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Perfect match: slow-roasted lamb with grenache

Australian Gourmet Traveller recipe for slow-roasted lamb with buttered parsnip and braised borlotti beans.

By Alice Storey
  • Serves 6
  • 30 mins preparation
  • 5 hrs cooking plus soaking, cooling
Slow-roasted lamb with buttered parsnip and braised borlotti beans
Slow-roasted lamb with buttered parsnip and braised borlotti beans

The ingredients and the cooking methods in this dish read like a description of the flavour of a good, rustic, earthy red wine made from grenache, either starring solo as a varietal wine or with support from one or more of its Rhône Valley stablemate grapes: syrah (shiraz), mourvedre (mataro), cinsault or carignan. The sweet fattiness and pungency of the lamb itself echo the inherent sweetness and perfume of the grenache grape, and these same qualities are underlined by the currants, pine nuts and garlic. The deep savoury earthiness of grenache et al is there in the root vegetables, deepened by the addition of butter, and in the dry starchiness of the borlotti beans. And the spicy, stemmy, undergrowthy edge that makes so many grenache-based wines such a joy to drink is picked up by both the rosemary in the stuffing and the braised autumn greens. The only thing to do now is decide which classic wine region you want your grenache wine to come from - one of its spiritual homelands in Europe, such as France's Rhône Valley, or one of Australia's warm veteran grenache-growing districts, such as the Barossa or McLaren Vale.

With the arrival of autumn, consider a sweet, tender lamb roast with all the trimmings and a grenache to match.


  • 2 tbsp currants
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) olive oil
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup rosemary, coarsely chopped
  • 120 gm coarse breadcrumbs from day-old sourdough
  • 60 gm parmesan, finely grated
  • 45 gm (¼ cup) pine nuts
  • 1 boneless lamb leg (about 1.5kg)
  • 125 ml dry white wine
Buttered parsnip
  • 1 kg parsnip, core removed, coarsely chopped
  • 1 kg swede, coarsely chopped
  • 120 ml pouring cream
  • 60 gm butter, coarsely chopped
  • 2 rosemary sprigs
  • 1 garlic clove, halved horizontally
Braised borlotti beans
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 500 gm podded borlotti beans (about 1kg unpodded
  • 500 ml (2 cups) chicken stock
  • 1 bunch (about 400gm) chicory, trimmed


  • 1
    Soak currants in vinegar in a bowl (30 minutes). Heat oil in a frying pan over medium heat, and onion and garlic, stir occasionally until tender (7-8 minutes), add rosemary, stir until fragrant (1-2 minutes) and set aside to cool. Add breadcrumbs, parmesan, pine nuts and currant mixture, stir to combine and season to taste.
  • 2
    Preheat oven to 150C. Place lamb leg on a work surface, press stuffing over lamb, season to taste and roll to enclose stuffing. Tie with kitchen string, place in a casserole, add wine, cover and roast until tender (4-5 hours).
  • 3
    Meanwhile, for buttered parsnip, steam parsnip and swede until tender (25-30 minutes). Stir cream, butter, rosemary and garlic in a saucepan over medium heat until warm. Strain into parsnip mixture (discard rosemary and garlic), mash to combine, season to taste and keep warm.
  • 4
    For braised borlotti beans, heat oil in a frying pan over medium heat, add garlic and stir occasionally until tender (3-4 minutes). Add borlotti beans and stock, season to taste and simmer until beans are tender (10-12 minutes). Add chicory, cook until tender (4-6 minutes) and season to taste. Serve hot with buttered parsnip and slow-roasted lamb.


Drink suggestion by Max Allen