What do you get when you pair two leading chefs from Australia and New Zealand? A powerhouse cookbook of 10 recipes showcasing the best of both nations is what.
Automata’s Clayton Wells grew up in the Hawkesbury area of NSW. Analiese Gregory – author of How Wild Things Are and former head chef at Franklin in Hobart – grew up in Auckland. The talented chefs have come together to create a free digital cookbook using ingredients from each country.
It’s a meeting of minds that took place largely over email – swapping notes about their favourite foods and exchanging ideas for ways to incorporate the best of both lands. In Taste Buds you’ll find grilled scampi with lemon myrtle, togarashi-spiced chargrilled wallaby skewers and caramelised kiwi fruit with Australian desert limes.
There are wine pairing ideas from each side of the ditch, too. Plus a handy guide to Proper Crisps, kangaroo jerky, coffee and blue swimmer crabs. It’s a snapshot of the two cultures combined.
The idea is to give people the confidence to experiment with ingredient pairings – Whittaker’s chocolate and wattleseed, for example. In this recipe, Gregory and Wells recommend using New Zealand lamb. They say, “New Zealand lamb is eaten all around the world due to its distinctive and tender flavour … this little nation at the bottom of the world is the ideal stomping ground for literally millions of happy, healthy little lambs.”
Australia’s contribution is one of our most popular native ingredients. The dark purple fruit known as Davidson plum (or ooray, wiray or wiiraa in local Indigenous languages) has a sour taste and slight bitterness that combines well with the barbequed meat. The stone fruit is also known for juicy pulp and it’s often used for jam or as a sauce with meat or fish.
Tip: Prep in the morning or night before. Serve with a bottle of pinot noir for a simple yet impressive date-night dinner.
Central Otago lamb ribs with a Davidson plum glaze and horopito
Preparation time: 1 hour (plus resting time)
Cooking time: 3 hours (plus brining time)
1 New Zealand lamb rib and belly set
Horopito (NZ mountain pepper berry) flakes, optional
6g (1 tsp) manuka leaf
6g (1 tsp) coriander seed
6g (1 tsp) black peppercorns
Davidson plum glaze
200g Davidson plum, fresh or frozen (pitted)
60g (1/4 cup) brown sugar
50ml sherry vinegar
6g (1 tsp) fresh ginger, grated
3g (1/2 tsp) bush tomato powder
1 clove garlic, grated
1.5g (1/4 tsp) kanuka leaf
1.5g (1/4 tsp) Chinese five-spice
1.5g (1/4 tsp) black pepper, freshly ground
Bring water, sugar, salt, manuka leaf, coriander seed and pepper to boil. Then allow brine to cool completely.
Place lamb ribs in the brine for 8 hours. Then remove, pat dry and place in a baking dish or pot. Cover with oil and slow cook at 100°C for 2–3 hours or until tender (and meat pulls away from the bone). Chill completely.
Place a pot on medium heat with plums, ginger, garlic, spices, vinegar, sugar and honey and kanuka leaf. Cook down slowly, stirring every few minutes until thick and jammy. Cool and store in the fridge.
Take the ribs out of the oil and place on a chargrill or barbeque. Brush with the plum glaze every 5 minutes, turning occasionally to avoid the glaze burning. Aim for colour on the ribs and for the glaze to caramelise but not burn. Entirely optional: Dust with horopito (mountain pepper tree native to New Zealand) and serve.
This recipe is from Taste Buds by Analiese Gregory and Clayton Wells with photos by Rob Palmer. It’s available to download, free of charge, here.
Looking for more cooking inspiration? See Broadsheet’s recipe hub.