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Winter comfort food from RACV Cape Schanck Resort
Winter comfort food from RACV Cape Schanck's award winning restaurant, Cape.
One of the best things about cold weather is cranking up the oven and making rich and hearty dishes, like braised meats. In this video RACV Cape Schanck Resort executive chef Josh Pelham cooks a signature dish from Cape restaurant; lamb neck braised in local Red Hill Stout served with kohlrabi, which has been encased in a beautiful eucalyptus-infused crust.
Cape boasts stunning views of the bay while the modern-inspired menu showcases seasonal food and the finest-quality produce from the Mornington Peninsula region. In 2019, Cape was awarded a Chef Hat by the Australian Good Food Guide.
Pelham, formerly of two-Michelin-star restaurant The Square in London, is committed to working with local producers to deliver simple, tempting fare that pairs to perfection with Mornington Peninsula’s famous wines. One such example is the lamb used at Cape is sourced from a local farm called Braken Hill, located on Boneo Road. Josh says, “we are fortunate to work with local farmers, one such farm is Braken Hill, who we have worked with for the past three years. The quality of their lamb is superb.” Braken Hill Farm raise their lambs for two years, at which point they are deemed a hogget lamb, which gives the lamb meat a full body flavour and richness that is integral for this dish.
How do you prepare lamb neck?
Lamb neck is easy to cook as you don't have to do too much to prepare it. As a lean cut of meat, the best ways to cook lamb neck are slow-roasted (like a pot roast), or covered in liquid and braised, resulting in a really rich, tender piece of meat. This cut of lamb meat is also reasonably priced and is available to buy at your local butcher.
What is kohlrabi?
Relatively unknown, kohlrabi is a versatile vegetable with a taste and texture somewhere between cabbage and broccoli stems with a mild flavour. It can be prepared multiple ways including steamed, raw, pureed in soup or roasted.
The perfect wine pairing to accompany this dish
The team at Cape recommend Quealy’s 2016 Rageous, a blend of sangiovese, shiraz and pinot noir, to go with this dish, which is from a local vineyard based in Balnarring. A natural blend of acidic, strident sangiovese as a backbone, the earthiness of shiraz embraces the delicate high-altitude grown pinot noir. They all lie together as must for a month, then go into a barrel for two years to meld and concentrate. This wine is available at Cape; alternatively, you can pop into the cellar door when day-tripping around the region or buy it online.
Cape’s braised lamb with kohlrabi is a complex dish that requires time to develop the layers of flavours, making it perfect for a weekend cook up. However, for those less inclined to be a home chef or just in need of some pampering, why not visit RACV Cape Schanck Resort and let the team take care of it for you.
Cape Restaurant’s braised lamb neck with macadamia crumb, parsnip puree and eucalyptus salt-baked kohlrabi
Prep time: 1hr | Cooking time: 3+ hours | Serves: 4 people
- 4 x 180g lamb neck fillets
- 1 tbs Butter
- 1l Red Hill Brewery ‘Imperial Stout’ (reduced by half) or equivalent Stout
- 2l chicken stock
- 500ml veal stock
- 4 carrots, cut in half
- ½ bunch of celery, cut in half
- 4 onions, cut in half
- 1 garlic bulb, cut in half
- 5 bay leaves
- ½ bunch thyme
- 50g black peppercorns
- 200g macadamia nuts
- 50g fermented shiitake mushrooms, finely diced (or substitute with dried shiitake mushroom)
- 100g smoked confit onion, finely diced (or substitute with sautéed diced onion)
- 30g honey
- 25ml water
- 5g fried shallots
- 30g speck, finely diced
- 1 tbs butter
- 250g parsnip
- 50g butter
- 500ml milk
Eucalyptus crusted kohlrabi:
- 1 whole kohlrabi
- 15g eucalyptus leaves (or substitute with rosemary or lemon verbena)
- 10g sea salt
- 250g plain flour
- 175mls water
- Preheat the oven to 130C
- Trim any excess fat from the lamb neck fillet
- In a hot heavy-based pan, seal the lamb neck fillet on all sides with a little butter or vegetable oil
- Remove the lamb and add the carrot, onion, celery, garlic and pepper, sauté the vegetables until golden brown
- Place the lamb back into the pan, add the stout, bay leaves and thyme. Bring to the boil.
- Add the chicken and veal stock and bring to the boil, cover with a lid or foil and braise for 1.5 hours in the oven
- Remove the lamb from the oven, check the tenderness of the lamb by removing one piece and press firmly on a chopping board, the lamb should be tender to the touch but not be falling apart. Note: suggest checking the lamb after 1 hour of cooking to make sure everything is okay inside the oven
- Once the lamb is cooked, leave the lamb in the liquid to cool (about 2 hours), this will keep the lamb juicy as the moisture will not evaporate from the lamb
- Once the lamb has rested, remove the neck from the braise and strain the stock through a fine sieve
- Return the stock back to the heat and reduce to a glaze, ready for serving. You can adjust the acidity of the glaze by adding sherry vinegar at the end of the reduction.
- Peel and finely slice the parsnip
- Add the butter and some salt to the pot and melt, then place the parsnip into the pot and sauté without any colour for 2 minutes
- Cover with milk and bring to the boil
- Simmer for 10 minutes on a low heat until fully cooked
- Strain the milk from the parsnip and transfer the parsnip to a blender, start blending and slowly incorporate some of the milk to the desired consistency
- Season with salt and pass through a fine sieve, ready for serving
- Melt the butter in a large pan
- Add the macadamia nuts and toast lightly
- Add the diced speck and sauté with no colour
- Add the honey and reduce by half
- Add the mushrooms, onions, fried shallots and water, simmer until all moisture has evaporated
- Remove from the heat and gently pulse in a food processor to roughly chop the mixture, season and reserve for serving
- Preheat the oven to 180C.
- Using a food processor, blend the flour, salt and eucalyptus leaves to a powder.
- Transfer the powder to a bowl, then mix in the water to make a dough.
- Wrap the dough in glad wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Roll the dough to a 5mm thickness.
- Wrap the kohlrabi in the dough, leaving a few gaps at the top for steam to escape. Bake for 3 hours at 170C, or until tender.
- To serve, cut the kohlrabi in half around the circumference and scoop out.
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