Lamb Ragu

Recipe courtesy of Karen Mardel

1/2 cup olive oil
1 large onion
6 stalks celery, finely chopped
4 large carrots, finely chopped
6 large mushrooms, finely chopped
1 eggplant, finely chopped,
3 or more chillies, finely chopped
10 cloves garlic, finely chopped
10 fresh bay leaves (or 6 dried)
1/2 tsp Italian dried herbs
125g pancetta, chopped
1 kg lamb mince
salt and freshly ground black pepper
pinch ground nutmeg
1 cup dry white wine
3 cups of beef, veal or chicken stock
2 x 400g cans of Italian peeled tomatoes -
chopped with their juice.
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 cup cream

The vegetables can be finely chopped by hand or
processed in a food processor - separately - until fine.
Combine theoil and the onion in a large stockpot and
cook over medium heat until the onion is soft, about 5 minutes.
Add the celery, carrot, eggplant, mushrooms, garlic, chillies
and pancetta and cook for 10 minutes, stirring constantly,
until the vegetables start to wilt.
Brown meat well in a separate pot
and then add to the vegetables in the stockpot.
Season with salt, black pepper and nutmeg.
Add the wine and allow the mixture to simmer
until the wine has evaporated, stirring frequently.
Add 1/2 cup of the stock and again simmer until the stock
has evaporated, stirring frequently.
Continue adding stock and frequent
stirring until all stock has been used.
It is important not to add the tomatoes
until the stock and wine simmering
is complete or the sauce will be too acidic.
Now add the tomatoes and tomato paste,
stir well and simmer the mixture very slowly,
with just the occasional bubble, uncovered
for 3 to 4 hours stirring from time to time
(a simmer mat helps to stop the mixture from catching.)
Add the cream and simmer for a further 5 minutes,
or until the sauce is thickening. Correct the seasoning.
Serve with angel hair pasta and a sprinkling
of grated parmesan cheese.

Slow Roasted Lamb

Serves at least 4
Recipe courtesy of Lisa Mitchell

1 French trimmed leg of lamb large enough to feed your crowd
(- Shoulder works too, but is inclined to fall apart)
Cumin – ½ to 1 tablespoon
Salt & pepper
A nice big fresh bouquet garnish
1/2 bottle fruity white wine
A whole head of garlic split into unpeeled cloves
1 brown onion roughly chopped
2 sticks celery roughly chopped
2 carrots roughly chopped

Rub lamb with olive oil, cumin, salt & pepper.
Brown well. (If you have a large enough flameproof
lidded pot you can do the whole thing in this -
I don't, so I brown it in a separate heavy cast iron pan
and then continue as follows:
Bring wine to a simmer in a saucepan with herbs and garlic.
Top up liquid with the same volume of water and bring to the boil.
Pour contents of saucepan into a roasting dish
just large enough to fit the lamb.
Scatter over the chopped vegies and put browned lamb on top,
cover and seal well with foil or a lid if you have.
Cook at 160C for 2 hours. Remove lamb from dish -
drain off liquid and reserve (discard aromatics and vegies).
Put lamb back in the oven covered with foil for another 2 hours.

In the meantime put the reserved liquid in the freezer until the fat solidifies,
strain or lift off fat (hang on to a bit in case you need it for the gravy)
and use the remaining liquid to make your gravy later.
Make sure you taste the liquid as sometimes the wine can be too strong.
When the second 2 hrs are up bump up the heat a bit in the oven
and remove the foil - cook for another hour turning halfway until
the lamb is perfectly tender and the outside is rich and caramelized.
Rest covered.

While the meat is resting make the gravy. Spoon off 2 tablespoons of fat from
the roasting dish to create a roux with the same amount of flour.
Deglaze the roasting dish with the reserved and liquid and more water
if necessary and use this to make your gravy in the usual way.
It should be on the thin side, but have a bit of body and gloss.
Serve with whatever you like to have with a roast - as this is quite rich
I lean toward greens, such as silverbeet, spinach beans etc.

Rutherglen Suckling Lamb

Recipe courtesy of Bottega Restaurant, Melbourne

1 lamb saddle (back strap with belly attached)
150gm veal sweetbread
6 shallots
1 tblsp chopped sage
1 tblsp chopped thyme
2 cloves garlic crushed
100gm butter (not margarine)
200gm stale ciabatta, soaked in milk
1 egg

2 eggplant
1 red onion, diced
2 gloves garlic, crushed
100ml red wine vinegar
1 tblsp crushed tomato
1 tblsp chopped basil
2 tblsp Lilliput capers

Sauce (jus gras):
3 litre lamb stock
50gm butter
50gm flour
20gm tomato paste
300ml red wine
20gm rendered lamb fat

For the stuffing
Season the sweetbreads and saute in 50gm of butter until
well caramelised, keep aside with the oil from the pan.
Saute the shallots with the rest of the butter, garlic and herbs.
Squeeze the milk out of the bread and add to shallot mix.
Dice the sweetbreads and add to bread mix
with the butter from the pan and one egg.
Combine well and season generously with salt and black pepper.

The Lamb
Lay the lamb out flat, skin side down, with a sheet of cling film underneath.
Season the meat well, and lightly flatten with a mallet.
Pack the stuffing onto the backstrap.
Carefully roll the whole piece starting from the backstrap end,
so that you have a 'log' with the stuffing in the middle
and the belly flap around the outside.
Roll tightly in cling film, twice, then again in tin foil ,
making sure there are no holes for liquid to get in or out.
Steam the whole piece for two hours then let rest for 20 minutes
before carving portion size pieces off.

Peel the eggplants and cut into 1cm cubes,
fry over a high heat in a lttle olive oil
wth plenty of seasoning and keep aside.
Gently saute the diced red onion and garlic
until soft and clear.
Add the sugar and vinegar and simmer gently for 5 minutes.
Add tomato and capers and tip over the eggplant, finsh with basil.

Melt butter into a large pot, add the flour and cook untl it looks sandy,
add the tomato paste, mix well, then add the wine and reduce by half.
Add the stock, skim and simmer until the liquid
reaches a sauce consistency )about 600mls left).
Finish the sauce by straining, returning to the heat
and whisking in the lamb fat.

To assemble the dish
Warm the caponata in a small pan, place a generous amount on a plate.
Place a disc of the lamb next to the eggplant
(you may warm the lamb gently in the oven with a small amount of olive oil
on top). Coat the lamb with 60-80ml of warm sauce.
Finish the plate with roughly torn basil and sea salt.

Mary's Lamb Meat Balls


2 slices of bread
1 onion
2 cloves of garlic
5 pitted prunes or 1 apple
bunch of coriander
400g lean lamb mince
1 tblsp ground cumin
pine nuts (optional)
pepper and salt


Crumble bread in blender and set aside in large bowl.
Peel and chop onion and garlic and chop coriander
including the stalks and blend with the prunes very finely.
Add to large bowl with the bread crumbs.
Add to this the lamb mince, ground cumin,
pine nuts, salt and pepper.
Mix all ingredients well with your hands.
Form the mixture into small balls.
Heat good olive oil in pan and lightly brown
the balls in batches cooking for 3 minutes.
Meanwhile in large saucepan heat two jars
of good quality pasta sauce or tomato passata to bubbling.
Add meat balls and simmer for 10 minutes.
Serve with buttery mashed potato or couscous.
Shower with shaved parmesan.
Kids love these lttle balls cold for school lunches!


Barbequed Leg of Lamb with Thai Green Spices
(Serves 4)

Recipe Copyright Jamie Oliver


for the marinade:
10 kaffir lime leaves, torn
2 thumb-sized pieces of fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
2 sticks of lemon grass, trimmed and roughly chopped
4 cloves of garlic, peeled
a bunch of fresh coriander, leaves picked
2 green chillies, roughly chopped
4 tablespoons olive oil
juice of 2 limes

for the lamb:
1 x 2-2.5kg leg of lamb, butterflied (ask your butcher to do this for you)
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 x 400ml tin coconut milk
1 fresh red chilli, deseeded and chopped
optional: juice of 1 lime


This is one of the very first barbeque dinner party dishes I ever cooked.
The green Thai flavours build up layer of fragrant flavour.
Most people seem to have got the hang of fast cooking on the BBQ
but it's great for slow cooked melting dishes too. When it comes to
cooking big pieces of meat like a shoulder of lamb or a whole chicken
or a big brisket of beef on the BBQ, unless you have a cool BBQ
which you can control and keep an eye on it's often safest to
start off the cooking in the oven and finish it on the BBQ to
get that lovely charred crust.

Preheat your oven to 170 C/325 F/gas 3.
Place the kaffir lime leaves, ginger, lemon grass, garlic,
most of the coriander and chillies into a large pestle
and mortar or a food processor and bash or pulse
until you have a thick, fragrant, green paste.
Stir in the olive oil and the lime juice.

Rub the marinade all over the lamb,
making sure you get into all the nooks and crannies.
Most of it will fall off during cooking, but
it will still give the meat the most fantastic flavour.
Season the lamb well and place it in a roasting tray.
Cover with tinfoil and pop it in the
preheated oven for about an hour.

After half an hour or so, light your BBQ
so the flames have a chance to die down nicely.
Make sure you have coals piled up high
on one side so it's super hot and low on the other side
for a more gentle heat to give you some control.
Take the lamb out of the oven and cut
or break it into a few big chunks,
this way it'll be much easier to handle.

Place the lamb on the hot side of the barbie with the tray
with all its juices on the cooler side.
Squeeze a bit more lime juice into the tray if you like,
if you want the acidity to be like a mint sauce.
Turn the meat regularly, basting it in
the juices from the tray as you go.
This will give you a nice, dark crust.
Give the meat about 10 minutes like this, to build up the colour.

Once your meat is done, remove it to a board,
cover loosely with foil and leave to rest.
Pour the coconut milk into the tray and
allow it to bubble for a couple of minutes until thickened.

Carve your lamb into chunky slices.
Serve the sliced lamb with the Thai sauce,
sprinkled with chopped chilli and the remaining coriander.
An absolute showstopper.



Copyright 2013 Rutherglen Premium Lamb
Main logo lamb photo Bindy Welsh, Indigo Images