The burghul soaks up all the flavours of the aro­mat­ics, clams and cala­mari in these all-in-one meals.

Gourmet Traveller (Australia) - - Restaurant Awards -

Fra­grant seafood and burghul parcels

The burghul in these all-in-one meals soaks up all the flavours of the aro­mat­ics and seafood. We’ve used clams and cala­mari, but prawns and pieces of fish also work re­ally well.

Prep time 25 mins, cook 50 mins (plus chill­ing)

Serves 4

400 gm (21/ cups) coarse burghul, rinsed


2 tbsp ex­tra-vir­gin olive oil

2 baby cala­mari (about 150gm each), cleaned, ten­ta­cles cut into bite-sized pieces, tubes sliced into rings

16 large clams, cleaned

Lemon wedges, to serve

Saf­fron sof­fritto

60 ml ( 1/ cup) mild ex­tra-vir­gin olive oil


1 small onion, finely chopped

4 gar­lic cloves, very thinly sliced

150 ml dry white wine

1 tbsp coarsely chopped oregano

Large pinch of saf­fron threads soaked in 1 tbsp hot wa­ter

1 For saf­fron sof­fritto, heat olive oil in a fry­ing pan over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté un­til translu­cent (8-10 min­utes). Add gar­lic and stir to com­bine, then deglaze the pan with wine, scrap­ing the base of the pan. Add oregano and saf­fron and its wa­ter, sea­son to taste, bring to a sim­mer, then sim­mer un­til re­duced by half

(8-10 min­utes).

2 Mean­while, par-cook burghul in a large saucepan of boil­ing wa­ter (4-5 min­utes). Drain well and toss with olive oil. Add the saf­fron sof­fritto and toss again.

3 Pre­heat oven to 200C. Place 4 large pieces of bak­ing pa­per (about 40cm long) on a work sur­face. Top each with an­other large piece of bak­ing pa­per off­set at an an­gle. Di­vide burghul mix­ture among the sheets. Top with seafood, then gather all the cor­ners of the pa­per to the cen­tre and tie se­curely with kitchen string.

4 Bake parcels un­til cala­mari is just cooked, clams have opened and burghul is heated through (20-22 min­utes; un­wrap a par­cel to check). Serve with wedges of lemon.

Wine sug­ges­tion Crisp young Hunter sémil­lon.

Baby po­ta­toes with but­ter, mint and pancetta

A mix of baby po­ta­toes adds va­ri­ety here, but us­ing all chats, for in­stance, works just as well – the beauty of this side is in the flavour from the pancetta and herbs, and the way the po­ta­toes caramelise in the but­ter. A gen­er­ous sprin­kling of pecorino makes the per­fect fin­ish.

Prep time 15 mins, cook 1 hr

Serves 4 (pic­tured p119)

80 gm mild pancetta, cut into lar­dons

800 gm mixed baby po­ta­toes such as purple congo, pink fir ap­ple and baby Ni­cola, larger ones halved

¼ cup mixed finely chopped mint and flat-leaf pars­ley

1 tsp dried mint

60 gm cul­tured but­ter, diced

Finely grated pecorino pepato, to serve

1 Pre­heat oven to 190C. Heat a small fry­ing pan over medium heat, add pancetta and fry, stir­ring oc­ca­sion­ally, un­til golden and start­ing to crisp (2-4 min­utes). Trans­fer to a bowl, and add po­ta­toes, fresh and dried herbs, but­ter and a good grind of black pep­per.

2 Place 2 large pieces of bak­ing pa­per (about 40cm long) on a work sur­face and top each with an­other large piece off­set at an an­gle. Di­vide po­ta­toes be­tween the pa­per, wrap and roast un­til ten­der and start­ing to caramelise (1 hour). Sprin­kle with plenty of pecorino and serve hot.

Lamb shanks with olives and red wine

The flavour of the red wine and olives in these parcels be­comes con­cen­trated as they cook, sea­son­ing the fall-off-the-bone lamb. We’ve served it with a sim­ple fen­nel and cele­riac salad; try it with boiled orzo tossed with a lit­tle olive oil and salt. When it comes to wrap­ping the parcels, leav­ing the bone ex­posed is an im­pres­sive way to pre­sent the shanks – stand them up­right in a bowl to wrap them and se­cure the parcels around the bone.

Prep time 25 mins, cook 3 hrs

Serves 4 (pic­tured p118)

4 French-trimmed lamb shanks

(about 250gm each)

300 gm tomato polpa (see note)

100 ml dry red wine

80 gm small un­pit­ted Kala­mata olives in brine, plus 1 tsp olive brine

2 tbsp ex­tra-vir­gin olive oil

4 gar­lic cloves, thinly sliced

2 rose­mary sprigs, torn

1 oregano sprig, torn, plus ex­tra to serve

1 tsp red wine vine­gar

1 tsp dry-roasted fen­nel seeds

Fen­nel and cele­riac salad

60 ml (¼ cup) ex­tra-vir­gin olive oil

3 tsp white wine vine­gar

½ tsp Di­jon mus­tard

1 baby fen­nel bulb, shaved on a man­dolin ½ cele­riac (about 300gm), cut into juli­enne 2 golden shal­lots, thinly sliced

1 Pre­heat oven to 160C. Place 4 large pieces of bak­ing pa­per (about 40cm long) on a work sur­face and top each with an­other piece at an an­gle. Di­vide lamb shanks among sheets and pull up sides of pa­per to pre­vent liq­uid es­cap­ing. Com­bine re­main­ing in­gre­di­ents in a bowl and spoon onto each shank, then sea­son to taste.

Fold pa­per up around the shanks and se­cure with kitchen string. Place parcels in a bak­ing dish and bake un­til lamb falls from the bone (2¾-3 hours; un­wrap a par­cel to check).

2 For fen­nel and cele­riac salad, whisk olive oil, vine­gar and mus­tard in a bowl. Sea­son to taste, then add fen­nel, cele­riac and shal­lot and toss to com­bine. Un­wrap lamb parcels, top with ex­tra oregano and serve with fen­nel and cele­riac salad. Note Tomato polpa, finely chopped toma­toes canned in their juice, is avail­able from select su­per­mar­kets and del­i­catessens. If it’s un­avail­able, sub­sti­tute canned crushed toma­toes.

Wine sug­ges­tion A ro­bust Greek red such as an agior­gi­tiko.>

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