Winter is only four days away here in Victoria, so it’s time to start thinking of hearty winter casseroles. The combination of tomato sauce, vinegar, curry powder and brown sugar in this recipe reminds me of another one I make, which has pumpkin instead of the potato in it. The good thing with this recipe is that you probably have all the ingredients in the cupboard so it can be a last minute decision to make it.
This recipe comes from an Australian Women’s Weekly ‘Pies without Pastry’ liftout dated August 1994. I love the first paragraph explaining what couscous is and where you can buy it. It was obviously a very new ingredient back then, quite a contrast to how easy it is to find in every supermarket now.
Hunting through Mum’s recipes I found this Pumped Leg of Lamb recipe and it’s brought back lots of memories. Ham when I was a kid only came in cans and even then only on special occasions. On the other hand lamb was readily available and cheap and Mum always made it to have as cold meat a Christmas time. When cooked it had a vague ham look, taste and texture. This recipe was printed in the Herald Sun in, I think, the 70s, I don’t have Mum’s original recipe, but I’m sure it didn’t have red wine, orange juice and honey in it, Mum’s was a much plainer version.
Pumped Leg of Lamb is similar to corned beef. You can’t buy it off the shelf these days, but I’m sure a butcher would be prepare it for you, like corned beef the lamb is pumped with brine and you cook it the same was as corned beef. Not sure if you want to try it out, but it does bring back lots of memories to me of cold meat and salads on hot Australian summer days.
It’s winter and what could be better for a family meal than an old style lamb casserole. This one needs very little preparation, just trim the chops, coat them in flour, chop up an onion put the lot in a casserole dish and cover with the combined flavorings. Put the dish in the oven and forget it for 2 hours while you get on with all the other things you need to do after a long day at work.
Mum collected this recipe from the Herald Sun back in the ’80s, back then her curries were always made with curry powder. This must have seemed a bit exotic to her – curry rubbed onto the skin of a lamb roast. Her lamb roasts were always baked plain and served with homemade mint sauce and, of course, gravy.