All posts filed under “mains

7 Hour Lamb

We’re experiencing the last visages of winter down under and although occasionally the odd warm day is starting to appear more regularly, some days are still capable of chilling you to the bone. Sometimes I leave the oven on a low heat roasting away root vegetables like beetroots for hours, just to have an excuse to warm my kitchen/living room up a little bit. It’s an exercise in a luxurious waste of energy resulting in some thoroughly tasty veggies. You may look at a recipe named “7 hour lamb” and run away in fear of the time and energy needed to prepare and cook such a meal but in reality it’s actually just a prolonged heat solution for your household in winter resulting in a very simple, rustic and tasty dinner.

7 Hour Lamb

7 Hour Lamb

1.5-2kg lamb leg
handful of garlic cloves (peeled)
3 sprigs rosemary
4 sprigs thyme
1 bay leaf
salt & pepper
3 carrots
1 large brown onion
1 leek
3 medium parsnips
1 sweet potato
1 tablespoon oil
2 litres beef or chicken stock
1/2 cup white wine

Preheat  the oven to 125C/257F. Cut the excess fat and sinew off lamb and season liberally with salt and pepper

With a paring knife, make slits into the lamb and stuff in whole garlic cloves into the flesh

In a large dutch oven/cast iron pot, heat the oil and sear the lamb till brown on both sides. Add in the herbs, stock, white wine, bring to simmer, then place in oven for 4 hours

Roughly chop the vegetables into large chunks add them to the pot. Cook for another 3 hours until vegetables and lamb are almost falling apart.

Carefully fish the vegetables and lamb from the broth. Roughly tear the lamb meat apart. Reduce the stock by half and use to dress the lamb.

7 Hour Lamb

7 hour lamb

7 hour lamb

rosemary

Tunisian Lamb & Quince Stew

Winter has certainly arrived in Sydney and although it doesn’t get quite as cold as in certain parts of the world, it’s that time of the year when I’m definitely craving the warmth embrace of a hearty stew. And the following Tunisian Lamb & Quince stew really does the job and keeps you toasty with all of the beautiful North African spices and flavours.

Australia provides some of the best lamb in the world and a slow cooked lamb shoulder is just an absolute joy to eat. Quinces however are a much less used fruit, since you have to cook it to be edible, it’s an intimidating what the hell is that type thing in the market but in reality it’s just a giant fragrant sour astringent apple.

The following recipe is adapted from here, it makes quite a bit of stew but luckily it also freezes well so you’ll have enough stew to keep you going for many a winter day.

Tunisian Lamb and Quince Stew

spices

Tunisian Lamb & Quince Stew

(serves 6)

2 tablespoons coriander seeds
1 tablespoon caraway seeds
6 medium cloves(peeled and smashed)
2 teaspoons dried chilli flakes
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 tablespoons olive oil
1.5 kg lamb shoulder (cut into cubes 3-4 cm)
Salt & Pepper
2 brown onions (roughly chopped)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cinnamon stick
pinch of saffron threads
1.5 litres chicken broth
2 large quinces (de-cored and cut into large chunks)
2 tablespoons honey

Toast the coriander and caraway seeds in a pan till fragrant. Then transfer to a mortar and pestle, crush and pound. Combine with the garlic, chilli flakes, paprika, cayenne pepper, 2 tablespoons salt and 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large bowl and marinate the cubed lamb in the mixture overnight in the fridge. Take the lamb out 45min before cooking to bring to room temperature.

Heat the remaining olive oil in a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot. Sear the lamb in batches until golden brown.

Remove the lamb and add in the onions, tomato paste, cinnamon stick, garlic from the marinade and saffron. Cook until the onions begin to caramelise and scrape off the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Season with salt and pepper.

Transfer the lamb back into the pot. Add the chicken stock and simmer covered for 1.5 hours.

Once the lamb is almost tender add in the quince and honey, season to taste with salt & pepper and then simmer for another hour covered or until quince is tender.

Tunisian Lamb and Quince Stew

Epic Post Xmas Lunch Feast – Part 3 – Dessert

Check out the mega Part 2 – Pulled Pork Tacos

Ah, and to the end of the meal we come. Barely with enough room to move, we desperately pry more stomach space for a thoroughly satisfying end to an epic feast.

I admit that I’m not as well versed in baking or desserts compared to the other culinary crafts and Ice cream and other frozen delicacies have definitely played main roles in various scenes of multiple cooking fails in the past. I’ve certainly created enough 2 litre sorbet ice blocks in my time.

Why don’t I just buy an ice cream churner you ask? Because I’m stubborn and I don’t like too many impalements cluttering the kitchen, same reason why I don’t have an electronic hand whisk or a stand mixer. And probably because I’m slightly masochistic, I love the torture of having to hand whisk egg whites, cream or creaming butter and sugar by hand.

Anyway, in light of my failures, it’s surprising that this is perhaps my most successful ice cream recipe by far. Semi Freddo means half-cold in Italian, although it tends to melt faster than ice cream, it definitely tastes like ice cream. Don’t try and skimp on the cream/eggs either if you want it to work and not turn into a cream ice block.

White Chocolate, Macadamia & Lime Semifreddo with Macerated Summer Fruits

White Chocolate, Macadamia & Lime Semifreddo with Macerated Summer Fruits

White Chocolate, Macadamia & Lime Semifreddo

250g white chocolate
100g macadamia nuts (lightly toasted and crushed)
zest of 1 lime
4 eggs
1 vanilla pod
400ml single cream
50g sugar

lightly grease a 2 litre loaf tin or container with oil/butter then line with cling film

Break the chocolate into pieces and melt in a bain-marie (or microwave). Set aside to cool.

separate the egg yolks and whites. Whip the yolks over a Bain Marie on low heat. Add sugar and beat until pale and silky. Make sure the temperature isn’t too high as it can scramble your eggs. Once done, add to the cooled melted chocolate.

Split the vanilla pod, scrape out the seeds and add to the cream. Whip the cream until soft peaks. Whip the egg whites until soft peaks.

Fold everything together lightly along with the nuts and lime zest.

pour into tin/container. Freeze for at least 4-6 hours. Even better overnight. Keeps in the fridge for 2 weeks.

fruit

Macerated Summer Fruits with vanilla sugar, mint & butterscotch schnapps

1 punnet blueberries1 punnet strawberries
1 punnet raspberries
1/3 punnet red currants
1 handful fresh round mint
1 tablespoons vanilla sugar
2 tablespoons butterscotch schnapps

Cut strawberries in half and add to a large mixing bowl along with the other berries and currants.

finely shop the mint, and add to the fruit along with the sugar and schnapps. Mix well, and slightly mash some of the berries (around 1/3).

Refrigerate for 1-2 hours before use.

finished

Epic Post Xmas Lunch Feast – Part 2 – Pulled Pork Tacos

Okay I hope you left the majority of your stomach space free after the epicness that was Part 1 but…

…Oooohhh baby, are you ready for some pulled pork tacos? Here’s part 2 of my post Christmas lunch feast, the good stuff, the main stuff, the stuff…that matters…

Pulled Pork Tacos with Apple Slaw, Pickles & Mustard Mayo

Post Christmas Feast - Pulled Pork Tacos

Oh mai GAI…will you look at that? Is it speaking to you? 3 months later and it’s still speaking to me. This has got to be one of my most ambitious projects ever. When you get up at 7am to put shit in the oven, you know you’re going big. For the pulled pork, to provide the best result you HAVE to plan ahead, at least 1 day in advance, more if you value your sanity, this is definitely not a wing it type job. I store bought my tortillas but if you have the time and energy to make your own after cooking this much food then kudos to you. Also don’t forget the pico de gallo and guacamole from part 1 are perfect to add to the taco, as well as some sliced tomato, coriander (cilantro) sprigs & jalepenos. But enough fluffing about, let’s get to it!!!

Post Christmas Feast - Pulled Pork

Pulled Pork

1.5-2kg pork shoulder (preferably on the bone but my supermarket had it as a shoulder roast without the bone so that’s what I used)
3 medium brown onions

RUB
2 tablespoons garlic powder
2 tablespoons smoked paprika
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil

Combine all the ingredients for the rub in a mixing bowl. Mix well, then apply and massage into the pork shoulder. Wrap and leave to marinate for at least 2-3 hours or even better overnight in the fridge (Especially if you’re cooking it for lunch, I marinated mine overnight and threw it in the oven at 7am and it made the table by 1pm).

Preheat oven to 155C/311F. Cut the onions roughly into quarters and line the bottom of a large baking dish. Place the pork on top of the onions and then cover dish with foil.

Bake for 2.5 hours. Then take foil off, continue to bake uncovered for 1.5-2 hours or until pork is nicely coloured and falling apart. (You may have to turn the heat up a little bit for the last couple of hours if you’re on a tight deadline)

Take the pork out of the oven, cover with foil and rest for 20min. Using 2 forks roughly pull the pork apart (ha) and making sure to mix in the gravy and onions from the bottom of the pan.

Try not to demolish it before it makes it onto the tortilla

Post Christmas Feast - Apple Slaw

Apple Slaw

1/4 head purple cabbage (shredded)
1/4 head white cabbage (shredded)
2 granny smith apples (cored & sliced into matchsticks)
2 scallions/shallots (finely chopped)

DRESSING
1 tablespoon whole egg mayonnaise
2 tablespoon sour cream
2 teaspoons dijon mustard
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
salt & pepper

Combine dry ingredients in a large salad bowl. Combine dressing ingredients, mix well and add dressing to the salad, making sure to coat everything. (Use your hands!)

Leave the slaw to sit for 20-30min in the fridge before serving. (As a kid I used to think coleslaw was “coldslaw” because it was meant to be served cold. And even now warmish slaw gives me the heebie jeebies. Serve yours cold please!

Post Christmas Feast - pickles

Quick House Pickles

2 radish bulbs (thinly sliced)
1/2 spanish onion (thinly sliced)
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
salt & pepper

Add the radish and onions to a mixing bowl. Combine the sugar, vinegar, salt & pepper in another bowl, mix until sugar is completely dissolved. Add the pickling liquid to the radish & onions. Allow to seep for 20-30min. Squeeze excess vinegar out before serving.

If you don’t have a mandolin slicer or something like that to slice your pickles really thin then make sure you leave them to pickle a little longer.

Mustard Mayo

2 tablespoons whole egg mayonnaise
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

Combine everything and mix well.

Post Christmas Feast

Post Christmas Feast- Finished Plate

And if you still have room for more food…next up in Part 3 is DESSERT

White Chocolate, Macadamia & Lime Semifreddo with Macerated Summer Fruits

Semifreddo