Soy and Ginger Beef Roast

Serves: 6

This is my first ‘roast’ write-up.

And geez I am conflicted.

I want to say that roasts are boring and in one sense they are. But then again, a slice of roast chicken with some peas, roast pork and crackling with some mashed potatoes or rich roast beef with some Yorkshire Puddings, a jus and some sauted brussel sprouts?

Boring never!

But roasts are boring nonetheless.

They’re done. They’ve been done. They have failed to make the jump into the culinary whirlwind. They were the peak of the week’s cooking and now they’re just a Sunday-night snore.

Until now.

This roast beef is awesome. And on so many fronts.

The tinge of the marinade lingers well. It isn’t some weak marinade: it permeates the meat and you taste it right through.

And you are forced to re-think your sides which is half the point.

No boring pumpkin and peas here!

Think about the flavours and what would pair. Asian rice, Asian greens, char grilled corn.. The list is endless.

If you think about it, roast beef is sort of the ultimate thing you can offer up. It is what kings ate.

Dress it up for 2016 and give this a whirl. It is awesome!


1.2kg beef blade roast, trimmed
1 tbsp finely grated ginger plus six thick slices extra
3 garlic cloves
1 long red chilli, roughly chopped
¼ cup reduced salt soy sauce
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp mirin
Vegetable oil


  1. Preheat the oven to 200c.
  2. Blitz grated ginger, garlic, chilli, soy sauce, honey and minin and rub all over the beef and marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  3. Place beef in a roasting pan on top of sliced ginger, drizzle with 1 tsp of vegetable oil and roast for 20 minutes. Reduce oven to 180c and roast, basting occasionally with pan juices until browned and cooked medium: 50 – 55 minutes and the internal temperature being 55 – 60c)
  4. Remove from the pan, cover loosely with foil and set aside for at least 20 minutes.

Arni Psito (Greek Roast Lamb)

Serves: 4 – 6

This dish a classic recipe from my incredibly capable mother.

She cooked this countless times for us as teenagers and we had it again last night and my two boys loved it. Talk about a generational recipe!

The original recipe is from the New York Times Cookbook, though she adapted it so that the onions, parsley and mushrooms cook on top, caramelise and blacken. This is where the genius of this dish comes from and I just cannot recommend it enough.

We had it with Greek potatoes, green beans and a wonderful Greek salad and the memories came rushing back.

Thank you Ellen for introducing me to food. What a life skill and fantastic way to spend a weekend!


1 leg of lamb
Salt and pepper
Dried oregano
Chopped garlic or garlic powder
¼ c butter, melted
Juice of 1 lemon
Diced onion
Chopped parsley
Sliced or chopped dried mushrooms


  1. Preheat the oven to 250 C and place the lamb on a rack.
  2. Season the lamb with salt, pepper, oregano and garlic.
  3. Arrange the onion, parsley and mushrooms over the lamb and carefully pour over the butter and lemon juice.
  4. Add ½ cup of water to the pan and roast for 20 minutes.
  5. Add another ½ cup water, lower the temperature to 180 C and roast for 22 minutes per 450gm, basting occasionally.
  6. Serve the lamb with the juices and vegetables spooned over.

Rick Stein’s Roast Pork


Thank you Aaron. I still have it and I still cook from it. oooxxx

Serves: 8 piglets

As Rick Stein puts it, ‘to write a recipe for something as everyday as roasting a joint of pork might seem the ultimate in teaching your grandmother to suck eggs but, while on the subject of eggs, I never thought it was arrogant of Delia Smith to go back over how to cook them properly.’

I cook a great pork roast and am often asked how I get the crackling – the ultimate reason you cook a pork roast – so good. Good crackling is crisp, aromatic crackling of a delicacy and crisp airiness that words can’t describe.

Which means the enemy of this is moisture.

So – and I refer to this advice from Rick Stein in his book Food Heroes: another helping, a gift from my fine flatmate of many years back, Aaron – the steps which I have adapted are:

  • Try and find a joint of pork with as thick a layer of fat between the skin and the flesh as possible. The fat slows the moisture from the flesh getting to the crackling.
  • Try and avoid pork that has been shrink wrapped.
  • Pat dry the skins with paper towel and then let sit on a wire rack for at least 6 hours; Rick says 24 and no less. Pat dry again.
  • Score the skin though don’t go too deep and cut the flesh.
  • Pat dry one more time.


1.75kg bones and rolled spare rib of pork (shoulder, not the belly)
Sea salt and pepper
Extra virgin olive oil


  1. Heat the oven to 250c or higher.
  2. Combine seasoning and a tablespoon of olive oil and rub all over the skin and flesh.
  3. Put in the hot oven and roast for 20 minutes.
  4. Lower the oven to 180c and continue to roast for 30 minutes per 450gm; a 1.75kg roast will take a further two hours.
  5. Make your gravy, potatoes, whatever.
  6. Remove the pork from the oven. A meat thermometer should read 75c in the centre of the pork. Let sit for 10 minutes and this should rise to 80c.
  7. To carve, cut and remove the string, slide a knife under the crackling, lift it off and break into pieces. Resist eating.
  8. Slice the pork removing the layer of fat and sit back and take those compliments. Hand out the crackling like a drug dealer.

Jamie Oliver’s Arrosto Misto with Gravy

Serves: 8

This is a really cool roast, bringing together two meats – lamb and duck – and roasting them side by side.

Cool right?

Better still, the gravy that is produced as part of the process is rich and flavoursome and it really is a pillar unto itself in the meal.

The last time I served this up, I served it with pan-fried parmesan polenta and pan sautéed asparagus with balsamic.

Next time, I’d try a cabbage gratin to cut through the richness of the roast; perhaps some buttered beans.

Whatever you serve this with, people will know it is going to be special and that means they’ll bring better wines to dinner.

Cool right?



4 celery stalks, roughly chopped
4 carrots, roughly chopped
2 red onions, roughly chopped
A head of garlic broken into cloves
A few bay leaves
A small bunch of fresh rosemary separate into sprigs
1.5kg shoulder of lamb
Olive oil
Bottle of red wine (750ml)
1 large (2kg) free-range or organic duck
1 thumb sized piece of ginger
2 tbs of flour


  1. Preheat the oven to 170c.
  2. Divide the chopped vegetables, garlic cloves and bay leaves between two roasting pans. Scatter half the rosemary over the vegetables in one pan, retaining the other half of the rosemary for stuffing in the duck.
  3. Season the lamb shoulder and duck and drizzle with olive oil.
  4. Slice the ginger and stuff inside the duck with the remaining rosemary.
  5. Place the lamb on top of the vegetables in the roasting pan with the rosemary, and the duck on top of the vegetables in the roasting pan without the rosemary. Pour a third of the wine over the lamb, a third of the wine over the duck, retaining a third for the gravy.
  6. Place the lamb in the oven for two hours, checking periodically to see if it is drying out. If so, add a little water; this is important as the vegetables in the lamb roasting dish will make the gravy and so must be moist.
  7. After two hours of cooking, add the duck to the oven and cook for a further two hours. After four hours, the meat should be falling off the bone of the lamb and the duck will be golden and cooked.
  8. Remove the meat from the oven and set aside covered in foil. Add the remaining wine and flour to the sauce and vegetables in the lamb’s roasting pan, and place the roasting pan directly over a medium heat, stirring to combine into gravy. Try to mash up the vegetables. Do not use the duck’s roasting dish for the gravy as it will be too fatty.
  9. Shred the meats and combine on a platter. Serve the gravy in a bowl.