One of the best parts of winter is being able to rug up and enjoy some delightfully delicious, slow cooking.  

Feeling inspired by a particularly cold day for us here in the tropics (It's a brisk 24 degrees... don't judge!) we wanted to share a bit of slow cooking by one of our favourites, Chef Alastair McLeod.



0.5 bunch of thyme, leaves picked

2 tsp each cumin seeds, coriander seeds, fennel seeds

2 small dried chillies

Sea salt and freshly milled pepper

1½tbs extra virgin olive oil + additional for sealing lamb

4 lamb neck fillets

2 red onions, peeled and roughly chopped

4 cloves of garlic, crushed to a paste

2 tins crushed tomatoes

1 small eggplant

100g Greek yoghurt

Generous pinch sumac

Lemon juice

2tbs toasted hazelnuts


Preheat oven to 160C. Place thyme in a pestle and mortar with cumin, coriander, fennel and chillies. Add salt and pepper and pound to a paste, stirring in the olive oil.

Pour half over the lamb, and set aside until needed. Combine onions and garlic with remaining marinade.

Heat a little oil in a large ovenproof pan or roasting tray over a medium-high heat, add the lamb and brown on all sides, then remove and place in a casserole dish.

Add the onion mix to the same pan and fry until slightly soft (4 mins).

Add tomatoes then pour over lamb with 500ml of water. Bring to a simmer, then cover and braise in preheated oven for 4 hours.

Meanwhile, grill eggplant on a barbecue, turning frequently, until blackened and wilted.

Cool then remove most, but not all, of the skin. Blend with yoghurt and sumac.

Season to taste with lemon and salt. Remove lamb from the liquor and chill overnight.

When ready to serve, cut each portion in half and pan fry until golden and warmed through. Serve with radicchio and eggplant yoghurt, scatter with hazelnuts.



4tbs unsalted butter

1 large onion, thinly sliced

2tbs sugar

125ml white wine vinegar

2 large heads of radicchio, cored and cut into 8 wedges

50g currants

Sea salt and freshly milled pepper


Melt butter in a heavy based pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and sugar.

Saute until onion is lightly browned, about 7 mins.

Add vinegar then add radicchio, currants, salt and pepper.

Cook until radicchio is just wilted, about 5 mins.

Serve immediately.

This recipe appeared in the Courier Mail  - Image and styling by Miranda Porter