While my true love will always be Summer – of long days at the beach, and balmy evenings spent outdoors by the BBQ – I am slowly learning to appreciate the appeal of the cooler months. The great sporting games on the telly, the delicious full bodied wines warming the soul, and the aromas of slow cooked meals lingering about the house. Of warmth. Of fun. Of family. Yep that has certainly been our Winter this year. Lots of time spent with family, and lots of slow cooked meals warming the house (and our bellies!) from the inside out. And this last weekend was no exception. With the Bledisloe Cup on the telly, and family coming over to cheer on the Wallabies, I went in search of a rich, hearty meal. Something that I could put in the oven during the day, and that would be ready come dinner time with minimal fuss and attention. And this Middle Eastern spiced lamb pot roast ended up fitting the bill just perfectly (the recipe for which you can find online here). I started by marinating the lovely piece of lamb shoulder in a spice rub mixture for 4 hours or so… Before placing it atop a bed of sliced red onions, along with some white wine and chicken stock. Covered, and baked for 5 hours (turning half way through). Yup. That’s it. And although the dish required minimum effort, we were well and truly rewarded after the long cooking time with lamb that was literally falling apart and, quite simply, melt in your mouth perfect! As for the sides – I wanted to keep with the Middle Eastern theme – but also wanted to make sure that the lamb remained the star of the show. So, rather than get too carried away, we served the lamb with steamed honey carrots, tabouli and eggplant dip. Oh and don’t forget the bread. Chewy afghan bread that we warmed for 10 minutes in the oven, then let our guests tear apart! All together now… This meal represented everything I am learning to appreciate about Winter. Simple ingredients, hearty rich meals, great company, and lots of laughs. Even when the temperatures are near to freezing outside! What about you? What do you love most about Winter?