Recipes from Dig In! by Brent Owens

Apple, berry and walnut crumble.
Apple, berry and walnut crumble. 

Super-crunchy, super-healthy muesli

Serves 2 (or 1 incredibly hungry person)

There are so many exciting flavours in this muesli that you'll enjoy it to the last bite! I love fresh pomegranate – the more I have, the more I use! It adds such a fresh pop of tangy flavour. The medjool dates add a delish sweetness to the dish.

Dig In! by Brent Owens.
Dig In! by Brent Owens. 

30g (1/4 cup) slivered almonds

2 figs 

2 fresh medjool dates 

Slow-roasted lamb shoulder with harissa.
Slow-roasted lamb shoulder with harissa. 

1 apple, cored

65 g (½ cup) plain oven-toasted muesli 

30 g (¼ cup) pepitas 

30 g (¼ cup) raisins

250 g (1 cup) natural Greek-style yoghurt

2 tablespoons honey 

30 g (¼ cup) fresh pomegranate seeds

35 g (¼ cup) chopped pistachio nuts

Dry-fry the almonds in a frying pan over medium heat for 5 minutes, or until lightly toasted. Set aside and allow to cool.

Cut the figs into wedges and the dates and apple into pieces. Combine in a bowl with the muesli, pepitas, almonds and raisins, then stir in the yoghurt and honey.

Serve topped with the pomegranate seeds and pistachio nuts.

Brent's tip: If you're feeling game, you could add a few drops of rosewater. It goes well with the flavours but be careful – it's super-strong!

Slow-roasted lamb shoulder with harissa

Serves 6

This is my take on the Aussie classic, roast lamb. I've added interest by slow-cooking and then shredding the meat, and serving it with a spicy harissa. There is also a cooling mint and yoghurt dip for freshness. Serve with flatbreads.

2 kg lamb shoulder, bone in

lemon wedges to serve

mint leaves to serve

Harissa:

10 long red chillies, roughly chopped

3 garlic cloves, peeled

1 teaspoon ground cumin

½ teaspoon ground caraway

1 teaspoon ground coriander

½ teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons olive oil

Mint and yoghurt dip: 

juice of 1⁄2 lemon

handful chopped mint

250 g (1 cup) natural Greek-style yoghurt

Preheat the oven to 180C (or 160C for a fan-forced oven).

For the harissa, put the chillies, garlic, spices, salt and olive oil in a blender or food processor and blitz to form a fine paste, adding a little water to help it mix, if required. Spread the harissa over the lamb and set aside to marinate for at least 1 hour. 

Put 750 ml (3 cups) water in a large roasting tin. Put in a roasting rack and place the lamb on top. Cover the lamb with foil and roast in the oven for 2 hours. After 2 hours, remove the foil and roast for a further 2 hours, or until the lamb can be pulled apart with 2 forks but still holds its shape.

For the dip, combine all the ingredients in a small bowl.

Serve the lamb with the yoghurt dip, lemon wedges and mint leaves.

Apple, berry and walnut crumble with ice-cream

This is another classic that I love, perfect for cold winter nights. You can experiment and add different fruit combinations or different toppings. Frozen fruits are great to use because they hold moisture, which means you get more sauce in the dish. Serves 4

5 granny smith apples, peeled and cored

300 g (2 cups) frozen mixed berries

55 g (¼ cup) caster sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 star anise, halved

75 g (½ cup) plain flour

50 g butter, cubed

100 g (1 cup) rolled oats 

80 g (⅓ cup) firmly packed brown sugar 

30 g (¼ cup) walnuts, crushed 

cream or ice cream to serve

  Preheat the oven to 200C (or 180C for a fan-forced oven).

Cut the apples into bite-sized chunks. Combine the apples and frozen berries in four 250 ml (1 cup) capacity ramekins or a 1 litre (4 cup) capacity baking dish. Sprinkle over the caster sugar, cinnamon and star anise.

In a bowl, rub the flour and butter together with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Mix in the oats, brown sugar and crushed walnuts. 

Sprinkle the crumble mixture on top of the prepared fruit and bake for 25–30 minutes for the ramekins or 35–40 minutes for the large dish, or until the fruit is tender and bubbling and the crumble is toasted and crisp.

Remove the star anise, and serve the crumble with cream or ice-cream.

Brent's tip: If the crumble is browning too quickly, you can cover the dish/es with foil.

* Dig In! by Brent Owens. (Hardie Grant, $49.95.)