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June 1, 2015

Eucalypt-smoked lamb with beets, potatoes and peas

Scottish-born Jock Zonfrillo should be remembered as the chef who brought Australian native food to high-end dining with restaurant Orana. But CityMag will always remember him as the guy who smoked meat on one of the city’s lukewarm public BBQs.

  • Chef: Jock Zonfrillo
  • Words: Farrin Foster
  • Words: Farrin Foster

Preparing dishes not from the menu of the lauded Orana, but from that of its downstairs sister – the much-loved and more casual Street –  chef Jock Zonfrillo creates a spread of five menu items on the BBQ amid a barrage of good-natured swearing.


All of Street’s new menu is available takeaway and as a “cook at home” (or on the Parklands BBQ) version – with the raw ingredients measured and packaged, ready for you to prepare it at home in accordance with the instructions provided.

Each of the five is taken from Street’s new menu and reflects the way the Rundle Street venue is evolving after more than a year of trade.

Jock Zonfrillo

Jock Zonfrillo

“Street was such a new concept for Adelaide,” says Jock. “We thought we’d do something super easy going – a bar that happens to have some great food to eat while you’re there.

“I always thought there would be an element of tweaking. The Adelaide market likes a little bit of extra service so we’re changing that. But the style of food is the same – we’re doing street food from around the world and using a lot of local ingredients, it’s just served differently.”

Produce that is of its place – grown here and often native – is an important part of Jock’s approach to food. On the BBQ he uses a small coastal succulent plant to flavour his prawn dish; the XO sauce served over the san choy bow is made with native ingredients; and eucalyptus leaves are employed to impart flavour to some South Australian-bred lamb.

“Why wouldn’t you use natives? It’s probably more sensible than using cabbage or broccoli.”

Plating the san choy bow

Plating the san choy bow

“It’s what grows here naturally without irrigation – it’s better for the land, better for the people,” he says.

“Why wouldn’t you use natives? It’s probably more sensible than using cabbage or broccoli. We don’t make a big fanfare out of it – it just is what it is.”

His eventual plan for Street – once he has perfected the concept at the Adelaide location, is to open several restaurants across the country. Each version of the eatery will use region-specific produce variants on the menu.

As much as native ingredients are important to Jock’s food, so are local producers. His long and successful partnership with Richard Gunner has led to a new way of ordering steak being added to Street’s menu.

The smoked pumpkin dish

The smoked pumpkin dish

“Now we have this blackboard which will have a choice of three different cuts of beef, and usually three different breeds to choose from too,” says Jock.

“You will just order it to share and it will be charged per gram – so you can get a 1.2kg steak, with some nice potatoes and veg to eat with a couple of others. But it’s proper, old fashioned beef, not your mass produced stuff that’s pumped full of hormones.”

The lamb Jock is now laying down over a bed of slightly-on-fire dried eucalyptus leaves is also “proper” – raised naturally. After some time covered with a silver mixing bowl, the lamb and leaves emerge and Jock declares the meat smoked and ready to eat. While the quality of the meat is undeniable, it’s the subtle flavour lent by the leaves we notice most.

“For me, it tastes like Australia and smells like it too,” says Jock.

The improvised lamb smoker

The improvised lamb smoker

RECIPE: Eucalypt-smoked lamb with beets, potatoes and peas


  2 x pure Suffolk lamb knuckles

  4 x medium size beetroots

  4 x royal blue potatoes

  500gm fresh peas

  100ml jus

  Handful cumin eucalyptus leaves

  100gm butter

  2 x cloves garlic

  4 x sprigs thyme

  2 x sprigs rosemary

  150ml grapeseed oil

Grill, rest, slice

Grill, rest, slice


Before heading to the BBQ

For the lamb knuckle – cut in half lengthways and clean up any extra sinew.  Cook either of two ways – Sous vide in a vacuum sealed bag at 52 degrees for 1 hour, or slow smoked at about 130 degrees for around an hour and then let rest.

Cook the whole beetroots in a 150 degree oven until wrinkled and soft (about an hour). Once cooked, peel and set aside.

While the beets are in the oven, quarter the potatoes lengthways and with a small paring knife, carefully peel the skin sides off to reveal a banana-like shape to the peeled potato.  Cut a small indent in the straight side so that it is even thickness the whole way round. 

To cook the potatoes, heat oil in a heavy based skillet, throw in potatoes and roll around until coloured and not sticking. At this stage butter needs to be added – one small piece at a time.  Reduce the heat slightly and allow the butter to foam around the potatoes – there should be enough to submerge them.  Throw in the cut up garlic and rosemary and thyme sprigs. Continue cooking until soft in the centre, being careful to control the heat at all times. Once cooked, leave in a warm spot in the butter until all the other ingredients are ready.

Pod and blanche the peas.

For the eucalyptus oil, throw the leaves and the oil in a blender and blend on high for 5 minutes.  Pass oil through a coffee filter paper once done.  Set aside for plating.

OR – buy all of the ingredients prepared from Street and head straight to the BBQ.

At the BBQ

Wrap the beetroots in alfoil and place on a moderate part of the BBQ to warm through. 

Finish lamb by sealing it on the BBQ. Before removing from grill, throw on a few gum leaves, light with a blowtorch or match, calm to smoking and cover the lamb and leaves with a metal bowl to allow flavour to infuse over about 5 minutes.

Once lamb is sealed and smoked, allow to rest before carving.  

Toss off the peas in a little butter with salt and white pepper. Toss potatoes on BBQ with butter to heat through. 

Plate the beetroots first, one on each plate.  Drain the potatoes on a little paper towel and place next to the beetroot.  Carve the lamb, season and place on the plate and drizzle the peas over the top.  Drizzle the eucalyptus oil over the top and add a spoonful of jus to finish.

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