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Tonight’s dinner…a warming Irish Stew!

Lamb_StewYou may recall that a few weeks ago I went to a cooking class with Jude Blereau.  She was launching her new cookbook “Wholefood Baking” and did a Thermomix demonstration for some of the recipes she has converted to be used in Thermie!

One of the recipes that received great comments was the Irish Lamb Stew on Sweet Potato Mash (the photo is Jude’s picture of her dish).  I had a small taste and it was delicious, but as it contained vegies and grain that I don’t eat I subsequently went home and made it the next day.  Again it was great!

OMG, a couple of weeks have gone by since I started to write this post and I find myself making this great recipe yet again. In fact I think I’ve been making it about once a week!!! It’s DEFINITELY time I share the recipe with you.

Tonight I am using up vegetables that I have in the fridge like – parsnip, carrot, pumpkin, capsicum, broccoli. The options are endless. Just use the measurements of vegetables in the recipe as a rough guide when substituting!  For a larger family, I would suggest steaming some diced vegetables in the Varoma and adding it to the stew to make it go further.  You could have your sweet potato steaming on one level and the other vegies on the top!

It is supposed to be served with Herb Butter, but as I don’t eat dairy I just don’t use it, but I’ll be nice and include it for those who do! I will also give you the original recipe and let you know the variations I usually use to make it Low FODMAP, Paleo, fructose friendly and gluten free which will appear in brackets (). Here’s the recipe!

Herb Butter

6 sprigs fresh flat-lef parsley, leaves only

20g fresh chives

4 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only

120g unsalted butter

Method:

Place all herbs into mixing bowl and chop 3 seconds on speed 7

Scrape down the sides of the bowl

Add the butter and blend for 10 seconds on speed 5.

Scrape down the sides of the bowl and repeat if necessary.

Refrigerate until ready to use.

Irish Lamb Stew

Ingredients

002150g leek, white part only (150g green part of spring onions)

2 garlic cloves (1 garlic clove or omit and use garlic infused oil if you can’t tolerate any garlic)

3 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only

20g butter, coconut oil (garlic infused oil)

90g celery (90g zucchini or if using parsnip and swede instead of potato, use 90g celeriac)

190g carrots

190g potatoes (to make it paleo I use celeriac or a mix of parsnip and swede)

4 pieces of lamb necks on the bone, fat trimmed (about 700g)

40g pearl barley presoaked for 1 hr or overnight with 1/2tsp lemon juice (120g quinoa washed)

sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste

3 sprigs flat-leaf parsley, leaves only with extra to serve

1 sprig fresh marjoram, leaves only – I didn’t have any so just omitted it!

3 bay leaves

1 tbsp. tamari (1 tbsp. Coconut Aminos)

700g water

600-800g sweet potato, peeled and cut into 2cm pieces (600-800g mix of celeriac and pumpkin)

Method

003Place leek, garlic and thyme into the mixing bowl and chop for 3 seconds at speed 5

Add butter/oil and sauté for 4 minutes at Varoma temperature on speed 1.  Set aside

Place celery, carrot, potatoes and herbs (or the alternative vegies – do not put in bay leaves) and chop for 3-5 seconds on speed 4-5 to obtain a chunky consistency.  Less is best as the veggies cook down.

005Add the leek, lamb and barley into the mixing bowl and season with salt and pepper.

Add the bay leaves, tamari and water.

Place the sweet potato (or in my case celeriac and pumpkin) in the top rack of the Varoma dish and place Varoma into position.

Cook for 45mins  at 100° on reverse, soft spoon.

Season the stew with extra tamari to taste and check if the steamed vegetables are cooked. If they are, set them aside in a Thermoserver. If not, continue cooking as before. If the Varoma is no longer needed, place TM basket on top of mixing bowl with MC removed. Cook for a further 10-15 minutes on Varoma, reverse, soft spoon setting until the lamb is tender. I often add extra vegetables like zucchini, if not used before, or broccoli. When stew is cooked, place in Thermoserver.

Lamb_Stew_Low FODMAP_QuinoaClean and dry mixing bowl. Place steamed sweet potato into mixing bowl and mix for 10 sec on speed 5. Insert butterfly, add 10-20g milk if using and puree for 10-14 sec or until smooth. I sometimes don’t mash at all and put the steamed vegetables into the stew as well.

Serve stew hot with the vegetable mash. Garnish with chives and parsley and herbed butter if using it!

I hope you enjoy this as much as our family does x

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Tallwood, Mollymook, New South Wales, Australia

tallwood_11_02_13_178348[1]A couple of weeks ago, I made it my mission to go and try this restaurant. As I pointed out in my previous review, my brother Matt Upson is chef and co-owner of Tallwood with his friend Clayton Till.

The restaurant has a modern “big city” feel to it, yet it is located in a little town called Mollymook on the South Coast of New South Wales. The décor is clean and fresh and there is a great display of local art works which are for sale.

Outside dining, complete with a retractable awning, is also on offer to make the most of the fabulous NSW weather. There are even knee rugs for when the air is a bit chilly.

Evening dining sees the restaurant transform into a sophisticated indoor space with a great atmosphere. The mood is set off by the clever interior design and gorgeous lighting that throws patterns onto the walls and roof.

Tallwood is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner from Wednesday to Sunday. The menu is the same for lunch and dinner, so I decided to have both meals here so I could try more of the dishes (after all I had come all the way from Tasmania and had been waiting quite some time to eat here)!

I dined with my parents, sister in law and daughter for both meals (arguably my brother’s toughest critics). For lunch we decided to have lighter options to save room for our evening meal! The food did not disappoint. Popular with my 5 year old daughter were the taro chips. I was partial to the “salumi Australia” cured meat board and the Black Angus scotch (which I ate without the pine mushrooms due to FODMAP’s), while my mum loved the Portuguese Fish Cakes served with a saffron mayo.

For dinner my favourites were the Japanese pancakes (I have to say that as he adapted them from my recipe!), American spare ribs with tomato, coriander and lime, and the red braised quail. We didn’t have dessert as we were trying to be good! Actually, by special request the chef whipped up some banana and choc chip ice-cream for my daughter!

Tallwood quail a

All in all we thoroughly enjoyed both meals here. The staff were knowledgeable and attentive, without being intrusive. I particularly enjoyed the experience of evening dining.

If you are in the vicinity of Mollymook, you really need to check this restaurant out. If you are a little further down the coast, the Tallwood team also run Merry Street Restaurant and Bar at Kioloa. I know that you may be thinking that I am biased being that the restaurant belongs to a family member. If so, please check out what other people are saying on TripAdvisor!

The Hungry Duck, Berry, New South Wales, Australia

hungry-duck-info1My young daughter and I recently went on a short trip from our home state of Tasmania to New South Wales. The main purpose of our trip was to visit our family.

Another burning reason to travel was to eat at my little brother (Matt Upson) and his friend’s (Clayton Till) new restaurant Tallwood in Mollymook. They have been getting AMAZING reviews on TripAdvisor, and I thought that it was not right that I was the only member of the family who hadn’t eaten there yet!

It is no secret that I like my food and LOVE to eat out. On our way to Mollymook, we broke our journey at the gorgeous little township of Berry for dinner. My brother had booked us all into Hungry Duck. The chef Dave Campbell has an impressive resume that includes Wokpool, Tetsuya’s and Billy Kwong. So I’m sure you can understand that I was just a little bit excited about eating here!

My daughter and I had been travelling for 10 hours by the time we got to the restaurant. We had 2 small children in tow, so unfortunately we were not in for a long relaxing dinner.

The restaurant presented really well. It is in a quaint old building on the main road. It had a mix of lovely wooden chairs and padded bench seats. The tables were covered with crisp white tablecloths. It had a relaxed yet sophisticated feel to it.

The restaurant recommended that we share dishes, which suited us. The stand out dishes from what we ordered were the homemade pork buns which had pulled pork and a lovely blend of Asian herbs and spices, the duck 3 ways, and caramelised Angus brisket with cassia bark & pickled blood plums (we had 2 serves!). Dishes are quite small, however as it is served Tapas style, it is easy to order more if needed. The children were the only ones who had dessert – vanilla bean ice cream of course!

The wait staff were professional but relaxed and were able to guide us with our menu choices where needed.

After dinner we discovered a gorgeous kitchen garden that we enjoyed wandering around while trying to name all the plants. There was a water fountain and the plants had back lighting which created a great atmosphere.

I would highly recommend you make a stop at this little restaurant on your travels, and don’t forget to check out the garden!