LOVE ME TEN­DER

CHEF ALAS­TAIR MCLEOD RE­VEALS HOW TO BANISH MEH MEAT FROM YOUR REPER­TOIRE

Central and North Burnett Times - - TASTE - WORDS: ALAS­TAIR MCLEOD STYLING AND PHOTO: MI­RANDA PORTER PROPS: @LUNACERAMI­CS Alas­tair McLeod is the chef-owner of Al’FreshCo, al­freshco.com.au

Brin­ing is a small change in your gas­tro­nomic golf swing but it prom­ises to el­e­vate all that you roast and bar­be­cue. Brined meat ab­sorbs ex­tra liq­uid and flavour, de­liv­er­ing more ten­der, juicy re­sults. Even fish ben­e­fits from a 30-minute plunge prior to the pan.

HONEY BRINED SHOUL­DER OF LAMB, MINT SAUCE Serves: 4 IN­GRE­DI­ENTS

1 tsp black pep­per­corns

1 tsp ju­niper berries

2 cloves

2L wa­ter

80g sea salt + 1 tbsp ex­tra

35g honey

2 lemons, halved

6 bay leaves

Hand­ful of pars­ley stalks

1 lamb shoul­der on the bone (about 1.3kg), trimmed

4 sprigs of rose­mary

12 cloves of gar­lic, peeled

2 tbsp ex­tra vir­gin olive oil

1L lamb stock

Mint sauce:

1 clove gar­lic, roughly chopped

¼ bunch flat-leaf pars­ley, leaves picked 1 bunch mint, leaves picked

75ml grape seed oil

75ml ex­tra vir­gin olive oil

50ml le­mon juice

Sea salt

Fresh milled pep­per

Pinch of sugar

METHOD

Gen­tly bruise pep­per, ju­niper and cloves in a pes­tle and mor­tar. Bring wa­ter to the boil with 80g of salt, honey, spices, le­mon, bay leaves and pars­ley stalks. Stir to en­sure the salt has dis­solved, re­move from heat and al­low to cool then pass through a fine sieve. Pour over the lamb shoul­der and re­frig­er­ate for 3 hours. Re­move lamb and place in a deep bak­ing tray. Pick the rose­mary and finely chop with the gar­lic then mix with the 1 tbsp salt and olive oil. Rub this mix all over the lamb. Pour the lamb stock into the tray. Place a sheet of bak­ing paper over the whole tray and then tightly wrap in foil. Place in oven pre­heated to 100C for 10 hours, or the lamb falls from the bone. Re­move foil and pour lamb stock through a fine sieve into a con­tainer and leave to set­tle. Cover the lamb and place in the fridge to cool. When the lamb stock is cool the fat will set­tle on the sur­face. Re­move this then place in a medium pot over a high heat and re­duce by half. When ready to serve, in­crease oven to 180C. Un­cover lamb, add re­duced stock and cook for a fur­ther 30 mins or un­til golden. For the mint sauce, place all in­gre­di­ents in a food pro­cesser and blitz un­til silky. Serve lamb with veg­eta­bles of your choice and anoint gen­er­ously with mint sauce.

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