp
  • soy sauce 1 tbsp
  • achiote (annatto seeds) oil or rapeseed oil
  • olive oil for frying
  • Olluco potatoes, Anya potatoes or new potatoes 240g, boiled and halved to serve
  • Greek yoghurt to serve


  • coriander a bunch, chopped
  • basil a bunch, chopped
  • tarragon a bunch, chopped


  • garlic cloves 50g, (approx. 1 bulb)
  • coriander a large bunch
  • baby spinach 200g
  • cancha corn or shelled pistachios 15g
  • feta 20g
  • olive oil 100-150ml


  • maca powder 5g
  • cancha corn or shelled pistachios 10g, blended to a powder
  • aji panca chilli powder or other smoked chilli powder 10g


To make the Peruvian herb mix

  • Step 1

    Put all of the herbs in a blender and whizz until finely chopped. Mix the garlic, panca chilli paste, vinegar, soy sauce, achiote oil and Peruvian herb mix in a large bowl.

  • Step 2

    Portion the lamb equally into 4. Add the lamb, stir to coat in the spices and marinate for 3 hours. Remove from the fridge half an hour before cooking to come to room temperature.

To make the uchucuta sauce

  • Step 1

    Blanch the garlic cloves in boiling water for 4-5 minutes, adding the coriander and spinach leaves for the last 30 seconds. Strain through a colander, and plunge into iced water to cool.

  • Step 2

    Drain again, squeezing all the water from the mix. Put all the ingredients, except the oil, in a small blender and whizz until blended, gradually adding the oil with the motor still running until it makes a smooth sauce. Cover and chill.

To make the dish

  • Step 1

    Put a splash of olive oil in a frying pan and remove the lamb loins from the marinade. Fry for 2 minutes on all 4 sides for medium, or longer if you like. The internal temperature should reach 60C. Leave to rest under foil.

  • Step 2

    Mix all of the maca-cancha-panca powder ingredients together.

  • Step 3

    To serve, slice the lamb portions and put onto the plates. Add some cooked potatoes, followed by the uchucuta sauce. Finally, sprinkle with the maca-cancha-panca powder. Drizzle over some greek yogurt, if you like.

Cook's note: Maca powder is available from health food shops.

Nutritional Information

  • Kcals 657
  • Fat 55.4g
  • Saturates 11.5g
  • Carbs 9.7g
  • Sugars 3.9g
  • Fibre 6.6g
  • Protein 26.8g
  • Salt 1.5g