Celebrating with the Aussies…sort of

Something that probably nobody over here knows (or really cares) about is the fact that last Saturday was Australia Day (and Republic Day in India). I did some searching for what a “traditional” Australia Day menu was, but all I could figure out was that it was just a day for a barbecue – just like July 4th is for us here.

However, I was curious, and posed the question to the folks at the Aussie Bloggers Forum – and I have to say that I did Sam Kekovich proud. While I didn’t make the lamb on the 26th, it was made in what he would term “Australia Week” – heck, they already had G’day USA going on, so why not? As I mentioned in the thread, I found a recipe that sounded perfect for what we had gotten – lamb shank – Garlic Lovers shank.

By the way, I didn’t buy Australian Lamb, but got locally-sourced product, as you can see on the packaging. 🙂

Lamb in Packaging

The first step was to remove the fat – there was quite a bit of it – and then cut slits into the meat for garlic to be stuck literally into the meat. Then, you doused it in olive oil and put it under the broiler to brown. The next two shots are before and after – before with just the oil and garlic, and then after, seasoned with pepper, salt, oregano, mint and some red wine in the bottom of the dish for good measure (and to use it up; I opted for the Yellow Tail if you’re curious).

Lamb studded with garlic and olive oil

After being in the broiler, it’s nice and brown

Then it was into the oven for a couple of hours (though I really should have done it for slightly less time since it was only one shank, it was slightly dry after cooking) wrapped under aluminium foil, during which time I prepared the side dish. It’s one that long-time readers might remember from my chicken adventures in May. Ironically, this Greek Salad is featured in an Australia Day menu, so all was somewhat right with the world again. 😉

I did do it slightly different this time – taking out the seeds from the tomatoes, also slicing the onions smaller and adding in some green capsicums (peppers for my fellow Americans 😉 ). However, I wasn’t impressed with the vinaigrette again – I think it’s just too bitter for my tastes; I did find out that Kraft Zesty Italian dressing works well with it the next day though.

Insalata di cucumbers and other vegies

By the time I had the salad done, the meat was ready to come out of the oven and sit for a few minutes. Here are a couple of shots of how it looked right after coming out of the oven; one of which you may have seen already 🙂

Lamb in vertical

Lamb in Horizontal

The last thing was to move it onto a platter, remove the meat from the bone and tuck in to my first lamb meal since 2004 when I visited an awesome restaurant called Fogo de Chão – where they have Gauchos from Brazil go around with large sticks of meat and serve you just about anything you might want – chicken breast, sausages, pork roast, filet mignon (bacon wrapped), lamb shank. They have a salad bar as well, but I only grabbed a piece of smoked salmon and a couple of asparagus spears; didn’t want to fill up on the sides now, did I? 😉

Here’s what it looked like on the platter; one shank comfortably served two.

Plated Lamb

It is definitely a meal that I’d like to try again, when shank is on sale. We got it for $3.98 per pound ($8.95/kg or so), so really it isn’t that expensive of a meat at all. Plus, I’m sure that Sam Kekovich would be quite proud. 😀

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