Lamb with nectarines

lamb and nectarines

This recipe has been sitting in draft since January – so we haven’t ‘recently’ returned from Australia. In fact, we are now in a different part of the world altogether (we have a very well travelled baby, more on that another time). Although this post lacks the ‘immediacy’ of my usual writing, which means that I am not completely happy with it, I have decided to share it with you anyway – both because the meal was delicious, and because it was made in one of my favourite places. If  you ever find yourself travelling in the Australian State of Victoria make sure that you spend some time staying at Lochinver Farm; it is idyllic, and Alison will be able to point you in the direction of some fabulous places which serve local food and wine. 

Lochinver Farm

We have recently returned from spending nearly a month in Australia. Are we mad to fly around the world with a 6 month old baby? Maybe, but actually the most difficult part is now -dealing with a jet-lagged baby who wants to go to bed at 3.00 in the afternoon and wake up at 3.00 in the morning.

We spent our first week in Australia with our good friends the Williamsons who run a farm in country Victoria – the beautiful Lochinver Homestead. At Lochinver they raise sheep for both merino wool and meat, as well as offering accomodation in the old homestead and workmen’s cottages (well, ‘old’ by Australian standards at least!). On New Year’s Eve Mark cooked us roast lamb from the farm, and the following evening I took it upon myself to create something with the leftovers. What we ended up with was a middle eastern inspired dish, which also used up some fresh fruit and bits I found in the wonderful old-fashioned larder in the farmhouse kitchen.


  • Three handfuls of cooked lamb
  • A handful of raisins
  • A couple of teaspoons of Zaatar
  • Two nectarines
  • Half a tin of chickpeas
  • A handful of flaked almonds


Chop the lamb into bite-sized pieces and put in a microwave-proof bowl with the raisins, zaatar and a splash of water. Microwave for about 3 minutes. Chop the nectarines into small pieces and fry them  in olive oil, together with the lamb hot from the microwave, the almonds and the chickpeas. Fry for about five minutes, stirring frequently.

I served this with salad, couscous and an impromptu ‘tzatziki’, which I made by stirring mint sauce and chopped cucumber into Greek yogurt- when in a strange kitchen you have to improvise!

This was a delicious and very simple dish, made even better by the satisfaction of using up leftovers and of eating lamb at the farm where it had been raised. Please let me know if you give this recipe a go -I would love to know how you get on!

lochinver farm sheep

lamb with nectarines
lamb with nectarines


on top of spaghettiiiiii, all covered in cheeeese…

… I lost my poor meatball when somebody sneezed!  (aarrgg, I’m going to be singing that all week now!)

So, I haven’t had a chance to spend my first £5 yet so this is a true store-cupboard/ freezer recipe. I quite often seem to end up with burgers at the back of my freezer left over from the BBQ season and I enjoy being a bit creative with them. This is the first time I have made them into meatballs to go with pasta though, so this is a true Kitty’s Store Cupboard experiment. I have rather unfortunately run out of onions so I will have to make up for it by using lots of garlic!

The amounts given below served two adults and two children.



  • a couple of burgers from the freezer, completely defrosted
  • a tin of tomatoes
  • 2/3 cloves of garlic
  • dried mixed Mediterranean herbs
  • dried oregano
  • tomato purée
  • a splash of red wine
  • dried spaghetti
  • a handful of grated cheese

Ingredients that I could have included if I had them: onions, courgette, mushrooms, fresh basil.

Cut the burgers into quarters and shape into meatballs. Fry these  for approx 5 minutes in just enough oil so that they don’t stick, along with the garlic (crushed or finely chopped) some black pepper and the dried herbs. Turn frequently and add more oil if required.

Next add the tin of tomatoes (making sure that you swill it out with a little warm water so that you don’t waste any), a good squidge of tomato purée and the wine. I tend to freeze wine if I have some left in a bottle that has been open a little too long (yes, it does happen sometimes!) and then scoop out as much as I require.

When the sauce is warmed through, taste and add salt and pepper if required. Cook the spaghetti as instructed on the packet and serve with cheese on top. I like to add chilly flakes to tomato-based pasta sauces – but depending on who you are serving it to it can best to put it on the table so that people can help themselves.