Tag Archives: lamb

Spring Lamb


Hi Tony.

I see you were in New Zealand?! How was that? Did you survive the Savalanche?

Spring has sprung here. The weekend at Mt Buller was, well, winter seems like it is over. Warm day on Saturday and foggy, with a little rain on Sunday. Per usual, I worked both days but it was hard to keep the crew motivated in the rain. It wasn’t too hard to convince them that a coffee stop at Koflers was a good idea.

I’m not cooking as much at the moment. Nor are we going out terribly much. Pre-wedding diet don’t you know!

I am lucky enough to get a dinner a week at the local. The Carringbush is doing well to keep things fresh. A recent visit, Mick (one of the managers) let me know he picked up some Yarra Valley truffles from a mate. Who am I to turn down something yummy sprinkled with truffle shavings? There were a couple of offerings, but I found it hard to go past the veal backstrap schnitzel with truffled macaroni and cheese. So much truffly, cheesy goodness!

Mum & dad joined us for a meal later in the week. Royce went the chicken Kiev with lobster & scallop butter and mashed potato with shaved truffle. Also much truffly goodness. Hard to believe, but it was the first time Royce has had truffle.

Had hankering for a burger on Sunday whilst driving back from Buller. So it got me thinking. What could I do only on a BBQ, but be worthy to grace our table. Easy, lamb-burger with all sorts of goodies locked in. Even better, lamb-burger on some fresh home-made Turkish bread. I reckon you can do the bread on the BBQ too. Got to be the easiest bread, other than pizza base. Worth a try if BBQ is your only option.

The bread takes longest to make, so give yourself a good 90 mins:

400gm bread flour
8gm salt
4gm sugar
4gm dry yeast
10ml extra virgin olive oil
300ml water

Carefully weigh the dry ingredients in big bowl and mix. Take temperature of the dry mix. Add the olive oil and then water, but make sure temperature of water adds to 50 degrees with temp of dry ingredients (e.g. if dry mix is 20C, water needs to be 30C). Mix that mess for about 10 mins until the dough begins to pull away from the sides. Cover it with glad wrap and set in warm place for about 90 mins. It should rise to about 3x original.


When you’re good to go, turn it out onto a lightly greased tray very carefully. You don’t want to knock much air out of it. Lightly dust it with flour and/or sesame seeds and press finger tips in to make dents.


Whack in very hot 300C oven for about 10-13 mins. This is why I think you do it on the BBQ.

My lamb burger mix is simple, but oh so good on the fresh, hot Turkish bread. In a bowl, whack in an egg, a handful of chopped parsley, a teaspoon each of ground coriander seeds, cumin, smoked paprika and turmeric.


A splash of olive oil and the minced lamb. To really set if off, crumble some fetta into the mix and form into burger patties.


BBQ those bad boys and serve with some shaved cucumber, char-grilled eggplant and if you can wangle it, some chilli relish.


When are you heading back to the island? Or have you got a BBQ in Bangkok? Not even sure if you can get lamb easily in Thailand?

Better fly, rare moment, so should clean the house or something.



Greener Pastures



Tender and delicious (left). Farmer (right).

Great Dan. While you were braving Melbourne’s winter to barbeque/smoke fish, I was busy making a lamb ragù and home-made Pappardelle in 37-degree heat!

At least the weather came to the party and I got a storm when I was dishing up, so with the air-conditioning cranked up it seemed an appropriately wintery night for a hearty slow-cooked meal and a glass of red.

Greener grass; it’s a great motivation, no?

Oh, and if you’re American, that’s 99-degrees F. Please, get a more sensible system – 0-degrees for freezing water and 100-degrees for boiling it makes comprehending it so easy. Your option is 32-degrees and 212? Really?

The lamb was sort-of made up, but something like this: Brown lamb pieces in a heavy cast-iron pot, set aside. Add onion and pancetta and cook until the onion starts to colour. Deglaze the pan with a glass of wine, add stock, tomato paste, carrot and a bay leaf or two and simmer for three hours or so.

The pasta’s about the opposite in terms of cooking time. Mix about 1.5 cups of flour with two eggs and a generous pinch of salt. Knead and set aside for 30 mins. Run it through the pasta machine and cut into wide strips. Cook in boiling water for about 2 minutes.

There’s no substitute for fresh pasta like this. I don’t have anything against dried, but in this case the firmness of the fresh pasta was perfect for the fall-apart ragù. A little good quality parmesan cheese across the top and you’re away.

I’m almost embarrassed to say it, but we drank a bottle of Jacob’s Creek cab sav with it. In my defence, I had to buy it at the supermarket, and it was the Reserve variety, which is much better than the usual stuff. And it cost US$25, which is more than enough for a night at home, and at the low-end for a drinkable wine in these parts. Sigh.

My winter didn’t last long though. The next day I made omelettes stuffed with fresh crab, coriander and a chilli-jam dressing. I can’t get over the fact that I can get the crab meat, freshly-cooked and picked, from the supermarket for less than the price of lamb.

And really, when the temperature is in the high thirties, who wants a heavy winter meal?