Sunday, July 29, 2012

Miss Mardi's Drunk on Beer Lamb...

Beer lamb
Miss Mardi's Drunk on Beer Lamb.

Last weekend we hit up the amazing Festival of Lamb in Bendigo. We visited some of the restaurants involved last year but when I saw that they had a tent at the Sheep and Wool Show this year to showcase some cooking demonstrations, I was pretty excited.  One of the demonstrations that caught my eye was a leg of lamb, slow cooked in beer.  I love my slow cooker so this definitely spoke to me!  I gave it a go today but with my own twist, so here is my version inspired by the Festival of Lamb's Ale Lamb, called Miss Mardi's Drunk on Beer Lamb.

You will need for the slow cook:
  • 2 stubbies of good quality boutique like beer.  For this recipe I used James Squire's Nine Tales Amber Ale which is lovely and caramel in colour.
  • A leg of lamb, mine was a small leg, with the bone still in.
  • A few large sprigs of rosemary.
  • one brown onion, peeled and chopped in half.
  • dash of olive oil
  • salt and pepper.

Beer lamb
The beer that went into the slow cooker!

In a pan on the stove, brown the leg of lamb a little in some olive oil.  You want to render off some of the fat. Once browned a little, pop into your slow cooker with the onion and pour in the 2 stubbies of beer, add your rosemary and seasonings.  Cook on a low to medium heat in your slow cooker for about 7 hours.  Don't be tempted to keep lifting the lid and looking!  Just let it do it's thing!  I did turn my lamb once about half way so it definitely got soaked in the beer.

Beer lamb
This is the lamb and seasonings in my slow cooker, right at the start, awaiting to be cooked!

Once cooked, take the lamb out and cover with foil and allow to rest.  Strain the juice from the slow cooker, skimming any fat off and pop into a saucepan and reduce by a third to a half.  I kept the onion from the slow cooker and chopped to add to this reduced sauce.

Reduced sauce tips:

  • allow to boil with out stirring to reduce quicker.
  • I added about 30 mls of port for sweetness along with a tablespoon of brown sugar.
  • thicken with a dash of gravox or cornflour - generally how you would normally thicken your gravy!

Once sauce has thickened and tastes to your liking, you can serve your Drunk on Beer Lamb!

I served ours on a bed of cous cous, with steamed greens and carefully tore the lamb into more manageable pieces and topped with the sauce.  Naturally you should enjoy it with a good quality  beer as well.

A really lovely recipe that you can play with in terms of additional spices and tastes, however for this recipe I wanted to keep true to the beer and allow it to do it's thing.  Trust me, it was super delicious!

A big shout out to the Festival of Lamb people!  The festival occurs in late July, every year.  Also, take time to visit the Bendigo Beer boys who inspired this wonderful marriage of lamb and beer.  They love their craft beers and are about inspiring and educating people about great beers.

Miss Mardi xxx

Friday, July 27, 2012

Yelping and eating hot dogs...

My #yelp name tag for tonight's lovely get together!
My Yelp name badge.

Last night we hit up the most awesome gallery Outre for one of Yelp Melbourne's events.  Even though the weather was pretty miserable in good old Melbourne town, the great art and other Yelpers made it a lovely evening.

Yelp outré event
My Sailor Jerry cup, in front of some gorgeous work at Outre Gallery.

Drinks for the night were from Sailor Jerry Rum.  We had some gorgeous Dark and Stormy cocktails (like a Moscow Mule but with rum!) that were in very cute Sailor Jerry cups.

Yelp outré event
Beef hotdog courtesy of Phat Brats.

We also were treated to some amazing little hotdogs by Phat Brats Hot Dogs.  Mark managed to eat about 4 of them but I was happy with my beef, cabbage and horseradish cream dog, super delicious!  I would suggest checking them out if you are in Melbourne, I think they also do a pretty impressive veggie dog for our non-meat eating friends.

I've been pretty active on Yelp, especially when I am in the USA and have found it incredibly useful over there to bookmark places that I want to check out and also read others reviews.  If you would like to see where I've been visiting and read my reviews you can find me at

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Chocolate Chip Cookies...

Chocolate chip cookies!

Every now and then, I get a craving for a delicious, sweet and chocolatey choc chip cookie.  It has to be slightly chewy and with a good amount of chocolate chips in it.

Yesterday, I pulled out my Kitchenaid mixer in the morning and whipped up these cookies.  The recipe makes about 36 cookies, maybe a little less, depending on how big you make them.

You will need:
  • 250g butter softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup caster sugar
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 & 1/4 cup plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon bicarb soda
  • 375g chocolate chips, your choice of dark or milk or a combo!

A bit of early morning baking! Choc chip cookies!

 How to!
  1. preheat oven to 180 degree Celsius and prepare oven trays.
  2. beat butter, vanilla and sugars with an electric mixer, you are wanting to cream them together.  When they get going, add the egg and mix until light and fluffy.  
  3. Transfer sugar mixtures to a larger bowl and sift in the flour and bicarb soda.  Do this in 2 batches, working one cup in at a time with a wooden spoon.  The mixture will be quite stiff so you will be giving your arm a work out!
  4. Add the choc chips and mix well.
  5. Roll out tablespoons of the mixture into balls in your hand and place about 5cm apart on trays.  The cookies will spread!  Bake for about 15 minutes.
  6. Carefully cool cookies on trays.  They will be golden around the edge and still a little soft in the middle.
  7. Store in an airtight container, however, they won't last long!
Enjoy these cookies with coffee or just for a sweet treat.  You can play around with the type of chocolate chips or even add in some nuts, have fun with it!

You may also find this delicious!

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