sharing recipes from one generation to the next
I’ve been spending time compiling a family recipe book based on Please Pass The Recipe to hand on to my daughters and grand daughters. Critically appraising the 300 or so recipes that I’ve posted in the past 18 months, I’m finding a shortage of hand me downs. The recipes that Leah specifically spoke of when she was encouraging me to begin this journey are there, but the majority of my recipes are what we eat in 2013, not what my family ate in the 20th century and I think this a real indicator of how Australian cuisine has evolved in my lifetime.
My ancestors came to Melbourne from England between the world wars and typically, were plain cooks. A family dinner comprised meat and two boiled vegetables followed by a plain dessert. My Mum followed that style until the post WW2 wave of migrants from the Mediterranean began to exert an influence in our Anglo-Aussie home, an influence that hasn’t faltered in fifty years.
Dinner at home for the average Aussie is a fusian of cuisines from every corner of the globe. The aisles of the supermarket have kept apace updating ingredients, the market gardeners too. Magazines, blogs, cookbooks, newspapers and the TV continue to feed the change by encouraging us to cook, to create a style that in another three generations will probably be considered old fashioned.
Tradition has it’s place, it’s a tangible link with our past so I’m going back to reconsider my Mum’s recipes. Where I see fit, I’ll update the ingredients and methods to bring them into the 21st century hopefully without comprising the original flavour.
Mum’s original Lamb Hotch Potch recipe was made with dried herbs, a stock cube, no garlic, dry “cooking” sherry, 3 teaspoons of salt and all of the measured 1/2 cup of flour was included. The potatoes would have been peeled before slicing.
We enjoyed our nostalgic meal. We talked about the long Sunday lunches we used to enjoy with Mum and Dad when our girls were young. Dad played a key role in our dinner too. We opened a bottle of 2001 vintage Clare Valley Shiraz, “the Armagh” made by Jim Barry to toast the memory of Mum and my wine loving Dad.
6 lamb chump chops
2 tablespoons plain flour
1 teaspoon sea salt
Good grinding of black pepper
1 teaspoon dried Greek oregano
3 large sprigs of rosemary
4 large carrots, peeled and chopped into chunks
6 pickling onions, peeled
2 bay leaves
4 cloves of garlic, peeled and halved
2 cups lamb stock
1/2 cup dry white wine
500g Desiree potatoes, scrubbed and sliced 1 cm thick
Preheat the oven to 160C.
In a lidded casserole dish place the carrots,onions, garlic, bay leaves, sprigs of rosemary and oregano.
Trim all the fat off the chops. Season the flour well with salt and pepper then toss the chops in the flour to coat. Discard the remaining flour.
Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil and lightly brown the chops. Remove to the casserole dish. Drain any fat from the sauté pan then deglaze it over a high heat with the white wine. Add the stock and bring to the boil. Pour the stock into the casserole dish and add enough water to ensure the chops are submerged.
Arrange the potato slices over the surface.
Place a round of baking paper over the potatoes, put on the lid then bake for 1 hour. Remove the lid and paper and continue to cook for a further 30 minutes.
Serve with steamed green vegetables.
You know….I stopped by here the other day and LOVED this recipe. I started a comment, got distracted and never finished it. I’m back today because I haven’t stopped thinking about this dish. I’m going to make it this weekend! 🙂
So glad you cam back!! Good luck with your Lamb Hotch Potch, and let me now how your family enjoys it.
What a wonderful idea Sandra! I wish I could have had such a book passed down to me. But now worries, I will have a book to hand down to my daughters. That is a gorgeous dish you have there. And I’m sure delicious.
Thanks Lidia! I probably would never have thought to write anything down, but thanks to Leah, it’s all happening – firstly the blog, then the book. My girls, daughters and grand daughters love to cook !!
300+ recipes! I wonder how long it would take me to come up with a hundred. Perhaps a lifetime. I don’t eat meat from four-legged animals but a chicken version of your mum’s recipe sounds great, too. Thank you for sharing.
Yes, I think chicken would work very well. 😃
So I have to admit, you brought a tear to my eye with this one and made me mentally raise my glass as part of your celebration for Nan and Gramps. Great post Mum xxx
Thanks Leah!! Xxx
Nice story. I like to cook updated/improved versions of traditional Dutch dishes. In a Dutch hotchpotch, the potatoes, carrots, and onions would be mashed together. I’ve never had that with lamb, but that’s not such a bad idea now that I think of it 🙂
It was a nostalgic meal, the flavours were delicious!
Great recipe thanks. But also what a brilliant idea. We think we should all, wherever we live in the world, be preserving our food heritage and childhood taste memories good on you!
Thanks Guys. Just took a peek at your site, wonderful!
Thank you so much, really appreciate it!
What a lovely idea to update your Mom’s recipes … honouring tradition with a current-day sensibility. I’ve been going through old recipes with my Mom recently, and they evoke so many memories.
You’re right! Flavour brings back lots of long forgotten times, places and memories of loved ones.
This looks like a great dish and, judging by my own experiences, I bet you felt a little nostalgic preparing it. It’s amazing how some foods are like time machines, whisking us back to a different time and place. I’ve found it to be an enjoyable ride. 🙂
Thanks John, it was very nostalgic to cook the recipe. But the best part was the memories we shared as we ate dinner. I’m planning cook a lot more dishes from my childhood in the future, they will need some modification though to suit our “modern” tastes.
How fun. I have my mom’s recipe collection and I really should cook more recipes from it. The Lamb Hotch Potch sounds pretty tasty, indeed.
Yes go to your Mum’s recipes Richard, have a trip down memory lane!
I love this! My mum, as you know was a cook in a hospital so where she took Greek influences into their kitchen, she also brought home English style food for us. Mum used to make this for us as well as Lancashire Hot Pot, Yorkshire Pudding always went with our roast beef and many more – I make this for my daughter – I love this type of homestyle cooking. It looks wonderful 🙂
I guess as Aussies, we’re lucky to pick what we like from any cuisine in the world!! My Mum however, never really shook off her plain cooking style, but they are the tastes of my childhood and so warm memories come flooding back. Enjoy!