Approximately once a week, my daughter Grace will pick a country from the map and we’ll research the food of that nation and pick a traditional dish that we want to try. We’ll shop and cook together, and maybe even work in a side trip to an ethnic market or food-truck, once in a while.
We’ll post our processes, notes, and maybe a brief anecdote, but mostly it’s going to be about the recipes.
Last time, we visited The Philippines and tried our hand at Chicken Adobo…it was awesome!
This time, we’re going down under to take a look at Australia.
Aboriginal inhabitants were mainly hunter-gatherers, employing an array of light-weight techniques depending on habitat, rather than farming crops and domesticating animals in the way that European explorers were used to. English seafarer William Dampier observed in 1697, “The earth affords them [Aboriginals] no food at all. There is neither herb, root, pulse nor any sort of grain for them to eat that we saw.” Aboriginal cooking, to this day, involves little more that unseasoned animal protein cooking directly on or in a fire.
By the 1820s, Australian “squatters” began taking advantage of the endless grazing to raise herd animals, relying heavily on beef, lamb, and, along the vast coastlines, an abundance of fish and seafood.
In the early 1900’s, With an increasing availability of eggs, butter, flour, sugar and the latest grocery items, the typical diet become more varied, but still focused a great deal on cheap meat, included shepherd’s pie and Irish stew.
The fanciest meal, reserved for midday on Sundays, was a baked dinner of lamb or beef and vegetables.
SUNDAY LAMB DINNER
- (2.2 lbs) leg of lamb
- 1/4 cup of olive oil
- 2.5 tsp of sea salt
- 6 cloves of garlic, cut into slivers
- Several sprigs of fresh rosemary
- 8 potatoes
- 2 large sweet potatoes
- 2 white onions
- 6-8 Radishes
- 2 each Parsnips, beets
A big thank you to the American Lamb Board, who provided this beautiful leg of lamb to us after attending the 2015 International Blogger’s Conference. Easily the best leg of lamb I’ve ever cooked with.
This lamb roast, considered to be the national dish of Australia, can be done in a kettle BBQ or a conventional oven.
Preheat the oven to 290F.
Cut the peeled potatoes, sweet potatoes, beets, and parsnips into inch-thick slices. Cut the onions into quarters and then place vegetables into a baking tray with trimmed radishes. Drizzle the vegetables with olive oil and sprinkle on some salt.
Plus, you’ll be helping us teach nutrition, shopping, and hands-on cooking classes to at-risk kids, in our MY KITCHEN Outreach Program.
Cover the lamb in olive oil and then sprinkle with sea salt. Use the point of a sharp knife to make small incisions all over the lamb. Place the garlic slivers in the holes and tuck rosemary sprigs under netting.
Place the lamb onto the baking tray with the vegetables beneath it to catch drippings.
Roast for 90 minutes. Test meat to see if it’s done by slicing it in the thickest part. Remove from oven and transfer to a plate to rest. Cover lamb in foil and let it sit for 10 minutes.
Slice and serve with potatoes, and remaining veggies.