Advance Australia Fare
You may recall my mother’s fondness for a roast dinner. In fact, her love of a good roast often meant we had one more than one a week. In her mind there were not many other meals that feed so many mouths with such minimal effort. It was also a meal of a meritocracy. If you cooked it you got your choice of the best cut (or more crackle if it was roast pork). Naturally, this always happened to be Mum. Next, the best-behaved children, or Dad, depending on his track record that week, received an extra slice of meat, more gravy and potentially an extra potato or two. If you’d displayed unbecoming behaviour there was a snowballs chance in hell you’d get any of the good bits – crunchy ends (roast beef), the breast (chicken) or the little shank bone (leg of lamb). It really was the best and fairest way of acknowledging good deeds in the household as those left with the chicken drumstick can attest.
With Australia Day on our doorstep, I thought it appropriate to revisit the roast, specifically a lamb roast. I’ve become quite a fan of Saltbush lamb from our local market. The benefits for farmers of growing native saltbush (pic above) are twofold: it acts as soil erosion & soil salinity preventative as well as a high protein feed for flocks. For those of us inclined to eating lamb that has grazed off it, the meat is leaner and juicier. A butterflied leg means quicker cooking time and more surface area for a deliciously fragrant marinade to infuse extra flavour in every last bit. Pair the lamb up with some green & gold sides and you have a decidedly Australian feast ready to share with your mates.
It’s time to heat up the bbq, add some ice to the Esky and invite some friends around. What are your plans for tomorrow?
This bbq will serve up to 8 people.
BBQ Butterflied Leg of Lamb
1 – 1.5kg butterflied leg of lamb (your butcher can do this for you)
½ cup white wine
4 garlic cloves, minced
½ cup mint leaves, finely chopped
2 sprigs rosemary, leaves finely chopped
2 tbs brown sugar
2 tbs olive oil
Place the lamb in a large, shallow glass or ceramic dish, or in a large ziplock bag. Combine the remaining ingredients in a separate container making sure the sugar is completely dissolved and pour over the lamb. Cover with plastic wrap, if in a dish, or seal the ziplock bag and place in the fridge for at least 2 to 3 hours, preferably overnight. Turn several times.
Preheat a barbeque or chargrill for 10 minutes on high. Drain the lamb from the marinade and place on the grill for 5 minutes each side (only turn the one time). Reduce the heat to medium and cook, covered, for 10 minutes (for medium) or to your liking. Transfer to a plate and cover with foil to rest for 10 minutes.
The lamb will be so moist and full of flavour that you won’t need to drown it in gravy. Simply slice into long strips and reserve any juices to use as the ‘gravy’.
Green & Gold
Green Beans with Pine Nut Butter
500g green beans, trimmed
100g pine nuts
Bring a pot of water to the boil and add the beans. Meanwhile place a small to medium-sized fry pan on medium heat and dry roast the pine nuts until golden. Add the butter and remove from heat once butter begins to foam. After 5 minutes drain the beans and add them to the fry pan, tossing to coat in the pine nut butter. Turn out into a serving dish.
Crunchy Roast Potatoes
1.5kg small potatoes, peeled and halved
3 sprigs rosemary, leaves coarsely chopped
sea salt flakes
Place the potato in a large pot and cover with cold water. Place the pot on a high heat. Cook potatoes for a total of 10 minutes boiling time. In the meantime, preheat the oven to 200°C. Remove the pot from the heat and turn the potatoes out into a large colander. Toss the potato pieces in the colander to roughen up their surface. Some may break up – this is OK as these little pieces will provide extra crunch. Place the potatoes in a baking tray and drizzle lightly with olive oil and sprinkle over the rosemary. Toss to coat and place in the oven for 1 hour, turning the potatoes occasionally, say every 20 minutes.Share this on: