You may not know this about the land of Oz if you live elsewhere but in winter we freeze. For most of us we don’t have central heating, warmed floors and awesome heaters. No, we are left to pile on our doonas, blankets, don our gloves, beanies and massive jackets in the cooler months. Don’t pity us, we live in the best country in the world, but on days like today, us Aussies turn to comfort food to provide inner warmth.

Here’s my top  Winter Warmer recipes for an icy Australian winter.

  1. Moroccan Lamb with Kumara and Raisins (If you have a slow cooker)


2 Tablespoons olive oil
1.2kg (2 1/2 Pounds) boned lamb shoulder, chopped coarsely
1 large brown onion sliced thickly
4 cloves garlic, crushed
2 Tablespoons ras el hanout (or moroccan seasoning)
2 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup water
1 Tablespoon honey
2 medium kumara (orange sweet potato) 800g chopped coarsely
400g  (15 ounces) canned chickpeas (garbanzo beans) rinsed, drained
1 cinnamon stick
3 cardamom pods, bruised
1/3 cup (50g) raisins, halved
1/2 cup loosely packed fresh coriander (cilantro) leaves
1/3 cup (55g) coarsely chopped blanched almonds, roasted

1. Heat half the oil, cook the lamb, until browned all over. Remove from pan. Heat remaining oil, cook onion and garlic, stirring until onion is soft. Add Ras El Hanout, cook, stirring until fragrant. Remove from heat, stir in stock, water and honey.

2. Place Kumara in 4.5 litre slow cooker, stir in chickpeas, cinnamon, cardamom, lamb and onion mixture. Cook, covered on low for 6 hours. Season to taste.

3. Stir in raisins and coriander, sprinkle with nuts to serve.

And Oh my word you will be in winter heaven. So yum. We serve it with couscous.


Char Siu Pork Ribs

This is great for both winter and summer. It’s simply yummy and once again you’ll need a slow cooker.

2.5 kg (5 1/4 pounds) american-style pork spare ribs
2 Tablespoons peanut oil
1/2 cup (125ml) char siu sauce (you can find this in the asian aisle of your supermarket)
2 Tablespoons light soy sauce
1/4 cup (60ml)  orange juice (go fresh!)
5 cm (2 inch) piece fresh ginger (25g) grated
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 fresh long red chilli,  chopped finely (we leave this out as we have kids)
2 teaspoons sesame oil

1. Cut rib racks into pieces to fit into the slow cooker. Brown the ribs (they say to do this in a frying pan but I just whack them on the BBQ)

2. Meanwhile, combine sauces, juice, ginger, garlic, chilli and sesame oil in jug. Brush all over ribs. Place ribs in cooker, pour over remaining sauce. Cook, covered, on low for 7 hours.

3. Remove ribs from sauce, cover to keep warm. Place sauce in medium saucepan, bring to the boil and keep it going uncovered for about 5 minutes or until sauce has thickened slightly.

4. Serve ribs drizzled with sauce.

This is a fun messy meal and oh so tasty! Enjoy.


Now for Dessert. Two puddings to make you warm and fuzzy.

Butterscotch Self-Saucing pudding

1 cup Self Raising Flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup (2 ounces) butter
1/2 cup of milk

2 Tablespoons Golden Syrup
1 1/2 cups hot water
1 ounce butter

1. Mix sugar, salt and flour.

2. Melt butter, add to flour mixture and place in greased ovenproof dish.

3. Sauce:
Combine all ingredients and stir over low heat until melted. Pour over pudding mixture and bake in a medium oven for around 30-40 minutes or until golden.

Sweet, warm and tasty.

Chocolate Dessert Cakes

185g butter, melted
1 cup caster (superfine) sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
3 eggs
1/4 cups plain (all-purpose) flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup cocoa (oh behave!)

1. Preheat the oven to 160C (320F). Place butter, sugars and eggs in a bowl and mix until combined. Sift over the flour, baking powder and cocoa and mix until combined. Place in 4 x 1 cup (8fl. oz) capacity ovenproof tea or coffee cups and bake for 20 minutes or until fudgy. Serve warm or cold in the cups topped with some ice-cream or cream.

And if we make 4 cups and we only eat one each, we cover the rest with plastic wrap, put them in the fridge for the next night. This dessert is very naughty and rich but beautiful.

Well they’re my top winter warmer recipes. The ones I eat with my bed socked toes tucked under my animal print blanket on those nights where your fingers feel like ice and you just want some warmth somewhere. That could be tonight for you! Why not treat yourself. Or perhaps you have some recipes of your own. Do share….