New Zealanders may eat everything from sushi to big macs, but when Kiwis need a comforting taste, it’s hard to go past a lamb roast with roast vegetables. It’s the kind of stuff your grandparents might serve up and, as a result, it’s home, tasty and reminiscent of our British colonial heritage.
• 10 large potatoes (cut in half so they’re roughly the same size)
• 2 capsicums (cut into 1cm thick strips)
• 2 onions (each cut into 8)
• 500g leg of lamb
• 1 garlic bulb
• Sea salt
• Freshly ground black pepper
• Sprigs of rosemary
• 1 lemon
1. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Boil the potatoes until tender.
2. Mix together two crushed cloves of garlic, some chopped rosemary, some olive oil and the rind of a lemon, chopped. Rub into the lamb along with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil in a large frying pan. Sear the lamb in the pan until golden — around two minutes on each side. Put to one side.
3. Drain the potatoes, and place in the frying pan. Mash potatoes a bit until they soften, letting the oil from the meat seep in.
4. Put the potatoes, along with capsicum, onions and garlic cloves, in a baking dish, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and place the rosemary sprigs on top.
5. Drizzle a little more oil on, before placing the lamb on top of the vegetables.
6. Roast for around 25 minutes per 500 grams, or longer if you like your meat well done.
7. When the lamb is cooked, remove from oven, cover with tin foil and let rest for around 10-15 minutes. Keep roasting the vegetables until tender.
8. Serve the lamb and vegetables with a fresh salad and a glass of red wine.
Pavlova (Serves 8-10)
Pavlova is dear to the heart of New Zealanders. Perhaps it’s the ongoing rivalry with neighboring Australia over which country invented the meringue first, or perhaps it’s the lashings of cream topped off with fresh fruit. Either way, pavlova is a decadent summer treat. The decoration really is up to you — pick out your favorite fruit and arrange at will.
• 6 egg whites, at room temperature
• Pinch of salt
• One and a half cup of sugar
• 1 tsp cornflour
• 1 tsp vanilla essence
• 1 tsp vinegar
• 250ml cream
1. Heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Line a baking tray with baking paper and mark a circle around 16cm in diameter with a plate.
2. Beat the egg whites and salt until stiff — it’s easiest to use an electric beater. Slowly add the sugar, and continue beating until the meringue is thick and glossy and has tripled in volume — if you lift your beater up, the mixture should cling to the beater.
3. Whisk in the cornflour, vanilla essence and vinegar.
4. Scoop large spoonfuls of the mixture inside the circle on the baking paper and spread to fill the whole circle, smoothing out the top of the mixture into a spiral, leaving the meringue slightly higher at the rims.
5. Bake at 180 degrees Celsius for five minutes, then reduce to 130 degrees Celsius and cook for a further hour. Turn the oven off and leave the pavlova to cool completely in the oven. You can keep the pavlova like this in an airtight container at room temperature for up to five days.
6. Whip cream and decorate the pavlova with the cream and your favorite sliced fruit and berry compote. Serve with ice cream and more fresh fruit.
• 3 cups mixed frozen berries
• 1 cup of sugar
In a pot heat together berries and sugar, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Simmer for about 15-20 minutes until the mixture is reduced and slightly syrupy. Cool before dolloping some on top of your pavlova, or serve on the side.