Warm and cosy recipes for winter

City Club Executive Chef Jason Camillo shares some of his favourite winter recipes, with options for meat lovers and vegetarians.

pan cooked lamb shanks

One of chef Jason Camillo’s favourite meals for winter is slow-braised lamb shanks, served with spinach and bintje potato mash. “This dish is at its best when the meat is so tender and falling off the bone that you will only need a spoon to eat it,” he says.

The City Club Executive Chef is also a fan of polenta, a dish connected to his Italian heritage. “My family is from the far northeast of Italy, on the border of Slovenia, in the mountains. Polenta is a staple there and everyone does it slightly differently,” he says. 

His polenta recipe (below) has been adapted over generations and Jason has modernised it by using white polenta, cream and truffle. He says the dish goes well with grilled game.

In the July edition of Highlights, Jason offers advice on the best way to cook these dishes, while Club Sommelier Christian Maier suggests the perfect wine match. Jason’s third recipe is a gluten-free faux pasta, made with zucchini, that will tempt even the most zealous meat lover.

Slow-braised Lamb Shanks, Spinach and Bintje Potato Mash (serves 4)

Lamb shanks

  • 4 x frenched lamb shanks
  • 100g finely diced carrots
  • 100g finely diced celery
  • 100g finely diced onions
  • 150ml red wine
  • 1 litre veal stock
  • 10g pink salt
  • 5g white pepper
  • 10g star anise
  • 10g white peppercorns
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 3 springs of thyme
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • Zest and juice of 1 orange
  • 50ml olive oil
  1. In a pan heat olive oil.
  2. Season the lamb shanks well with freshly cracked pepper and pink salt, rub well into the meat.
  3. Brown the lamb well on all sides evenly, remove from the pan and set aside.
  4. Sweat off the whole garlic cloves, carrot, celery and onions until soft and translucent.
  5. Reduce with red wine.
  6. Add the lamb back into the pot and add the rosemary thyme, whole peppercorns, orange zest and juice.
  7. Bring to the boil and then gently simmer covered for around 2.5 - 3 hours.
  8. The lamb is cooked when the meat is almost falling off the bone.
  9. Remove the lamb and keep warm.
  10. Strain all the stock through a fine strainer and reduce until thick sauce consistency.
  11. Serve lamb in a nice dish along with Spinach mash potatoes.



Spinach and Bintje Potato Mash

  • 400g bintje potatoes, peeled
  • 70g cream
  • 50g butter
  • 4g pink salt
  • 2g white pepper ground fine
  • 1g finely grated nutmeg
  • 200g baby spinach


  1. Bring a pot of water to the boil with the potatoes and cook until tender.
  2. In the meantime, sauté the spinach in a pan until most of the moisture has evaporated. Set aside.
  3. Bring cream and butter to the boil in a pot.
  4. Mash the potatoes until you have a fine puree.
  5. In a mixing bowl, whisk the potatoes and slowly add the cream and butter mixture.
  6. Add all other ingredients and adjust seasoning, if necessary.



Truffled Polenta with Milawa King River Gold Cheese (serves 12)

Polenta Base

  • 50g truffled polenta
  • 900ml parmesan stock
  1. Make parmesan stock using all of your leftover parmesan rinds and add water.
  2. Bring to the boil and allow to infuse for 24 hours.
  3. Strain and reduce liquid to 900ml.
  4. Bring stock to the boil, add polenta and continuously stir until reduced to 1/3 of original weight.

The best way to truffle polenta is to keep your truffles in an airtight jar with the fine polenta until you are ready to use the truffle. The polenta will naturally absorb the flavour. 

Truffled polenta

  • 300g polenta base
  • 300g cream
  • 60g grated parmesan
  • 25ml truffle oil
  • Seasoning to taste
  • 12 x 25g slices of Milawa King River Gold cheese


  1. Whisk cream into hot polenta, add the finely grated parmesan and truffle oil. Season to taste.
  2. In a warmed, small, shallow bowl add a spoonful of polenta, followed by a slice of Milawa King River Gold cheese, followed by more hot polenta. The polenta will melt the cheese into a lovely gooey flavour sensation.
  3. Garnish with freshly shaved truffles for an added favour hit.

MJ’s Tagliatelle of Zucchini, Mushroom and Tomato (serves 4)

This gluten-free dish was created for a regular Club Member and named after him.


  • 800g whole zucchini
  • 10g sugar
  • 10g butter
  • 8g salt
  • 800ml water
  1. Slice off the top and bottom tips of each zucchini.
  2. Using a vegetable spiralizer, turn the zucchini into tagliatelle, or thinly slice the zucchini by hand.
  3. Bring sugar, butter, salt and water to the boil and cook the linguini for 30 seconds, or about 10 seconds if sliced very thin.
  4. Strain well and cool.


  • 10g butter
  • 25ml olive oil
  • 100g finely diced shallots
  • 25g garlic finely diced
  • 100ml white wine
  • 200g assorted mushrooms (swiss browns, oyster, shimeji)
  • 8g salt
  • 4g freshly ground pepper
  • 750ml passata
  • ¼ bunch of basil
  1. Heat the butter and olive oil, sweat off the finely diced shallots.
  2. Add garlic and cook until transparent.
  3. Add sliced mushrooms. Once the pan becomes dry, add the white wine, salt and pepper.
  4. Pick the leaves off the basil stalks. Add the stalks to the sauce.
  5. Add the passata and cook to a more concentrated consistency.
  6. Tear up ¾ of the basil leaves and add these to the sauce, while removing the stalks.
  7. Add the linguini into the sauce and serve immediately.
  8. Twirl the linguini into round balls and divide between 4 plates or bowls.
  9. Garnish with remaining basil leaves and serve with freshly grated parmesan to suit your taste.

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