canterbury’s own lifestyle magazine / a great local read

Lamb by Sam (pictured above)
Serves 4

1.5 kg lamb leg, slashed
600 g chat potatoes
8 cocktail onions or eschallots, halved and peeled
2 pieces sweet potato, chopped the same size as the chat potatoes
1 litre chicken stock
4 bay leaves
rosemary sprigs

Lamb Marinade
1 tbsp sherry or red wine vinegar
1 tbsp whole seeded mustard
5 garlic cloves finely chopped
1 sprig rosemary finely chopped
1/3 cup (80 ml) olive oil
1½ tbsp honey
1 tsp salt flakes
1 tsp cracked black pepper

Mint Sauce
¼ cup sherry vinegar 
or red wine vinegar
1 tsp caster sugar
½ cup mint leaves chopped
2 tbsp water

Crunchy Green Salad
100 g green beans
1 cup frozen peas
1 cos lettuce
2 celery sticks
100 g marinated feta
1 tbsp oil

Combine all marinade ingredients together in a bowl. Pour over lamb in a roasting tray and marinate for at least 1 hour or even better overnight!

Place potatoes, onion and sweet potato in a stockpot and cover with stock. Top up with water to just cover and add bay leaves and a sprig of rosemary. Bring to the boil and cook for a further 15 minutes or until veg is cooked through. Drain into a saucepan reserving the stock. Add veg to the roasting tray with 1 cup of stock (freeze or chill remaining for another recipe) and toss in excess marinade from the lamb.
All of the above can be done the day before!! I like to cover and transfer my prepared roasting tray to the fridge at this stage and leave it overnight. Then pull it out for 1 hour before roasting.

Arrange racks so you have one on the bottom and one on the centre rung of the oven. Preheat your oven to 200°C. Place lamb leg onto the middle rack and the roasting tray of vegetables underneath to catch all the excess cooking juices. Roast for 1 hour and 10 minutes, adding an extra 15 minutes per 500 g of extra meat.

Remove meat from the oven and stand for 15 minutes to rest before carving. Keep veg cooking until ready to serve.
Meanwhile, for the mint sauce combine all ingredients in a bowl and stand to infuse.

For the salad, cover beans and peas with just-boiled water from the kettle and stand for 5 minutes to soften. Drain and refresh under cold water. Toss in a bowl with cos, celery, feta, oil and 2 tbsp of the mint sauce mixture. Season to taste.

Carve the lamb and return to hot roasted vegetables. Serve with mint sauce and crunchy green salad alongside.

The Greenest Curry

1 x 400 ml can coconut milk
1 x 400 ml can coconut cream
½ pineapple, chopped into
 bite-size pieces
8 chicken thigh fillets
2 tbsp fish sauce
1 tsp ground white pepper
1 zucchini, sliced
2 carrots, sliced
½ cauliflower, cut into florets
1 cup spinach
juice of 1 lime, extra wedges to serve
crispy onions and coriander leaves to serve

Curry paste
½ bunch coriander
4–5 shallots/spring onions/long green onions
3 french eschallots
5 garlic cloves
3 cm piece ginger
1 cup baby spinach
2 fresh jalapeños, chopped
1 tsp turmeric
½ tsp cumin powder
½ tsp Kashmiri chilli powder 
(found at Indian grocers)
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp heaped crunchy peanut butter

For the curry paste place all ingredients in a blender and whiz until a smooth and bright green paste forms. Transfer to a deep-sided frypan and cook for 3–5 minutes or until beginning to stick to the bottom of the pan. Add the coconut milk, cream and 1 cup (250 ml) of water and stir to combine. Transfer to a slow cooker.

Add pineapple, chicken, fish sauce and white pepper. Cook on high for 3 hours or low for 6 hours. Add the zucchini, carrot, and cauliflower in the final 30 minutes on high, or final hour for low cooking. Stir through spinach and lime juice.

Season to taste then divide between bowls and scatter with crispy onions and coriander leaves. Serve with rice and lime wedges.

One Tray Pie

1 bunch shallots/spring onions/long green onions
80 g unsalted butter
1 bunch silverbeet, leaves removed from stems
¼ cup (60 ml) olive oil
2 large zucchini, thinly sliced
200 g crumblable (totes a word – means able to be crumbled) cheese like smoked cheddar, feta or Mersey Valley
2 tbsp sour cream
1 egg, separated
2 tsp plain flour, plus extra for dusting
3 sheets all butter puff pastry
1 tbsp each nigella and caraway seeds

Preheat oven to 200°C. Grease and line a large heavy-based tray with baking paper.

Chop shallots and place on prepared tray with butter. Bake for 3–5 minutes or until you’ve thinly sliced the stems of the silverbeet. Scatter over the top of the shallots and drizzle with half the oil. Bake for 5 minutes. Add zucchini to tray and drizzle with remaining oil, then return to the oven for 5 minutes. Scatter shredded silverbeet leaves over zucchini layer and return to the oven for 5 minutes or until wilted and all veg is softened. Use baking paper to transfer veg mixture to a large bowl. Add cheese, sour cream, egg white and flour and mix to combine. Season to taste and chill until required.

Meanwhile, lightly flour a work surface and place two sheets of puff pastry on top of one another. Roll out with a rolling pin, then using the third piece of pastry as a guide, roll out 4 cm beyond the third piece of pastry when positioned in the middle. Then cut rolled out puff to form a large circle.

Transfer pastry to baking tray. Place filling in the middle of the pastry, leaving a 4 cm border. Place third piece of pastry over the top of the filling and press to seal the pastry. Use a hand to cup around the filling and form a dome. Use a small sharp knife to create lines over the top of the dome. Brush all over with the egg yolk and scatter with nigella and caraway seeds. Fold edges in and brush once more with egg yolk.
Bake for 25–30 minutes or until pastry is cooked through and the pie moves easily on the pan, which means the bottom is cooked also.

Stand for 10 minutes then cut and serve.

Lasagne

4 small carrots, grated
2 onions, chopped
stems from 1 bunch parsley, 
finely chopped
2 tbsp chopped thyme
3 garlic cloves, chopped
100 g good quality pancetta 
or bacon, chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
500 g pork and veal mince
¼ cup tomato paste
½ tsp each nutmeg, allspice, and white pepper
½ cup red wine
1.2 kg whole tomatoes (3 x 400 g cans)
1 cup (250 ml) beef stock
1 Parmesan rind
1 cup milk
50 g butter
dried lasagne sheets
150 g shredded melty cheese

Béchamel
50 g butter
1/3 cup plain flour
500 ml milk

Place all vegetables, herbs, garlic and bacon into a frypan with oil and cook until it begins to sizzle. Cover with a lid and cook, stirring every so often, for a further 10 minutes or until it’s shrunk in half. Transfer to the bowl of a slow cooker.

Meanwhile, combine mince, tomato paste, spices and white pepper together.

Return pan to heat and add the wine. Bring to the boil and cook for 4 minutes or until reduced by half. Transfer to the bowl of the slow cooker with the veg.

Return pan to heat. Add seasoned mince and cook, squishing with the back of a spoon, for 4 minutes or until browned, then add tomatoes, stock and Parmesan rind. Bring to the boil and transfer to slow cooker with the milk. Set to low and cook overnight. Or alternatively cook on high for 3–4 hours. Stir through butter and season to taste.

Set aside half the bolognese and place into containers. (This freezes perfectly too!) Alternatively, double the béchamel for a bigger lasagne.
For the béchamel, place a non-stick pan over medium-high heat and cook the butter and flour until melted and golden. While stirring add milk and cook for 3–4 minutes or until slightly thickened. Remove from heat.

Preheat oven to 180°C, fan-forced. Grease a 15 x 25 cm ovenproof dish. To assemble lasagne, spread one-third meat sauce into the prepared dish, then ¼ cup béchamel. Cover with some of the lasagne sheets, breaking sheets to fit if necessary. Repeat layering process two more times, finishing with a final béchamel layer. Sprinkle the top with your melty cheese.

Cover with a sheet of baking paper, then enclose dish in foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and paper then bake for a further 20 minutes or until golden. Serve hot.

Samantha Parish is latitude’s newest contributor and brings with her a wealth of knowledge and experience, with over eight years of working as a freelance chef and recipe writer in Australia and New Zealand. Sam’s food ethos is MOF MOF: Maximum of flavour, minimum of fuss, producing beautiful recipes that show off how smart you can cook when you cook simply. Mofmof.space