Some seemingly innocuous requests can test the limits of a friendship. Pet-sitting a volatile animal. Throwing a pair of jumper leads in the boot and driving out to the sticks to jumpstart a mate’s car. The dreaded house move. Such incidents can easily cause tempers to flare, goodwill to stretch and everyone to wish they were somewhere else.

Thankfully there’s an easy way to return a friendship to its natural order – through the stomach. Cooking for a friend is a gracious – and simple – thankyou. The trick is to plate something that looks fancy but is easy to make. This is where delicious lamb comes in.

“We’re pretty lucky in Australia,” says Shane Delia, of Melbourne’s Maha, Biggie Smalls and host of SBS’s Spice Journey. “We have amazing quality lamb. Lamb chops, lamb cutlets, lamb sausages and lamb mince – I don’t know if it’s just the little world I grew up in, but I’ve always found lamb was really approachable. It’s everywhere.”

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That might be because it’s one of the most versatile proteins. “Lamb isn’t an overpowering meat,” says Delia. “It’s quite subtle and marries well with a lot of different flavours.”

Here’s an easy-to-make lamb recipe to say 'thanks'.

Five-Spice Loin Chops and Asian-Style Slaw
Recipe by Australian Lamb
Serves 4

8 lamb loin chops
1 tsp Chinese five spice

3 cups thinly sliced Chinese cabbage
3 cups thinly sliced red cabbage
3 spring onions, thinly sliced
1 red capsicum, julienned
100g snow peas, trimmed and julienned
¼ cup mayonnaise
2 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
1 tbsp lime juice plus wedges, to serve
1 cup loosely packed coriander leaves


Preheat a barbeque or char-grill pan to medium-high. Spray lightly with oil. Rub spice over chops. Cook chops for 2–3 minutes, in batches, if required, until moisture appears on one side. Turn and cook for a further 3 minutes or until cooked to your liking. Remove to warm plate; season and rest for a few minutes.

Meanwhile, combine cabbage, onions, capsicum and snow peas in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl, stir together mayonnaise, sweet chilli sauce and lime juice. Add chilli mayonnaise to coleslaw and toss to lightly coat. Transfer to a serving bowl and sprinkle with coriander leaves.

Transfer the lamb to plates, add some coleslaw and serve with lime wedges.

This article is produced by Broadsheet in partnership with Australian Lamb.