Tooheys Brothers cooking handbook, 240pp.
no author named
Ebury Press Book, Random House, North Sydney, 2015
Cooking on page 132
This book begins by introducing James and John Toohey, two brothers who, in the second half of the 1800s, set out to create a brewing legend in Australia. It doesn’t go into detail about the adversities they encountered, but by 1900 their brews were such a success that they were each awarded a seat in Parliament.
Not surprisingly, this cookbook has many recipes that either include beer or go great with beer. Oh, and there are a few desserts. Given that it’s a handbook, most recipes are straightforward.
Page 32 introduces Tooheys New, a brew they developed in 1931, so on to page 132.
Spiced lamb backstrap
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon ground paprika
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon cracked black peppercorns (not ground)
1/2 teaspoon lemon pepper seasoning
4 garlic cloves, crushed
4 lamb backstraps
1 bunch asparagus, trimmed
1 bunch broccolini, trimmed and halved lengthways
2 zucchini, cut into quarters lengthways
tomato relish, to serve
Combine 1/3 cup of the oil, paprika, cumin, pepper, lemon pepper seasoning and garlic in a shallow ceramic of glass dish. Add the lamb and turn to coat. Cover and marinate in the fridge for up to 2 days, turning occasionally.
Preheat the barbecue grill or flat plate over medium–high heat. Drain the lamb of the marinade and pat dry with paper towel.
Cook for 4 minutes each side for medium-rare. Transfer the lamb to a warm plate, cover loosely with foil and set aside to rest.
Toss the asparagus, broccolini and zucchini with the remaining oil. Cook on the grill plate for about 5 minutes, turning often, until tender and lightly charred. Serve the lamb with the charred veggies and tomato relish.
Note: If you have time and patience, and would like to pack as much flavour into the lamb as possible, leave it marinating in the fridge for 2 days. If you’re pressed for time, 4 hours will do the trick.
How it played out
I’ve been hanging out to make this recipe, but lamb backstraps usually cost a fortune. Luckily, I bought three of them (on a half-price special at the markets), weighing a total of 750 grams. I’ve read that most backstraps weigh 200 grams each, so I proceeded with the full amount of marinade ingredients. Confession: I adore cumin.
The smell of the marinade was fantastic and I dipped a finger in to have a taste. Yummy! I was short on time, so the lamb got only 6 hours in the marinade.
It was winter in Australia when I made these, so they got cooked on a grill plate indoors. Asparagus wasn’t in season either, so I used grilled zucchini, steamed broccoli, roasted cauliflower and roasted tomatoes.
The backstraps were a bit thicker than expected and got about 5 minutes a side. The zucchini took only a few minutes a side. By the way, the pics don’t really do the meal justice.
I can’t tell you how many times the family said, Oh mum, this is delicious. Oh mum, this is perfect, but the praise was constant. The entire meal was a complete success.
Having thumbed through the cookbook, I have to say that every recipe looks easy-to-make and delicious. I may have to buy it or have it on permanent loan from the library.
Poor John and I are travelling in China, Mongolia, Russia, Sweden and Iceland during October and November.Who knows what cookbooks I’ll find.
I have a batch of recipes ready to post and will try to do so when internet is available (we’ll be on long-haul trains for 11 of the days—we’re boarding the first in two hours). Your comments are most welcome here, but my responses will be delayed.
If you don’t already, please join in on my travel blog. We love having company.