Troy Wheeler is the butcher behind the upmarket Melbourne providore, co-owned with leading chef-restaurateur Andrew McConnell.

In a special Broadsheet series, Meatsmith Masterclass, Wheeler reveals how to break down your own cuts of meat at home – including chicken, rabbit and lamb – to mimimise waste and maximise flavour.

Importantly, it requires only basic butchery that’s more achievable than you think.

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This rustic Georgian lamb stew, known as chanakhi, uses a boneless leg cut into pieces and braised with layered potato, eggplant, tomato and capsicum, and finished with fresh herbs.

Meatsmith’s Slow-Cooked Georgian Lamb Stew

Serves 6

1 boneless leg of lamb (1.5kg) cut into large pieces (approximately 4cm x 4cm)
3 tbsps extra-virgin olive oil
2 potatoes, peeled and sliced into 1cm thick rounds
1 brown onion, peeled and thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large eggplant, sliced (approximately 2cm thick)
2 large tomatoes, sliced (approximately 2cm thick)
1 red capsicum, halved, seeds removed, thinly sliced
1 tbsp sherry vinegar
½ bunch parsley, leaves picked and chopped
½ bunch basil, leaves picked
Salt to season

Preheat the oven to 140°C.

Heat a heavy-based dish that has a lid (a casserole dish or Dutch oven is perfect) over a medium to high heat. Season the lamb liberally with salt, add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil to the dish and cook the lamb off in batches for about 3-4 minutes or until sealed and well caramelised, then set the lamb aside on a plate.

Remove the dish from the heat. Lay the potato evenly on the base of the dish, place the lamb on top of the potato, followed by the onion and garlic, then the eggplant, tomato and red capsicum. Season with salt, the remaining olive oil, and vinegar. Cover with the lid, place in the oven and cook for 4 hours. Remove from the oven and rest for 30 minutes before serving.

To serve, plate up a little bit of each element using a large spoon, finish each serve with some of the chopped parsley and the basil leaves and a sprinkle of salt.

Check out more of our Meatsmith Masterclass series here.