Lamb shnitzel with mint sauce (or maybe in a sandwich with tomato ketchup)


The trans-Tasman comradery and a good piece of lamb

I am not sure the reason, but whatever it is, we as Australians always seem to be able to afford ourselves the time for a big old cross seas pointing of the finger and a laugh with our neighbours the Kiwis (and them to us I’m sure). It might be the spirit of the ANZACS? A strange, unexplainable, X-Files-esque trans-Tasman chemistry? Or maybe it was a morning where we awoke next to each other after a heavy night of drinking and realized we were in the games room at a retirement home and we smell like potpourri and denture adhesive? (Please, stick with me here). Wherever the connection may lie, the average Australian has a penchant for a good solid joke with the Kiwi’s, aka New Zealanders.

But today we shall not be discussing jokey time. No, no, no. This shit is serious as having face herpes at your final high school ball. It is time to say once and for all; the sheep f**cking (should read fucking) must stop!

K? K.

Now, lamb rump is probably so popular because butchers were smart enough to call it something other than “lamb’s ass”. But let’s face it; it is a lamb’s ass cheek. Now (back to the finger pointing) a good, tender lamb’s ass is a point of national distraction for a Kiwi (I know I said there would be no more jokes about coital union with a sheep but…). A bit of the old “nah mate, it was caught in the wire fence and I was just trying to push it through”. But a good, tender lamb rump… well that’s something I’m going to be happy to put in my face anytime. And that is indeed what I did

Pounded lamb rump and a few other bits and pieces

A little pile of shnitzels and mint sauce. A photo that may or may not appear in a book I have been working on.

LAMB SHNITZEL
(Serves 4)

8x 90—100 g (3—3½ oz) lamb rump steaks, pounded a little bit to flatten
1 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
1 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
Zest of 1 lemon
125 g (4½ oz) plain flour
3 eggs, whisked with a splash of water
200 g (7 oz) panko breadcrumbs
Salt and pepper
Crushed potatoes, peas and mint sauce (recipe below), to serve
Or maybe white bread and tomato sauce, to serve
Mix the breadcrumbs with the herbs, lemon zest and a pinch of salt and pepper.
Dust the lamb rumps in flour, then egg wash, then breadcrumbs to coat.
Shallow fry the schnitzels in medium-hot oil for 1 minute each side.
Drain on absorbent paper for 1 minute.
Serve with mint sauce and vegetables or whack it in between two slices of white bread white a little tomato ketchup and you have yourself a fucking cracking sandwich. The sandwich thing works super well with cold schnitzels too.

MINT SAUCE
125 ml (4 fl oz) apple cider vinegar
50 g (2 oz) caster sugar
A big handful of mint
Salt and pepper
Warm the vinegar and sugar until the sugar is dissolved. Allow to cool.
Add chopped mint leaves, or add them whole and then hit it with a stick whizz.
Season with a little salt and pepper.
That’s it.
Tell yourself some things really can be that easy.

BBQ lamb sausage rolls


Sausage rolls: an Australian institution.

BBQ: also and Australian institution.

Lamb: also an Australian institution.

Can you see where I’m going with this? Of course you can. You are not as simple as you look.

These little suckers are so tasty you’ll find yourself cooking up extra lamb just to make more.

Mix it up.

Get your little meat roll thing going on.

Roll them up, egg wash, dust with a little extra seasoning and then into the oven they go.

BBQ LAMB SAUSAGE ROLLS

(makes 24 rolls)

4 – 5 cups leftover BBQ or roast lamb – cutlets, ribs, shoulder or whatever it is you have – chopped
1 kg beef mince (helps to bind the cooked meat)
1 brown onion, finely chopped
1 medium zucchini, grated
100 g (1 ½ cups) fresh sour dough bread crumbs (these soak up some of the meat juices and keep them inside the sausage roll which, in turn, keeps the sausage roll moist and tasty)
1 tbls herby lamb seasoning, plus extra to dust
6 squares ready rolled puff pastry. They all seem to be a pretty standard size out here so we’ll stick with the standard size today.
Egg wash (1 egg beaten with a splash of milk)

Preheat oven to 200 C (390 F).
Chuck all ingredients except pastry and egg wash into a bowl and mix until combined.
Lay out puff pastry sheets side by side on a bench top.
Slice pastry squares to form two rectangles.
Lay a sausage-like mound of meat lengthways down the pastry sheet. Roll pastry over the meaty mound and back onto itself so meat is fully encased. Slice through middle to form two sausage rolls.
Place sausage rolls side by side (2 cm gap so they don’t puff up and stick to each other) on oven trays lined with baking paper.
Glaze with egg wash and sprinkle with extra lamb seasoning.
Bake for 20 -25 minutes or until golden brown, rotating trays twice during cooking.
A your choice of sauce, or none at all, and eat that shit.

Braised lamb cutlets with bubble-and-swede… and a couple of things that grow really well on the south island of New Zealand


Yeah, I know right. Who uses lamb cutlets for braising?

Well, in the south island of New Zealand where the sheep population grossly outweighs that of the humans*, lamb cutlets are cheap as bro, so today I would do whatever the heck I wanted with them.

So many swedes for the sheep

Also, what is this whole bubble-and-swede thing, you ask? A damn clever play on words and a really tasty way to eat the humble swede, that’s what it is.

You see, on an island that seems to have the climate to grow absolutely nothing, the folks down south are pretty effing adept at growing the humble swede. Mostly to feed the ever-growing sheep population it would seem, but occasionally for human consumption also. But probably not very much for human consumption as I would imagine they’d be pretty sick of them by now. Probably the carnie folk would still relish a good swede though, I would imagine…

So much dribble.

Whatever the case, it was not uncommon to see roadside market stalls selling swedes (and swedes alone) the size of the head of the carnie folk they might eventually feed, for a buck a pop.

So, the scenario is this – we drove through the hills (there is always “the hills”) of the sheep growing, swede producing south and I said to myself, “today I shall purchase some sheep and some swedes and I shall cook them for our evening meal”.

“That would be heaps Kiwi-ish”, I agreed.

The camper kitchen

Unbelievably cheap-as lamb, bro
Get a bit o’ colour on those lamb cutlets
Mashy the swede and potato
…and then mix in the sautéed leek…

Truly delicious. Wash it all down with a local alcoholic beverage of some description

LAMB CUTLETS, TAGINE GRAVY, BUBBLE-AND-SWEDE

(serves 4)

8-12 lamb cutlets, depending on size and appetite (NZ origin)
Moroccan seasoning (dubious origin)
½ onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped (NZ origin)
1 small knob ginger, grated (origin unknown)
1 teaspoon chilli paste (origin unknown)
A splash of some white wine (NZ origin)
400g tin diced tomatoes (definitely not of NZ origin as we could not afford the barter of 12 gold doubloons and 3 sex slaves that was necessary to obtain said tomatoes)
1 decent sized swede, diced large (NZ origin)
1 leek, sliced (NZ origin)
1 potato, diced large (probably NZ origin)
50-100g butter (we had some NZ stuff earlier in the week, but… hmmm… we don’t have any more)
Salt and pepper to season

Season cutlets with Moroccan seasoning. Brown cutlets in a pan over med-high heat for 2 minutes each side. Remove and set aside.
Add onion, garlic, ginger, chilli and a little extra Moroccan seasoning to the same pan with all of the lamby flavour, and sauté for a few minutes or until soft.
Deglaze pan with a splash of white wine and add diced tomatoes.
Return lamb chops to pan, cover and simmer over low heat for 30 minutes or so, until lamb is nice and tender.
While that’s going on you’ll need to sort your bubble and swede.
Boil swede and potato until nice and soft. Drain.
Sauté leek with half of the butter until soft and sexy smelling.
Mash swede and potato with remaining butter, mix in sautéed leek and then season well. Taste it and make sure the seasoning is good.
Plate it up however you see fit.
A bit of parsley would be nice but as you can probably see, we didn’t have any of that on hand.
Feeling the NZ vibe? I am.

*Seriously. I grew up in the south of Western Australia and I thought that place was an oversized sheep property but this place is nek level. The locals around here would be chucking a few sheep in the front yard before they ever contemplated putting in a rose garden or a kids cubby house I can guarantee you. I have respect for that kind of sheep love.

Sausages and lamb ribs and eggplant… and red rice.


I would like to start by informing you all that I really like a good sausage.

These sausages are quite frankly what I consider to be the best sausages in these here parts – made by the fine folks at Hayters Hill Butchery. His bratwurst (Well, not his bratwurst. I know nothing of this man’s sausage and that is the truth) was my sausage of choice on this day – absolutely a pleasure to put in mouth. Hmmm. I’m sounding more and more like a “lady of the night” by the word…

I’ll try again.

The sausages were reals good after 2.5-3 hours at 110C (220-230F) over ironbark. Really bloody good. The Hayters Hill crew also do a cracking chunky pork snag which is also a tasty tasty thing after a few hours in a smoker. I am also pretty sure that these sausages would even be hella tasty raw, but that it just a guess and based on absolutely zero personal raw sausage eating experience I will admit it.

You will probably not be able to find any Hayters Hill sausages at your local market because we pretty much buy all of there stuff up here in the northern rivers of NSW, so you can use whatever it is that you consider to be a great sausage in your own mind…

The lamb ribs were given that same ironbark-smoky 110C treatment, and very similarly to how you may do pork ribs, they were given 3 hours of smoke, followed by wrapping and another hour in the smoker, followed by a 1 hour rest after that. The internal temp was 92C (200F) and they were fricking perfect.

Lamb ribs are definitely not pork ribs but they are still damn tasty in the smoker and something a little different for you next BBQ. They can also offer that same sort of smoky ribby wow factor but at a heaps cheaper price tag than pork or beef ribs… that is, until the butchers work out that they are just as tasty as their high-end friends and bump the price up on these puppies too.

I also made some red rice and miso & maple glazed eggplant, and placed some peppery hot sauce and smoked salt on the table to complete the package that was our dinner on this evening. It was all plenty tasty. My eldest son, Seba, even commented that although he doesn’t like eggplant, and this was certainly no exception, it was the best eggplant he’d ever been forced to eat.

You’re welcome.

Those sexy little lamb ribs

I borrowed the recipe for red rice from right here
The eggplant looked pretty sexy

The whole thing looked rather sexy, actually

MISO AND MAPLE GLAZED EGGPLANT

(serves 4 as a side with left over miso glaze for next time)

1 large eggplant, cut into 8 wedges
3 tablespoons red miso paste
2 tablespoons each rice vinegar, maple syrup and water
1 small knob ginger, grated or finely chopped
Oil for cooking

Heat a little oil over medium heat in a cast iron skillet or pan. Add eggplant and cook for 2 minutes each side until browned and starting to soften.
Using a pastry brush or your fathers best paint brush, glaze the eggplant generously with the miso number.
Place under a pre-heated grill (broiler) until caramelized and sexy.
Eat it and force your children to eat it even if they don’t like eggplant.

Bad-ass many meat gumbo

gumbo
This is a beast of a meal that originated from a surplus of leftover cooked meats from weekend catering jobs that were loitering in my refrigerator that I needed/wanted to use… and I had a raging desire to get a bit of variety into the diet of the carnivorous dinosaur I keep as a pet under my back stairs.

It is quite simply the same as my recipe here (because we still have a shit load* of all sorts of varieties of kale taking over the place we once called a garden and they are now petitioning the parliament for cessation from the Commonwealth and acknowledgement of their new sovereign state; Kaleland… I really think they could’ve been a little more creative with the name of their new state but let’s just remember, kale is renowned for being really healthy and shit, not for it’s intellectual capabilities.), but instead of the whatever meat was in the original recipe I subbed in a pile of leftover roasted chicken legs and thighs, roasted lamb shoulder and roasted pork belly.

I am not so stupid that I don’t realise that it’s not every week that one has a few different types of leftover meat hanging around so just so you know what? It is very OK to go out and buy a bit of this meat and a bit of that meat until you feel the T-Rex you have living under the back stairwell will be satiated.

And before you eat it you should douse it with your favourite hot sauce.
gumbo

gumbo

gumbo
Get on it.
gumbo
*an actual measurement

Gumbo. Smoked lamb gumbo…

lamb gumbo
Today I made gumbo… or something that is sort of gumbo, I guess.

Best as I can figure gumbo was created in Louisiana as sort of a use-up-all-of-the-shit-in-your-garden, chuck-in-whatever-bit-of-meat-you-can-afford, roux flavoured, file or okra thickened, po’ folks type food, so I’m pretty sure that means I’m following the brief… and not even with a chance of getting locked away… like if I was following the briefs… like the knickers… sniffy, sniffy… hmmm, quite possibly going in a bad direction here I think.

Straight up digression. Certainly not breaking any new ground here, am I.

So the thing is I had some lamb loin in the smoker, and I had some Andouille sausage in the fridge, and then I went and Viking raided the absolute crap out of all of the leafy green things in Jennee’s garden. The answer to that question is definitely GUMBO. Oh, and I do know there wasn’t actually a question there. I’m just checking if you’re on your toes. Well done little fella, you passed. Next up we’ll check which way you sit on a toilet seat and then… um. Digressing again. Soz. I write recipe now.

The only ingredient I didn’t have on hand was file powder (dried and ground sassafras leaves), which I read is quite essential for thickening a good gumbo. But then I also read (yeah, working my peepers over-time here) that okra is also used for the same purpose. So this time I just happened to have some okra in the fridge so that’s what I went with. I’ll try to get hold of some file for next time…

Get a heap of green things from the garden...
Get a heap of green things from the garden…

...and chop it the heck up
…and chop it the heck up
Get that roux nice and chocolate brown
Get that roux nice and chocolate brown
And then get the rest of it in there too
And then get the rest of it in there too
Save that smoked lamb until the end though
Save that smoked lamb until the end though

Get it into your belly, washed down with whatever you see fit
Get it into your belly, washed down with whatever you see fit

SMOKED LAMB GUMBO

(Serves 4-6)

800g lamb loin*, smoked at 110C (230F) for 4 hours
1 andouille sausage (or what ever smoked sausage you can lay your grubby little mits on), diced
3 tablespoons butter or bacon dippings
3 tablespoons plain flour
1 onion, chopped
1 green capsicum, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
10-15 okra, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 bunches mixed green things – curly kale, Russian kale, cavolo nero, spinach, chard, turnip leaves, broccoli leaves, grass, whatever, chopped
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 bay leaf
½ teaspoon cayenne or died chilli
2lt some kind of stock
Salt and pepper
A large handful parsley, chopped
Hot sauce and rice to serve if you want to be somewhat traditional. Otherwise, serve it with whatever the fuck you want – I actually had mine with potato salad and a splash of olive oil… don’t tell anyone please

• Make a roux with the butter and flour (you can google that I reckon) and cook it out slowly until it is a nice medium-dark brown colour
• Add sausage, onion, capsicum, celery, okra and garlic and cook out over medium heat for another 5 minutes
• Add greens and spices and cook out for another 5 minutes
• Add stock and season with salt and pepper. Simmer gently for 30 minutes
• Add lamb, smoky lamb juices and simmer for another 20 or so minutes until lamb is tender
• Check seasoning and adjust if necessary
• Hit it with a heap of parsley and get it into your face

This shit is so damn good.

*The flavour of the awesomeness that is Gumbo is one that will lend its self to be a suitable home for just about any other meat. Don’t be afraid to sub in chicken, seafood, beef, pork, koala, emu and any other coat of arms animal you can think of.
gumbo