recipes: tiwi college project by aaron ward and troy crisante

During their time on the island, young chefs Aaron Ward & Troy Crisante cooked some of their secret recipes for the Tiwi College Project, and shared these recipes along with some of their chef’s secrets with the college. The marinades are perfect for a BBQ at home.

Buffalo Marinade by Troy Crisante

Prep time: 20 mins + time for marinating

Serves: up to 1kg of buffalo meat


100ml honey

250ml soy sauce

50ml oyster sauce

2 x oranges (zest & juiced)

4 x cloves garlic

1 x knob garlic (medium size)

1/2 bunch coriander – leaves and stem

2 tbsp sesame seeds


Mince garlic and ginger and then wash & chop coriander stems included.

Zest the orange into 1 cm strips then juice. Mix all ingredients into a bowl and whisk.

Place your meat in the marinade and marinate for a minimum of 4 hours.

Chef’s Tips:

Can be used for lamb and beef also.

Using orange in your marinade is great for those tougher cuts of meat as it helps with the breakdown of the meat, leaving it nice and tender after marinating overnight.

Marinate overnight for the best result!

Pepper Steak Crust by Aaron Ward

Prep time: 20 minutes + marinating time

Serves: 14 x steaks


3tsp ground pepper

2tsp garlic minced

1tsp salt

1 x lemon (zest)

½ cup veg oil


Mix all ingredients in a medium bowl & place meat in bowl.

Massage rub mix into sides of meat and cover.

Refrigerate for 4 hours before cooking or leave overnight and cook the next day!

Chef’s Tips:

Marinate overnight for the best result!

Can also be used with chicken lamb, buffalo and pork!




spring time is the best time for australian lamb!

lamb breast and brain, silken eggplant, baby cavalo, enoki, ginger black vinegar jus

Preparation time: 30 minutes

Cooking time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Skills needed: Advanced

Serves: 4


2 lamb breasts bone in 
500g lamb brains
250g lamb bones
250g chicken wings
1 carrot
2 brown onions
1 Spanish onion
3 bulbs garlic
1 leek
2 bunches thyme
10 bay leaves
10 peppercorns
300g young ginger
2 large purple eggplant (seedless if possible)
400ml milk
2 eggs
100g tempura flour
100g pine nuts

100g rolled quinoa
8 litre lamb stock
200g unsalted butter
1 punnet enoki mushroom
10 eschallots
2 bunches baby cavalo nero (salad kale)
40ml Chinkiang vinegar
20ml Japanese black rice vinegar
250ml dry white wine
2 sticks celery
1 litre vegetable oil
500g salt
30g cooking caramel
1 star anise
50g arrow root
½ bunch green shallots
20ml Korean White sesame oil

method: lamb breast

Preheat pressure cooker and set oven to 180°C. In a large heavy base pot, caramelise onions, carrot, leeks, celery, 2 garlic cloves and 100g ginger. Once coloured, de-glaze with 5 litres of lamb stock and bring to boil. Skim any surface scum with a spoon and add the lamb breast bone in. Carefully transfer to the pressure cooker, season the pressure cooker with peppercorns, 1 bunch thyme and enough salt to ensure the lamb is seasoned all the way through after cooking. Cook on high pressure for 1 hour and 20 minutes.

Once the cooking time is complete, carefully release all the pressure. Remove the lid and skim all fat from the surface. Allow the lamb to cool in the liquor until safe enough to handle. Cooling in the liquor will ensure that the lamb remains succulent.

Carefully remove lamb breast from liquor once cooled and remove all bones from the cooked lamb breast (they come out very easily). Cut into approximately 150g portions. Fry the lamb skin side down in hot vegetable oil in a medium sized fry pan. Once skin is crispy, add 2 knobs of butter, a bunch of thyme and 2 bay leaves. Cover with a tight fitting lid and put into oven for 10 minutes.

While the lamb is cooking, you can make and plate the other elements and garnish your plate. 

method: lambs brain

Run brains under cold running water until clear. Remove any brain sinew and cut out the medulla. Cut brains into 2 x 2cm cubes and soak in 200ml milk for 10 minutes. On the stovetop in a medium saucepan, using a thermometer to carefully test the temperature, bring 500ml of oil up to 200°C and hold at that temperature. Finely chop pine nuts and in a large mixing bowl, mix equal amounts of pine nuts and quinoa.

Pane the brains using the tempura flour then into an egg wash and then into the pine nuts and quinoa. Once crumbed, deep fry at 200°C for 30 seconds. Rest on some paper towel until ready to plate.

 method: eggplant

Peel the eggplant and cut into half (length ways) and then into half-moon segments, approx. 2 inches thick. Soak in a brine made from 1 litre water to 100g salt for 15 minutes. 15 minutes before serving, remove from brine and steam in a bamboo steamer on high steam for 5 minutes. Serve 2 half-moons per portion.

method: cavalo nero & enoki mushroom

Cut enoki mushrooms down to 10cm lengths in 2 inch bundles. Caramelise in a hot fry pan, deglaze with butter and remove them allowing them to sit in their cooking juices. Finely slice 1 clove of garlic and sauté in olive oil until golden. Add the baby Cavalo Nero and 50ml lamb stock. Cook down and drain onto paper towel.

method: ginger black vinegar jus

In a large pot, sauté the lamb bones and chicken wings until golden. Add butter, sliced eschallots, 2 cloves garlic, enoki trim, 100g ginger and caramelise. Deglaze the pan with white wine. Add bay leaves and sprig of thyme and 1 whole star anise. Add 2 litres of lamb stock and reduce by 3/4. Thicken with arrow root until you have a jus consistency.

Strain and adjust with black vinegars to your own taste depending on how acidic you prefer your sauce.

method: green shallots

Cut into 5cm baton and fry on high heat in vegetable oil, seasoning slightly with salt.  Dress with white sesame oil just enough to coat.

method: crispy ginger

Preheat a small pot of oil to 170°C. Finely slice ginger on mandolin and fry until golden.

plating up

Divide the plate into three equal sections. Carve each portion of lamb belly into 5cm by 8 cm rectangles, then in half lengthwise. Place lamb in the centre right third of the plate with one piece further then the next. Carve eggplant into half-moons. Place 2 on a 45 degree angle next to lamb. Lay enoki over the eggplant following the natural contour of the half-moon shape. Between eggplants place three little piles of Cavalo Nero. On each side of the eggplant place a nugget of brain keeping in straight alignment with the other garnish. Stand 3 green onion batons up using the eggplant and brain as leverage. On top of each eggplant place a little bit of ginger. Sauce the lamb with 3 tablespoons of sauce.

Chef’s tips

When making stock it’s good to brown the meat and vegetables first.

If you can’t get lamb breast, you can use lamb shoulder or boneless leg.

You can replace lamb stock with chicken stock or vegetable stock.



lamb belly, turnips, pickled onions and sheeps’ milk yoghurt

Jacob Davey was the Australian young chef of the year 2013, have a look at one of the great lamb share plates he created.

Preparation time: 45 minutes
Cooking time: 8 hours
Skills needed: moderate – hard
Serves: 4


  • 1 lamb belly (approximately 800 grams)
  • 1 kg duck fat
  • 400 g rock salt
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 sprigs of rosemary
  • 8 baby turnips
  • 10 ml sherry vinegar
  • 20 ml olive oil
  • 4 pickling onions or small white onions
  • 4 anchovies
  • 1 bunch turnip tops
  • 200 g sheeps milk
  • 10 g vegetable ash**
  • 100ml water
  • 80 ml white wine vinegar
  • 50g sugar
  • 5 white peppercorns
  • 2 cloves
  • 5 sprigs dill
  • salt and pepper for seasoning

method: for the lamb
Blend rock salt, garlic and rosemary in food processor until combined. Place the lamb into a baking tray. Press the salt, garlic & rosemary mixture onto the lamb making sure that you cover all the surfaces. Cover and leave for 45 minutes or longer in the fridge. Rinse the mixture from the lamb and pat dry with a tea towel. Place the lamb into a clean deep baking tray with the duck fat and cook in the oven at 85 degrees C for 8 hours (overnight) or until tender.

Allow to cool slightly in the fat until able to handle being careful not to let it cool too much. When ready, remove the lamb from the fat, place on a shallow metal tray – the tray will need sides to catch any seepage from the pressing – and then place another flat metal tray ontop. Cover with gladwrap and press down with approximately 3 kg of weight which can be tins, bricks or other heavy objects. Refrigerate until firm – approximately 4 hours or overnight.

Once firm, remove from fridge, place the lamb onto a chopping board and slice into 8 x 3cm thick slices.

method: for the pickled onions
Peel the onions. In a medium saucepan combine the water, sugar, vinegar, peppercorns and dill and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer, add the onions and simmer for 12 minutes. Remove from heat and allow the onions to cool in the liquid. Once cool, slice into 3mm slices crossways and chargrill on one side until a golden brown. Separate the slices into individual rings and set aside The onions can be pickled and kept in the liquid up to 12 months beforehand when placed in a sterilised jar and kept in a dark, cook place

method: for the sheeps’ milk yoghurt
Place yoghurt in a cheese cloth/muslin lined fine sieve or chinois, placing over a bowl to allow the yoghurt to drain for 3 hours in the fridge. When ready, remove from the cloth, place in a bowl, add vegetable ash and season to taste. This can be made the night before

method: for the turnip and anchovy puree
Pick the turnip leaves from the stems and wash thoroughly. Blanch leaves for 4 mins in a pot of rapidly boiling water. Remove from the pot, drain well and squeeze out any excess water.
Puree with anchovies until very smooth. Season to taste and set aside. If wanting a silky smooth puree, pass through a fine sieve with a spatula

When ready to serve

method: for the baby turnips
Thoroughly clean turnips, keeping the tops attached. In a shallow pot of boiling water about 3 cm deep, boil turnips for 4 minutes ensuring that the tops remain raw. Once cooked, remove from the water and reserve.

to assemble
In a bowl, dress baby turnips with sherry vinegar, olive oil and salt. Gently heat turnip puree. In a fry pan, heat 1 tablespoon of oil and caramelise lamb belly slices on one side until golden which is approximately 4-5 minutes on a medium heat ensuring that the lamb is warmed all the way through. On each plate, spoon the puree with 2 lamb slices atop of the puree and place a turnip on each slice of lamb. Place 5 rings of pickled onion randomly on each plate.

Place a teaspoon of sheeps’ milk yoghurt mixed with the vegetable ash on each slice of lamb.


a lesson in lamb

Courtesy of Rare Medium

Bbq lamb chops, steaks and cutlets…the list is endless. For such a small beast, the grilling potential of lamb is huge. Many lamb cuts – if broken down properly – can be carved and served as steaks or grilled and sliced over salads. Many of the cuts that follow can satisfy all your requirements.

Lamb cuts_1

Lamb cuts_2

Lamb cuts_3

Lamb cuts_4