Ben Bayly's Organic lamb, lebanese aromas, new season globe artichokes & black quinoa

There is no better time to eat lamb than in spring. Nowadays we can all be inspired by our history as well as other cultures as New Zealand becomes more of a melting pot. I find the middle east so interesting and the spices that come from there can take a perfect piece of lamb into another dimension. Get on it!


Lebanese spiced salt mix ingredients
4tsb cumin
4tsb coriander seeds
4tsp paprika
4tsp black pepper
2tsp clove
2 tsp. cinnamon
1tbsp black cardamom
100g fresh thyme
Zest of 5 lemons
200g flaky sea salt

Braised lamb shoulder, twice cooked ingredients
1.3 kg lamb shoulder, bone in if possible
200g carrots, celery, onions, cut into large pieces
Bulb of garlic cut in half
10g fresh thyme
2 litres chicken stock
3tbsp of Lebanese spice mix
3 tomatoes vine ripened, chopped
Olive oil
50g Chopped parsley
Zest & juice of 2 lemons

Globe artichokes ingredients:

4 large globe artichokes
50g rock salt
50mls cheap white vinegar
Olive oil
½ a carrot sliced thinly
1 shallot sliced thinly
2 cloves garlic
½ cup white wine

Black quinoa - ingredients

60-70g black quinoa
Canola oil for deep-frying

Green tapanade - ingredients

50g green olives (pit removed)
25g capers
25g anchovies
20ml olive oil
20ml lemon juice

Green tabouli - ingredients

100g Italian parsley, finely chopped
40g cucumber diced
40g spring onion, finely sliced
40g mint, finely chopped
80g Bulgar wheat, soaked in cold water until tender
20mls lemon juice
20mls olive oil
1tbsp Lebanese spice mix
1-teaspoon spice mix (equal parts cinnamon, cumin, fenugreek, nutmeg)


Lamb loin ingredients
400g lamb loin
Lebanese spice mix
50ml olive oil



Aromatic spices - method

Toast all spices very lightly in a dry pan to develop their aromas.
Place in a blender along with the thyme, lemon zest and half the salt process until smooth.
Fold thru the last half of the salt.
This spice rub can be stored in a jar for later use, it’s also great seasoning (use lightly) for chicken or john dory.

Braised Lamb shoulder - method
Season shoulder with spice mix leave to sit for 1 hour at room temperature on the bench.
Roast in a 200°c oven for 10-15 minutes, to achieve deep brown colouring.
Meanwhile in an oven proof pot sauté the carrots, onions, celery, garlic until they start to colour. Add the lamb shoulder, the tomatoes and extra thyme, cover with chicken stock an cook at 120°c for 3 hours or until the bone can be removed easily.
Once cooked remove from oven and allow to cool on the bench in the liquid until you are able to pick the meat with your hands. Remove the bone and sinews-re season with chopped parsley and lemon zest.
Cool in the fridge.
Reduce the cooking liquid on the stove to make a gravy.
This recipe can made 1 day in advance, to re heat the lamb, you simply roast in the oven at 180 °c for 15min & re-caramelise the lamb and warm in the middle. Glaze the lamb with the reduced gravy

Cooking globe artichokes
Be not afraid of the Artichoke!
This recipe is a classic and gets the best out of your artichoke!
(Talk about the acid-Cynarine, found in artichokes affects taste buds & makes wine taste sweeter)

Peel your Artichokes, using a sharp paring knife or a good peeler shave the stem and up to the leaves and flower- place in a bowl and add the salt and vinegar, mix/stir the artichoke, and leave them sitting in the salt/vinegar, this will help prevent the artichokes going brown and also help to extract the acid cynarine out of the artichoke.
In a sauce pan add olive oil, shallots, carrot & garlic and sauté until soft but with no colour.
Shake the salt off the artichokes and add to the vegetables-give them a quick sauté in pan.
De glaze the pan with white wine, then just cover with water. Bring up to the simmer and cook until tender. Cool artichokes in the cooking liquid, then remove the “choke” or the flower head. This is also a method of preservation and a great way to handle a glut of artichokes before they go to seed. You can place the artichokes in a preserving jar when hot cover with liquid and then seal the jar.

Black quinoa - method

Cook quinoa in water until tender
Drain and dry
Bring oil in a pot to 180°c
Carefully put quinoa into the oil and fry until crispy

Green tapanade - method
In a food processor add olives, capers and anchovies
Pulse until smooth
Add olive oil and lemon juice

Green tabouli - method
Add parsley, mint, cucumber, spring onions and Bulgar wheat in a bowl
Season with lemon juice, olive oil, spice mix, spice mix
Place into a baking tray, lightly press and chill

Lamb loin - Method
Season lamb loins with spice mix
Heat oil in a large fry pan
Sear loins for 1 minute on each side and place in a 180°c oven for 3-4 minutes until pink
Rest for 10 minutes