Travis McAuley is Executive chef at Melbourne’s favourite Greek tavern, Hellenic Republic. Two sites across town and a third set to open in Williamstown keep Travis on his toes as he strives to raise the bar on this winning foodie formula.
“Nothing says comfort food more than slowly braised meat,” Travis says. “These sorts of dishes are so easy to make yet so hearty and tasty – they definitely warm you up on a cold winter’s day. Any cut of meat suitable for slowly cooking and winter vegetables turned into soups or even warm salads are my favourite ingredients to cook with in winter.”
6 lamb shanks
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 brown onions, sliced
4 cloves garlic, sliced
1 tablespoon finely chopped thyme
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tin crushed tomatoes
750 ml chicken stock
3 cups kritharaki pasta (risoni)
good handful shredded flat leaf parsley
150 g feta cheese
1. Pre-heat oven to 160 degrees.
2. Pre-heat a heavy based pan. Season lamb shanks with salt and rub the shanks with the olive oil.
3. Seal the shanks until browned all over. Remove from the pot and add the onions. Lower to a medium heat and cook the onions until soft. Add the garlic, thyme and tomato paste and cook for a further minute.
4. Add the crushed tomatoes, chicken stock and shanks and bring to the boil. Cover with a lid and place into the oven. Cook shanks for approximately 2 hours or until meat is falling off the bone.
5. While the shanks are cooking bring 3 litres of water to the boil. Add the pasta and stir to prevent pasta from sticking together. Cook for 3 minutes less than stated on the packet. Drain well, drizzle with olive oil and spread out on a flat tray to cool.
6. Once tender, remove shanks from the liquid and allow to cool slightly. Remove meat from the bones and roughly shred.
7. Return shanks to the pot, bring liquid up to the boil. Add the kritharaki pasta and stir through until the pasta is hot.
8. Remove from the heat, stir through the crumbled feta and parsley and season to taste.
For more information visit hellenicrepublic.com.au