WHEN it comes to getting together with friends and family and celebrating our beautiful country, there's no better way to do it than with lamb.
To help get the party started, culinary gem, Poh Ling Yeow has shared her top tips to ensure you impress your guests.
Talk to your butcher
Get to know your local butcher; they are the experts and will be able to give you advice on the best cut of lamb for the recipe or cooking method you are using.
Or do your research with apps like the MeatCuts app, designed to be the butcher on your smartphone.
Take it to the next level with a marinade
Lamb is so great on its own with a touch of salt and pepper, but if you're looking to add flavour Poh's favourite lamb marinade is the classic garlic, olive oil, lemon, rosemary, parsley, salt and pepper mix. Once you have mastered this, experiment with other flavour combinations.
Easy, but impressive cutlets
Poh's favourite cut to cook is lamb cutlets. Poh advises lamb cutlets are best cooked on a barbecue or in the pan on a high-heat. Cook on one side until moisture appears on the top. Turn only once to maximise the juiciness and flavour. Poh guarantees everyone will want more!
Quick summer roast
If you are cooking for a crowd this summer Poh suggests cooking a mini butterflied leg or shoulder roast.
A 1kg roast will only take 30 minutes to cook and serve up to six people. Pair it with a salad instead of roasted vegetables and you will have a perfect summer dinner in no time.
How to barbecue roast a butterflied lamb shoulder or leg
1. Preheat the barbecue to 200C (the burners should be set at medium).
2. Determine the weight of the lamb (once the bone has been removed) and brush it lightly with oil.
3. Season with salt, pepper and flavourings.
4. Place the lamb in the centre of the barbecue.
5. Turn the burners directly under the meat off. The remaining burners are left on to conduct and circulate the heat around the roast.
6. Close the lid and roast for the recommended cooking time:
Rare: 20-25 mins per 500g
Medium: 25-30 mins per 500g
Well done: 30-35 mins per 500g
Poh's butterfly lamb leg with anchovy cream sauce
and zucchini, green bean and mint salad
1 boned, butterflied leg of lamb, fat trimmed (about 1kg)
4 cloves garlic, peeled, halved
1/4 cup roughly chopped flat leaf parsley
1 tsp salt
2 tbs olive oil
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
Freshly cracked pepper
Anchovy cream sauce:
8 cloves garlic, peeled
1/2 cup milk
15 small anchovy fillets in oil, drained
100g unsalted butter
100ml olive oil
Zucchini and beans:
200g stringless beans
300g small zucchini, ends cut away, quartered lengthways
2 cloves garlic, peeled, bashed
1 cup fresh mint leaves picked
3 tbs olive oil
Juice and zest of 1/2 a lemon
To make the marinade, pound the garlic, parsley and salt with a mortar and pestle. Mix with the olive oil, lemon juice, zest, and pepper. Pour over the lamb and rub thoroughly, then cover with cling film and marinate in the fridge for 30-60 minutes.
Preheat the oven or a barbecue with a lid to 180C. Place the lamb on a large roasting pan. Saturate the meat with the marinade using a brush then cook for 40 minutes for a medium done result. Cover the meat with foil and rest the meat for 15 minutes before slicing.
To make the anchovy cream sauce, combine the garlic and milk in a small saucepan. Cover and simmer very gently until the garlic is soft enough to squash easily between your fingers. Add the anchovies and stir over low heat until dissolved. Add the olive oil and butter and blitz in a blender until smooth. Add the cream and stir to combine. Keep warm.
Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. Add the zucchini and green beans and blanch for about 10 seconds (so they retain a nice crunch). Rinse with cool water and drain in a colander, then transfer to a large salad bowl. Add the garlic, mint, olive oil, lemon juice and zest and toss until mixed through.
To serve, slice the lamb and serve on a board. Drizzle some of the anchovy sauce over the lamb and the remainder in a gravy boat on the side. Leave the zucchini and beans in the bowl with servers for guests to help themselves.