Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Chow Down to Eurovision 2013 - Austria

The first stop on our European trek towards Malmö is Austria. Home of the Von Trapp family singers, Sachertorte, Pez dispensers, and chef Sarah Wiener. I will happily admit I am a little bit in love with Sarah Wiener. While preparing this Chow Down to Eurovision, I watched her TV series where she travels the Alps and cooks the local recipes. It seems only fitting that Austria is represented by a version of her recipe for Lamb on Hay, that was inspired by the Austrian town of Tyrol. I love the way she goes traveling to befriends the locals and learns their way of life and cuisine. At the end of the visit she will either replicating her host's dish or come up with her own inspired invention. I was very hesitant to use the hay as it just reminds me of Sailor's box, she is cute but she is also very capable of producing the not so cute.

                                Sailor "Yum hay, HEY are you eating my tea?"

When it comes to Austria in Eurovision my favourite act would The Rounder Girls, Eurovision meets Sister Act. Their song All to You came 14th in 2000, they were robbed, all that big haired wise cracking should have came at least top 10.

 

This recipe is based on what Sarah demonstrated on Sarah Wiener in the Alps season 1 episode 9, I used a different cut of lamb and cooked it slower and longer, oh and also I, unlike Sarah, didn't climb up a hill to select the lamb that was getting a one way trip down the hill to become lunch.

Lamb on Hay
Ingredients
  • 1.5 kg of lamb shoulder, cut into large pieces.
  • 2-4 lamb shanks
  • Mustard to coat the lamb, I used whole grain Dijon, but any will do.
  • 1 large bowl of hay (optional see note)
  • A few sprigs of Rosemary
  • About a handful other herbs, made up of thyme, lavender, parsley
  • 2 cloves garlic chopped
  • 2 medium carrots chopped
  • 2 small onions chopped
  • 1 celeriac chopped (I forgot and bought leek)
  • 1 1/2 cups red wine
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable stock
  • Oil for browning lamb


Method
  • Coat the lamb with the mustard and brown in a fry pan with a little oil.
  • Place the lamb in a baking dish on top of optional hay (read the note below)
  • Scatter lamb with garlic and herbs
  • Fry the onions leek and carrots in a deep fry pan with a little oil
  • Add the stock and red wine to the vegetables and simmer on medium heat for about 3 minutes
  • Pour the vegetables and stock over the lamb
  • Cover baking dish with foil
  • Roast in a 170°C oven for about 2.5 hours, uncover for the last half of the cooking.
  • The lamb should fall away from the bone.
  • Remove the lamb pieces from the baking dish and place on serving plate.
  • Discard the vegetable stock
  • Serve with a baked potato topped with sour cream and finely chopped chives.


















Note:  I wouldn't use the hay again, I couldn't taste the difference. I think you need to get it from the Austrian Alps before it has any major effect. Really all the stressing about the food safety, thinking if there had been any mice running through this hay before it got to me and associating it with bunny's left overs, just wasn't worth any flavour enhancement that was supposed to be there. My advice, love Sarah but ditch the hay.



This year Austria will be represented by Natalia Kelly singing Shine
Viel Glück!
 

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