Showing posts with label lamb. Show all posts
Showing posts with label lamb. Show all posts

Monday, January 25, 2016

An Australia Day Roast - Roast Lamb with Aperol Chickpeas

An Australia Day Roast - Roast Lamb with Aperol Chickpeas
An Australia Day Roast - Roast Lamb with Aperol Chickpeas

Even if the weather is hot and gross and the idea of having the oven on is unbearable, sometimes you feel like some roast lamb. That’s not just me, yeah? Thank goodness for hooded BBQs! We will actually roast in the BBQ all year around, not just in summer because Lance likes to get the smoker going to flavour, well, everything. But a smoked leg of lamb is a beautiful thing, so I do not complain. I encourage! This recipe is flavourful enough to not require the smoke, but 9 times out of 10, if you get served a roast at our house, it will be smoked. You can smoke this or not, either way it is pretty spectacular.
Over the past few years, aperitivos have really come into their own in WA as we embrace the bitterness in summery spritzes. I absolutely love the citrusy fresh flavours in Aperol and Campari and the like. We have spritz weather, and a particularly balmy afternoon with an Aperol and soda inspired this recipe. The basic premise of this dish is to balance a leg of lamb atop some chickpeas, onions, garlic and Aperol so that the chickpeas will soak up the delicious lamb juices as well as the boozey liquid below as they cook. It’s important to only rub salt on the top of the leg of lamb, otherwise the chickpeas develop a hard outer shell and become tough. Season the chickpeas at the end of the cooking process. The best part of this recipe is that you can just pop it in the BBQ and leave it cooking and it’s a side dish and meat in one dish. Add a green salad and you are done for dinner, folks. You can rotate the lamb a few times if you want, to ensure even cooking, but I don’t always bother (don't salt the lamb at all if you want to rotate). Still check on the liquid levels every so often to make sure the chick peas don’t dry out. I’ve also added some diced carrots and capsicum to the chickpeas to boost the vege content and that’s also worked a treat. Any leftover chickpeas can be used in salads to take to work the next day, the Aperol scent reminding you that the weekend is no more than 5 days away!

An Australia Day Roast - Roast Lamb with Aperol Chickpeas
An Australia Day Roast - Roast Lamb with Aperol Chickpeas
An Australia Day Roast - Roast Lamb with Aperol Chickpeas
An Australia Day Roast - Roast Lamb with Aperol Chickpeas

Roast Lamb with Aperol Chickpeas

1 leg of lamb
2 brown onions, cut into thin half moons
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup dried chick peas, soaked overnight.
3 sprigs thyme
1 cup dry white wine (such as Sauvignon Blanc)
1 cup Aperol
1 cup water
Salt and pepper
Rinse your soaked chickpeas and place them in a heatproof bowl or pot. Boil the kettle and pour over the chickpeas. Leave for 20 minutes while you preheat your BBQ to 160C using only the burners on the grill side, not the plate side (alternatively, you can use your oven). Drain the chickpeas.
Spread the chickpeas into the bottom of a roasting pan. Add the onion, garlic and thyme. Pour over the wine, Aperol and water, gently stir it all together. Rest the lamb on top of the chickpeas, presentation side up and put on the plate of the BBQ (indirect heat) and put the lid down. After half an hour, turn the lamb upside-down carefully with tongs. After another half hour, turn the lamb back the right side up. Continue roasting for a further 30-45 minutes, depending on how well done you like your roast. All the while, keep an eye on the liquid level of the chickpeas. They will slowly be soaking up the liquid, but you don’t want them to dry and catch on the bottom, add a little extra water if necessary.

When the lamb is done, remove it from the chickpeas and set aside on a warm plate, tented in foil to rest for 20 minutes. Pop the lid back down on the BBQ, keeping the chickpeas cooking in this twenty minutes, the liquid should evaporate, leaving a sticky gravy-like onion mixture and the chickpeas should be soft. Season to taste, and serve a pile of chickpeas with a few slices of roast lamb and a green salad.

An Australia Day Roast - Roast Lamb with Aperol Chickpeas
An Australia Day Roast - Roast Lamb with Aperol Chickpeas
An Australia Day Roast - Roast Lamb with Aperol Chickpeas
An Australia Day Roast - Roast Lamb with Aperol Chickpeas
An Australia Day Roast - Roast Lamb with Aperol Chickpeas
An Australia Day Roast - Roast Lamb with Aperol Chickpeas

Monday, April 20, 2015

Dining With the Skamp - Public House Argentinian Lamb Feast - Eat Drink Perth

Dining With the Skamp - Public House Argentinian Lamb Feast - Eat Drink Perth
Dining With the Skamp - Public House Argentinian Lamb Feast - Eat Drink Perth
Dining With the Skamp - Public House Argentinian Lamb Feast - Eat Drink Perth

My brother has been trying to convince me to go to Public House for ages. He works around the corner from it, so hits it frequently for lunch and after work drinks. Based on his recommendation, I added it swiftly to the “To-Visit” list (which is ever-growing), but not working in the city means I don’t go into the city that frequently. I tend to be more of a fringe dweller, hitting Mt. Lawley or Northbridge, rather than Perth proper. When the South American Lamb Feast came up as part of EatDrinkPerth, it was too good of an opportunity to pass up!

Talking to the chef (and backed up by my brother), most of the dishes that we ate on this event were similar, if not the same as what is regularly served on the menu at Public House. This was their first event like this (although the plan is to make it more regular), so they decided to make it easier on themselves by keeping with the basic foods they already serve. All paired with Spanish and South American wines.

We started with Cava and Ceviche. The fish lovely and fresh and delightfully limey. It was served drier than a lot of ceviches are, which made it the perfect canapĂ© presentation. Cava is my go-to bubbly, I find it much easier to drink and full-bodied than a lot of sparklings – not to mention a cheaper option compared to Champagnes! The fruit/sweet/dryness is balanced and refreshing.

We were then seated, long-table style and presented with the first wine and some guacamole and house-made corn chips. Both were fabulous. My brother enjoys this guac, despite really not liking avocado. But it’s perfectly seasoned and also with a nice limey/chilli kick which flavoured it enough for him. The chips were some of the best I’ve had. The perfect crunch, with a slight oiliness to them from the frying. Not enough to grease your fingers, just enough to flavour the tortilla.
Dining With the Skamp - Public House Argentinian Lamb Feast - Eat Drink Perth
Dining With the Skamp - Public House Argentinian Lamb Feast - Eat Drink Perth
Dining With the Skamp - Public House Argentinian Lamb Feast - Eat Drink Perth

All dishes were presented family-style – with share platters placed down for folks to dig in. A bit difficult when sharing with strangers, as you have to politely negotiate your “share” – but sharing food is the best way to start friendships, so it isn’t long before you are chatting with the folks around you. Entrees were Smoked Lamb Sausage with Burnt Lime, Brazilian Espresso and Treacle Lamb Ribs and Lamb, Mushroom and Truffle Empanada. I think the stand-out dish here was the Lamb Ribs, partly because of presentation – a paint brush for adding extra sauce! But also because the rich sauce was so moreish. The coffee and treacle was a perfect match, with the treacle providing a mildly sweet counterpoint to the bitter richness of the coffee. It was sticky and dark, rather than sweet like a lot of BBQ style rib sauces. Definitely different! The Sausage was flavoursome and not overwhelmingly oily, which puts me off of a lot of sausages. The burnt lime cutting through the smoked meat perfectly. The lamb and mushroom empanada simple, but well-balanced. The filling rich, the pastry flaky and buttery.

The timing of the main meats and side dishes was a little off. The Spit Roast Lamb Shoulder came out and we divvied it up. When that was gone, the Chimmi Lamb Back Strap with Beetroot and Goat’s Curd came out, as well as all 3 sides together (Baby Cos, Crispy Onion, Horse Radish,, Tomato, Palm Heart and Smoked Mozarella, Local Greens, Pisco Raisins, Brazil nut). By this point we were stuffed to the brim…and then the Charred Lamb Rack & Onion Textures came out. At the end of the whole meal, we were asked for feedback, again mentioning this was the first time they were trying something like this, and I mentioned this, so hopefully it was just them finding their function feet. The food was again, all delicious. The meats were perfectly cooked. Flavoursome and rich the way good lamb should be. Simply, but well seasoned to allow the meat to shine, but also using South American flavours. Smoke was present in all the flavours, and the smoked mozzarella, tomato and palm heart salad stood out to me as the best side. The sweet, rich and fresh elements were all present and played well together. As my husband pointed out to me, this smoked mozzarella also went well with the Chimmi Lamb Back Strap – more so than the softer flavoured Goat’s Curd it came with, and it ramped up the earthiness of the beets as well. Three reds were presented during this extended course, two of them Malbecs of entirely different styles. Both with the trademark body of a Malbec that paired brilliantly with the South American BBQ flavours. Sadly, I was so distracted by the eating that I forgot to take photos. But it was also beautifully presented.
Dining With the Skamp - Public House Argentinian Lamb Feast - Eat Drink Perth

We were thankfully given a mini-break to finish our reds and rest a little before the dessert wine and desserts were brought out. There is always room for dessert – but the rest of the servings were incredibly generous, and tasty enough for you to not want to be stingy on your serves. The dessert wine was a hugely floral Moscatel, that paired particularly well with the lime and lemon curd dark chocolate tart. The citrus and flowers was delicious. This was my favourite dessert. The dulce de leche parfait was also spot on, sweet and creamy. The brownie was fairly dry and definitely needed the apricot compote that it came with.
All in all, it was a very good meal. The staff were lovely and attentive, and despite finding their footing a little, it was an ultimately well executed long table dinner. We enjoyed it so much, we stayed on for a coffee to finish off the night. It’s a shame that this end of the city is so quiet on Saturday nights, as at the end of the meal, we were the only ones left in the restaurant

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Slow Cooker Love - Lamb Ragu

Slow Cooker Love - Lamb Ragu
Slow Cooker Love - Lamb Ragu

I love slow-cooking in this weather. Especially meat. The flavours of slow-cooked meat are incredible, as is the ease and versatility of cooking a big hunk of meat. My go-to meat for slow cooking is pork. But when I saw a recipe for Italian pulled pork sandwiches I thought that a leg of lamb would suit the flavours so much better. And wondered why I hadn’t done it before. Slow cooked Italian lamb. Perfect, right? Having a weekend of baking for my brother’s Cake Club and having my parents over for dinner the same day was the perfect opportunity to give it a go. I’ve used the herbs that I add to my usual bolognaise sauce, and used tomato in the braising liquid to give it a real Italian richness.

In the morning I rubbed the meat with the herb mix, browned the meat, then left it to do it’s thing while the oven was full of biscuits. The cooling/skimming the fat step is fairly crucial, seeing as a lamb leg is quite a fatty cut.

The end result is a rich, meaty dish. A dish that warms you the whole way through. A dish that leaves you satisfied but still wanting more. Wanting a chunk of bread to clean the bowl with. A dish that serves five big eaters, with leftover lamb for Lance and I for the next two days – realistically it could have done 3 nights if it wasn’t so delicious! Sometimes that can be the best part of slow-cooked food. The leftovers make brilliant sandwich or taco filling, or poured over more pasta or couscous or your other favourite grain.

Slow Cooker Love - Lamb Ragu
Slow Cooker Love - Lamb Ragu
Slow Cooker Love - Lamb Ragu
Slow Cooker Love - Lamb Ragu
Slow Cooker Love - Lamb Ragu

Lamb Ragu

3 tbsp. ground fennel seeds
3 tbsp. dried parsley
2 tbsp dried oregano

1 tbsp. dried thyme
1 tbsp dried basil
1 tbsp pepper
1 tbsp salt
3 tsp. red chilli flakes
1 lamb leg – approx 2kg
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 tins crushed tomatoes

2 cups vegetable stock
2 cups water
1 (generous) cup red wine
1 brown onion, diced

2 tsp sugar
pasta to serve

Combine fennel seeds, parsley, oregano, thyme, basil, chilli flakes, salt and pepper. Cut a long line down the lamb leg to open it up. Rub the inside with the herb mixture, then half of the minced garlic. Pull back together. Rub the entire outside with a generous amount of the herb mix, you might not need all of it.

Heat the base of your slow cooker (or a pan if your insert can’t be heated) to medium high heat and generously coat the bottom with olive oil. Brown the lamb on all sides. 5-10 minutes per side. Remove to a plate. Add the onion, remaining garlic and 1 tin of the crushed tomatoes to the slow cooker base and cook for 10 minutes or until the tomatoes are reduced by about half and caramelized.

Add the stock, water and wine. Mix well then add the lamb back to the base.

Put into your slow cooker and cover. Cook on high for 5 hours or until the meat is falling off the bone.

Transfer the lamb to a tray and shred with two forks, removing the skin, bones and as much fat as you can. Set the meat aside. Allow the cooking liquid to cool and then skim the fat off the top of it.

When ready to serve, prepare your pasta as per cooking instructions. Put the cooking liquid back on the stove top over medium heat. Add the second tin of crushed tomatoes, half fill the tin with water to rinse it out and add that to the sauce. Add sugar and mix well. Bring to the boil, then reduce to low and simmer for 15 minutes until the sauce is reduced by a quarter. Add the shredded meat back in and stir well.

Serve with freshly cooked pasta and a side salad

Slow Cooker Love - Lamb Ragu
Slow Cooker Love - Lamb Ragu
Slow Cooker Love - Lamb Ragu
Slow Cooker Love - Lamb Ragu
Slow Cooker Love - Lamb Ragu

Monday, May 5, 2014

Easy Meals - Roast Mushroom & Mangoes

Having bucketfuls of fresh mangoes has made me use them in ways I wouldn’t ordinarily, if I had to pay for them individually. This was one of those ways that is a bit different, but delicious. I bought a bag of mushrooms from The Nanna Shop with the intention of making a mushroom sauce for some roast lamb. I kept the same basic principle that I was going to – roast with some rosemary and garlic, but added chilli and mangoes for a fresher kick.
 The result was delicious. It lightened up the meal on a day when it was cool enough to serve the roast lamb with salad instead of vegetables. I had the leftovers on toast the next morning, which was also delicious. But it’s as simple as simple could be. Just chuck everything in a roasting pan, throw it in the oven and grab it out in half an hour. To make it even easier, I processed all the veges to save on chopping. Give it a go while there's still the last mangoes of summer floating around the shops.

Roast Mushroom & Mangoes

2 mangoes
500g mushrooms
2 shallots
4 garlic cloves
1 tbsp minced rosemary
2 tbsp butter
¼ cup lamb stock
2 red chillis

Generous black pepper grinding
Big handfuls parsley for serving.

Preheat the oven to 180C

Peel and de-seed the mango. Cut into cubes. Peel the shallots and garlic cloves, and put them into the processor. Pulse until finely chopped. Remove garlic and shallot and set aside. Add the mushrooms in batches and pulse until roughly chopped. Finely slice the chillis, mince the rosemary.

Put the mushrooms in a big roasting pan, stir through the mangoes, shallots, cloves, rosemary, lamb stock and chillis. Place the butter on top, seal with foil and place in the oven. 

After 20 minutes, take the foil off, stir, then roast for a further 10 minutes. Stir through chopped parsley.

Serve as a sauce with roast meat, or just some crusty fresh bread

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Beetroot and Coconut Gnocchi with Green Tea Butter Bean Sauce

For me, the easiest way to make sure I eat well and healthfully is to be prepared. And because I can be seriously lazy, or time-poor (or both), I like to do prep work lazily too. One of the easiest tricks is to just cook too much and you have immediate leftovers. Whenever Lance and I cook a roast (because usually the prep work is a team effort on roasts), I always roast more vegetables than we’ll eat, which I then will use for lunches to take to work. Given that I don’t peel any vegetables, only scrub them before roasting, it really is no extra effort at all. So when Sunday came around and we popped a roast on, I also roasted 2 large beetroot and set them aside to make this dish.
You may remember my sweet potato and coconut gnocchi that was inspired by a dish I never ate at Solomon’s? Well, what we did eat was beetroot and coconut gnocchi, and that was amazing too. So I wanted to give that a go, as well, giving the flavours a Skamp twist. To be honest, these gnocchi were slightly too dry for my liking. I imagine they need either some egg, or perhaps just some oil added into the mixture to bind it better. The sweet potato texture didn’t require anything extra to hold their shape and the mouth feel was perfect. These were a touch dry, so next attempt I will add maybe 2 tbsp coconut oil to the beetroot mixture. Eating it with sauce took away the dryness, but it needed the sauce.
Seeing as the beetroot are really earthy, and I was going to add some leftover rosemary roasted lamb to the sauce, I decided to add caraway and rosemary to the gnocchi to enhance this rich earthiness and the flavour was unbelievable. For the sauce, I made a ‘creamy’ sauce out of butter beans and green tea, to add grassiness to the earthiness, with some fresh lemon and parsley to brighten the flavours up. Then added some peppery watercress and sweet bee pollen to garnish and round out the flavours even more. So. Good. To keep this vegan, you can omit the roast lamb (and bee pollen if that’s your deal). I tasted the sauce and some crumbs without the lamb and it didn’t need the meat.

Beetroot and Coconut Gnocchi with Green Tea Butter Bean Sauce
(serves 4)
2 large roasted beetroot
Coconut flour as necessary – I used 10 tbsp
½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
½ tsp caraway seeds
1 tsp fresh minced rosemary
Coconut oil for frying
1 tin butter beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup strong brewed green tea
2 shallots, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 zucchini, finely sliced into rounds
Big handful parsley, roughly chopped
1 cup shredded cooked lamb
Salt and pepper to taste
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
Bee pollen and cress leaves to serve
Preheat the oven to 150C to keep the cooked gnocchi warm. Pop the kettle on. Brew a cup of green tea, allowing to steep for a good 5 minutes at least, to develop the flavour. Set aside until ready.
Put the beetroot into your food processor and pulse to break up. Add the salt, pepper, caraway seeds and rosemary, and process until smooth. One tablespoon at a time, add coconut flour and pulse to combine until it forms a dry-ish dough, similar texture to play dough.
Scoop teaspoonfuls and roll to form gnocchi shapes, put on a plate. Heat a frypan to medium and add a knob of coconut oil and allow to melt and heat. Add a handful of gnocchi at a time, fry for 3 minutes or so until ‘golden’ and then flip and cook the other side. Set on a plate and pop in the oven to keep warm. Repeat with all of the gnocchi.
In your blender, blend the green tea and butter beans until smooth. In a pan or small pot, add the butter bean mixture and zucchini and gently simmer for 10 minutes or so until thickened slightly, warm and the zucchini is soft. Add the cooked lamb and after the meat has heated through (approximately 5 minutes) add parsley, lemon juice and salt and pepper.
Scoop some sauce onto your serving plate, gently place the gnocchi on top and scatter cress leaves and bee pollen to serve.