On a cold winter’s day in Melbourne the idea of a lamb stew for dinner is very appealing. I love the name of this one that was published by the Herald Sun back in July 1992 – not quite sure that a shearer ever made it, but you never know it’s certainly hearty enough.
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 might put you off that this old recipe because it starts off “Place the barley in a large bowl. Cover with water; soak overnight”. But if you be bothered doing it the barley will make the soup delicious and when you add in the lamb and vegetables you’ll end up with a very hearty and warming winter dish.
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.
Like most Australian families when we were growing up Mum cooked a roast once a week. As there were five of us in the family it was usually a large piece of meat and there was always some left over for school lunches or to have cold with a salad. Another way Mum would use it up was to make Meat Fritters. This recipe has the meat being minced, but Mum just used to slice it and coat the pieces in the batter before frying. And of course we always had tomato sauce with it.