I cooked this at Peterson’s winery using some of their stunning wines after I picked up some award winning lamb back strap from Peter and Sally Strelitz from Milly Hill lamb farm. 


  • 4 grape vine leaves

  • 1 large red chilli, finely chopped

  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

  • 4 anchovies in oil, drained

  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds

  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds

  • 2 x 300g lamb backstrap

  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

  • 1 cup (250ml) white wine

  • 2 cups (500ml) chicken stock

  • Cauliflower salad

  • 1 tablespoon (20ml) olive oil

  • 1/3 cup (55g) pitted kalamata olives, halved

  • 2 tablespoons baby capers, drained and rinsed

  • ½ head (750g) large cauliflower

  • ½ cup (125ml) verjuice (optional)

  • 30g fetta

  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves or Continental parsley leaves


  • 1.

    Blanch vine leaves in boiling water for a few minutes. Drain and refresh under cold water. Place on paper towel to remove excess moisture.

  • 2.

    In a mortar and pestle or a small food processor, make a paste with chilli, garlic, anchovies, fennel, cumin, and salt and pepper. Add one tablespoon olive oil to make a paste.

  • 3.

    Cut each back strap in half horizontally. Using a sharp knife, make a pocket along the long side of each half ending 2 cm from each end. Season inside the pockets and on the outside generously with salt and pepper. Spoon paste into the pocket and wrap a vine leaf around the middle to cover the pocket. Secure vine leaf around lamb with kitchen string. 

  • 4.

    Place wine and stock in a large saucepan or deep frying pan, large enough to hold the lamb in a single layer. Top up with extra water if necessary and bring to the boil. Lower heat to a simmer and lower in lamb parcels. Poach lamb gently for 6 minutes, turning over once halfway through cooking. Remove from heat and allow to rest in poaching liquid for 5-10 minutes.

  • 5.

    Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large frying pan over medium high heat. Add olives and capers and fry for two minutes. Slice cauliflower into large slices approx 1cm thick.  Add to the pan season with salt and pepper. Cook, tossing occasionally, for 5 minutes or until golden and slightly softened. When almost cooked, add verjuice (if desired) and reduce.

  • 6.

    To serve, cut lamb on the diagonal then remove string. Divide cauliflower salad among plates, crumble over fetta and oregano and serve beside carved lamb.

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