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Roast Chicken salad with egg, radicchio & walnuts

Serves 4
PREP 25mins
COOK 1hr

1 lemon, quartered
2 thyme sprigs
1.2kg (size 12) chicken
1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
2 eschalots, peeled
2 garlic cloves, peeled
4 slices flat pancetta
2 tbsp raspberry or red wine vinegar
1 1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
4 eggs, at room temperature
1 witlof
1 radicchio, torn
1/4 cup (30g) chopped toasted walnuts



1 Preheat oven to 200C or 180C fan. Place lemon quarters and thyme in cavity of chicken and tie legs with string. Season with salt. Heat olive oil in a roasting pan on high. Cook chicken, turning, for 5 mins, until lightly browned. Place chicken breast side up in pan, transfer to oven and roast for 20 mins.

2 Baste chicken with pan juices. Add eschalots and garlic to pan. Roast for 20 mins, until chicken is browned. Place pancetta over chicken. Roast for 10 mins, until pancetta is crisp and chicken juices run clear when thigh is pierced with a skewer. Transfer chicken to a platter. Rest for 10 mins. Pour juices from chicken into pan.

3 Place roasting pan on medium heat. Use back of a fork to crush garlic and eschalots. Add vinegar. Stir using a wooden spoon, scraping base of pan to dislodge any brown bits. Add a splash of water, if needed, to extract flavour. Strain juices through a sieve. Whisk in extra virgin olive oil. Season.

4 Meanwhile, heat a pan of water on medium, until simmering. Gently add eggs. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cook for 5 mins. Transfer eggs to a bowl of cold water to cool. Carefully peel. Trim witlof and split each leaf down centre.

5 Cut chicken into quarters. Thickly slice breast. Remove bones from thighs and legs, and break meat into pieces. Arrange witlof and radicchio in serving bowls and top with chicken. Scatter over walnuts. Gently open eggs and place on top. Drizzle with vinaigrette. Season. Break crisp pancetta into pieces and add to salad. Serve.

Roast lamb with apple & asparagus salad

Serves 6
PREP 30mins 
COOK 1hr 25mins


1 tbsp cumin seeds
2 tbsp olive oil
1 garlic bulb
1.5kg easy-carve lamb leg
2 rosemary sprigs, broken small sprigs
12 eschalots, peeled
1 bunch asparagus, peeled, trimmed
2 golden delicious apples
100g baby spinach
1/2 bunch dill, fronds only
1 bunch tarragon, leaves only
1/2 bunch flat leaf parsley, leaves only
1/4 cup (35g) shelled pistachios, roughly chopped
1/4 cup (40g) blanched almonds, roasted, roughly chopped

mustard dressing
grated rind of 1/2 lemon, plus 1 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp dijon mustard
1/2 tsp honey
2 tbsp olive oil


 Preheat oven to 180C or 160C fan. Toast cumin seeds in a small frying pan on medium heat for 1-2 mins, until fragrant. Transfer to a mortar and pestle and roughly grind. Stir in olive oil and a pinch of salt. Season with freshly ground pepper. Set aside.

2 Separate garlic cloves. Peel two cloves and thickly slice. Make small incisions in skin of lamb and insert rosemary and garlic slices. Place lamb in a roasting pan and brush with cumin mixture. Roast for 35 mins, then add eschalots and remaining garlic cloves to pan. Roast for another 45 mins for medium, or until lamb is cooked to your liking.

Meanwhile, to make dressing, mix together lemon rind and juice, mustard and honey. Whisk in oil and season to taste. Set aside.

Cut asparagus diagonally into 5cm lengths. Bring a small saucepan of water to boil on high heat. Add a pinch of salt and asparagus, and cook for 2 mins, until tender crisp. Drain and refresh under cold water. Drain on paper towel.

Core apple and cut into 2cm pieces. Place in a large bowl. Add asparagus, baby spinach, dill, tarragon, parsley, pistachios and almonds. Drizzle over dressing. Gently toss to combine. Serve with roast lamb, eschalots and garlic.


Tip- Use a meat thermometer to check when the lamb is done to your liking. Test the thickest part of the meat. As a guide, it’ll read 60C for rare, 65C for medium-rare, 70C for medium and 75C for well done.



 Gary's secrets

•  Easy-carve lamb is a leg with the chump end removed. It is rolled and tied into a uniform shape, so it cooks evenly and is easy to carve into individual portions. Easy-carve lamb legs are available from butchers or use lamb shoulder, on or off the bone.

•  Roasting the lamb at a slightly lower temperature will reduce the amount of moisture lost during cooking. I reckon the flavour is better, too.

•  Experiment with different combinations of herbs and spices – sumac, coriander, oregano and thyme are all lovely with roast lamb.

•  To vary the colour and flavour of the salad, try using different leaves, such as witlof, radicchio and frisée. Hazelnuts and sliced fennel would also work well in this dish. 

Slow-Roasted Beef with Golden Beets & Garlic

PREP 15mins plus resting
COOK 3hrs 40mins


1.5kg aged beef standing rib roast (3-bone rib)
1/3 cup (80ml) olive oil, plus extra to brush
4 thyme sprigs, leaves only
5 eschalots, unpeeled
1 garlic bulb, broken into cloves, unpeeled
2 bunches golden baby beetroots, tops trimmed to 1cm
10cm piece fresh horseradish
2 tsp champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar
150g crème fraîche or sour cream
1/4 cup (60ml) dry white or red wine
100ml good quality beef stock
rocket, halved cherry tomatoes, to serve

1 Preheat oven to 100C or 80C fan. Tie beef rib with string to help keep it in shape during cooking. Rub with half of olive oil and season with salt, ground black pepper and thyme. Place prepared beef in a heavy-based roasting pan or a large ovenproof frying pan on high heat.

2 Cook beef, turning, for 5-6 mins, to form a crust. Add eschalots and 2 garlic cloves and cook in oven, brushing with extra oil halfway through cooking, for 31/2-4 hrs, until medium-rare and internal temperature is 58C. Remove beef from pan. Rest for 15 mins.

3 Meanwhile, thoroughly wash beetroot. Drain and dry well. Place a sheet of foil in a clean ovenproof pan and place beets and remaining garlic on top. Drizzle with remaining olive oil and season. Firmly enclose vegetables in foil and set aside.

4 At 11/2 hrs into beef’s cooking time, place pan with beetroot and garlic parcel in oven. Cook for 11/2-2 hrs, until very tender. Grate horseradish and mix into vinegar. Stand for 5 mins. Mix into crème fraîche. Chill.

5 Heat roasting pan on high. Use a fork to crush garlic and eschalots. Add wine and stock and simmer for 2 mins, until reduced. Cut away bones. Slice beef. Serve with pan juices, beetroot, horseradish mixture and salad. 

Gary’s secrets 
 • This method takes a little more planning but is well worth the effort. The secret is temperature. If you want to make this dish perfectly, you need a thermometer to check the internal temperature of the meat. It will read 58C-62C for medium-rare to medium when cooked slowly in this way.

• Cooking at a low temperature for four hours is so convenient at Christmas – put the beef in the oven at breakfast and it’ll be ready for lunch.

• Slow-roasting has become a norm in the restaurant industry because there is far less shrinkage and the meat is beautifully tender and evenly cooked.



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