Tag Archives: sauce

Lamb shanks with kumara garlic mash

Lamb shanks with red onion reduction and kumara garlic mash

We have had a great time finding butchers since our move to Auckland and while we are lucky to have a really nice one just around the corner from our house, a trip to Hamilton gave us a reason to stop off at the Pokeno Bacon shop and explore the butchery there. These lamb shanks were one of the delicious cuts of meat that we bought there. Looking forward to the next trip south, and the next excuse to stop off there!

This is a hearty dish that really fits with colder weather. The lamb falls off the bone of the lamb shanks, and the red onion reduction gives a nice hearty sauce that goes well with the lamb shanks, but also the kumara (sweet potato) mash. 


  • 2 lamb shanks
  • 2 Tbsp rice flour
  • Sea salt and pepper
  • 1 tomato (ripe)
  • 4 cloves of garlic, finely sliced
  • 2 Tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 large red onion, chopped
  • 5 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 stalks of rosemary
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 large kumara (sweet potato) (500g)
  • 1 whole garlic bulb, cut in half across the bulbs
  • 3 Tbsp of coconut or other milk of your choice


  1. Heat the oven to 180 degrees celsius
  2. Heat a pot of water. Cut an X in the top of the tomato. Dip the tomato into the boiling water until the skin starts to peel off. Remove from the water and peel the tomato. Cut the tomato into small pieces.
  3. Heat a pan to a medium heat. Add the olive oil and 2 cloves of the sliced garlic. Cook until the garlic is golden. Add the tomato pieces and stir. Break the tomato up using a wooden spoon as it slowly cooks. Turn the heat down and allow the tomato to reduce to 1/3 of the starting amount (about 2 Tbsp). Remove from the heat and set aside.
  4. Put the rice flour into a plastic bag and season well with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add the lamb shanks to the bag and shake the bag to coat the lamb shanks with the flour.
  5. Heat a frying pan with some olive oil in it to a medium heat. Add the lamb shanks to the pan and brown the lamb shanks on all sides. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  6. In the same pan, add the onion. Cook for around 5 minutes until the onion is cooked through and lightly browned. Add the other 2 cloves of chopped garlic and stir for 1 minute more. Add the balsamic vinegar and rosemary stalks and turn up the heat. Allow the balsamic vinegar to reduce for 2 minutes.
  7. Add the reduced tomato paste, and 1 cup of water to the pan. Allow to boil on a moderate heat for 3 minutes until the sauce has reduced and thickened.
  8. Remove the pan from the heat and add the lamb shanks to the pan. Cover the pan and place it in the oven. Cook covered at 180 degrees celsius for 90 minutes.
  9. Remove the pan from the oven and baste the lamb shanks by spooning the sauce over them. Cover the pan again and return it to the oven. Cook for another 45-60 minutes until the lamb is tender and falling off the bone.
  10. Cut the clove of garlic in half through the middle so that all of the garlic cloves have been cut in half. Add them to a roasting dish and place in the same oven as the lamb shanks are cooking in. Cook for around 30 minutes until they are roasted golden. Remove from the oven and set aside
  11. Meanwhile, cut the kumara into large pieces (do not peel it). Boil a pot of water and add the kumara with a little salt to the pot. Boil until the kumara is softened through.
  12. Remove the kumara from the pot and carefully peel the pieces. Add the peeled kumara to a foodprocessor. Remove the garlic from the garlic peel and add it to the foodprocessor. Add around 3 Tbsp of coconut milk and puree the kumara and garlic to a smooth paste. Add a little more coconut milk if required to get it to the desired consistency.
  13. Place the garlic kumara mash in the middle of the plate. Top with the lamb shank and some of the onion sauce.
  14. Serve with greens (we served it with pan fried asparagus with sesame seeds, but green beans or a salad would also be nice).

Music to go with it…
Listen on Spotify: Blur – The Magic Whip

Duck Breast with Pomegranate Sauce

Duck Breast with pomegranate sauce

Duck is a flavorsome meat, and this powerfully flavoured sauce makes a rich combination, that is quite impressive to serve. The ingredients can be a little expensive to buy, but it does make a wonderful dish for a special occasion. Serve with a salad and sweet potato chips.


  • 2 large duck breasts, skin on
  • coconut oil
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • Pomegranate seeds to garnish
  • Fresh coriander to garnish

Sauce ingredients

  • 2 spring onions, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 cm fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 100 ml organic pomegranate juice (check the label carefully to avoid added sugar and additives. The one we found was in a glass jar, and imported from America.)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground allspice
  • pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 tsp manuka honey
  • 50 ml fresh orange juice
  • pinch of ground cloves
  • 5 thyme sprigs


  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celcius (350 degrees Fahrenheit)
  2. Make a few cuts in the fat / skin of the duck breast. Brush with a little coconut oil and season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. 
  3. Fry in an oven proof pan for 5 minutes skin side down on a moderate heat. Turn the duck over and cook for a further 2 minutes. 
  4. Put all of the sauce ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.
  5. Pour the sauce over the duck, and put the pan with duck and sauce into the oven to cook for around 5 minutes (depending on the size of the duck breast it might take a little more or less time). 
  6. Garnish with fresh coriander and pomegranate seeds to serve. 

Music to go with it…
Listen on Spotify: Burning Spear – Marcus Garvey / Garvey’s Ghost



Rucola Mint Pesto

Rucola and Mint pesto

This is a very versatile pesto sauce that can be used as a dip for sweet potatoes, as a topping on fish or chicken, or even to stuff chicken wrapped in prosciutto. We’d love to hear how you have used what has become one of our favorites. 


  • Large handful of rucola lettuce leaves
  • 10-15 mint leaves
  • 1 Tbsp tahini
  • juice of half a large lime
  • 1 Tbsp pine nuts
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and roughly chopped
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • Few grinds of freshly ground black pepper
  • 50ml olive oil


  1. Put all of the ingredients into a blender, and blend until smooth.
  2. It should be a bit of a thick sauce, so be careful with the amount of olive oil that you add. If it is too thick then you can add a little more olive oil.

Music to go with it…
Listen on Spotify: Sola Rosa – Get it together

Passionfruit and Orange Sauce

Orange and passionfruit sauce

This is a delicious sauce with a lot of flavour. It suits being paired with big flavored meats such as duck or pork, but my son also likes to eat it with his sweet potato fries and dip his broccoli into it.


  • Juice of 1 large orange
  • pulp of 2 large passionfruit (or 3 smaller ones)
  • 1/2 a red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper
  • few thyme sprigs
  • ghee or coconut oil


Music to go with it…
Listen on Spotify: Elbow – The Take Off and Landing of Everything









Mango Passionfruit Salsa

mango and passionfruit salsa

This salsa is sweet with a spicy bite. Delicious with sweet potato cakes, or as a topping for chicken, pork or white fish such as barramundi or cod.


  • 1 ripe mango, cut into small pieces
  • pulp of 2 large passionfruit (or 3 small passionfruit)
  • juice of 1 lime
  • pinch of salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 red chilli, de-seeded and finely chopped
  • handful of fresh coriander, chopped


  1. Put all of the ingredients except the coriander in a bowl and stir well to mix. Don’t blend it, you want it chunky.
  2. Put in the refridgerator for 30-60 minutes. This allows the flavours to intensify.
  3. Top with the fresh coriander to serve
  4. While this recipe will start to intensify after an hour, leaving it overnight is even better. We often make enough for a second dish and leave it covered in the fridge for up to a week (the vinegar will preserve the fruit).

Music to go with it…
Listen on Spotify: Intergalactic lovers – Little Heavy Burdens




Duck with Passionfruit and Orange Sauce

Duck breast with orange and passionfruit sauce

This recipe pairs a big flavoured sauce with a big flavoured meat – passionfruit and orange sauce with duck breast. Our son also liked dipping the broccoli and turnip fries that we made to go with it in the sauce.


  • 1 or 2 duck breasts (depending on how many you are cooking for)
  • Juice of 1 large orange
  • pulp of 2 large passionfruit (or 3 smaller ones)
  • 1/2 a red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper
  • few thyme sprigs
  • ghee or coconut oil


  1. Fry the duck in a little ghee or coconut oil in a medium hot frying pan around 6 minutes on each side – starting with skin side.
  2. Get rid of most of the duck fat from the pan, but retain 1 Tbsp.
  3. Fry onion for a few minutes in the 1 Tbsp of Duck fat. Add the garlic and from for 1 more minute.
  4. Add orange, passionfruit, honey and balsamic vinegar. Cook until reduced to a thick sauce. Season with salt and pepper and remove from the pan. Add thyme and stir.
  5. Serve the orange and passionfruit sauce on the duck breasts, along with sweet potato fries or turnip fries and a salad or broccoli with fried garlic

Music to go with it…
Listen on Spotify: Drive by Truckers – English Oceans



Coconut Aminos

Coconut Aminos

Coconut Aminos is a Gluten Free replacement for Soy Sauce. It often comes as a shock for people who are new to their Gluten Free lifestyles that Soy Sauce contains Gluten (wheat is often the first ingredient), but not all soy sauces are created equal. There are Gluten Free Soy Sauces available (including from popular Soy Sauce brand Kikkoman), but Coconut Aminos is also a useful replacement and has the added advantage of also being Soya free. It is available from good Health Stores.

Basil mint pesto

mint and basil pesto

This is a great pesto to have in your repertoire to jazz up a meal. It is very easy, but transforms a simple lamb chops or lamb tenderloin into a meal.


  • Large handful of mint
  • Large handful of basil
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • Handful of toasted pine nuts
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive oil


  1. Put all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Done!

Nice with Lamb tenderloins and served with Broccoli and fried garlic

Music to go with it…
Listen on Spotify: Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings – Give the people what they want

Sweet Potato Leaves in Coconut Sauce

Sweet potato leaves in coconut sauce

Sweet potato leaves are not a very common ingredient to find outside Asia. Try looking for them at your Asian food stores, otherwise you can substitute for spinach in this recipe.


  • 400 gr sweet potato leaves
  • 1 red onion, finely sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 3 cm fresh ginger, chopped or grated
  • 1 tsp ground fenugreek
  • 2 tbsp coconut aminos
  • Salt and pepper
  • Handful of kaffir lime leaves, shredded
  • 400 ml coconut milk
  • 200 ml water
  • Coconut oil


  1. Cut of the stems of the sweet potato leaves.
  2. Wash the leaves and steam the leaves with a small splash of water for 1 minute.
  3. Transfer the leaves to a bowl of ice cold water to stop the leaves from cooking.
  4. Drain the leaves and set aside.
  5. Heat the coconut oil in a frying pan and fry the onion, garlic, ginger and lime leaves for a couple of minutes until fragrant.
  6. Add the fenugreek and fry for another minute.
  7. Season with the coconut amines and add the coconut milk and water.
  8. Add the sweet potato leaves and simmer until the sauce has thickened a little.
  9. Season with salt and pepper and serve with coconut rice or rice.

About sweet potato leaves
Sweet potato leaves are primarily eaten in Asia and Africa, but can be found further afield in Asian food stores or sometimes in your supermarket. They can be substituted with Spinach where you are unable to find sweet potato leaves.

Music to go with it…
Listen on Spotify: Zee Avi – Zee Avi



Lamb Tenderloins with Basil Mint Sauce

Lamb tenderloins and mint sauce

The basil mint sauce has a pesto like consistency and is delicious on lamb, or with sweet potato chips. It avoids the Parmesan cheese of traditional pesto, but is still very tasty.


  • 500 gr lamb tenderloin
  • Sea salt and black pepper
  • Handful of fresh mint leaves
  • Handful of fresh basil leaves
  • Juice of half a lime
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • Olive oil


  1. To make the sauce, put the mint, basil, lime, garlic, olive oil in a blender.
  2. Season with salt and pepper. Blend until smooth and set aside.
  3. Season the lamb with salt and pepper.
  4. Fry the tenderloins in a large frying pan to your liking.
  5. Let the meat rest for a couple of minutes before serving with the basil and mint sauce.

Makes an easy diner with sweet potato chips and a quick salad.

Music to go with it…
Listen on Spotify: French for Rabbits – Spirits