A peka is a large metal baking dish with a bell-shaped dome lid. It is used to cook food in an open fireplace, with hot coals and embers placed on top of the dome for even, slow cooking. Meat, poultry, fish and vegetables can all be cooked in this way, and the finished dish is also referred to as peka.
- 2.5 kg lamb (lamb shoulder with bone in, or leg)
- 1 kg waxy potatoes, halved
- 2 onions, quartered
- 8 garlic cloves
- 1 tomato
- 1 small eggplant, halved
- 1 green capsicum
- 2 zucchinis, halved lengthwise
- 3 rosemary sprigs
- 60 ml (¼ cup) olive oil
- 250 ml (1 cup) dry white wine
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
If you don’t have a peka, you can cook this dish in a cast-iron casserole pan with a lid for 3½ hours at 160°C, and add all the wine at the start.
Allow barbecue time to die down
Build a hot crackling fire in a barbecue hearth and allow it to burn down to hot coals.
Place all ingredients, except the wine, in the peka dish. Cover with lid, place into prepared hearth and pile the hot coals on top of the dome.
Cook for 1 hour, remove peka from underneath the hot coals and remove lid. Using tongs, turn meat and vegetables, and add wine, then cover with lid and replace hot coals on top. Cook for a further 45 minutes or until meat is meltingly tender, and vegetables are soft.
Photography Armelle Habib
As seen in Feast magazine, Dec/Jan 2013, Issue 27. For more recipes and articles, pick up a copy of this month's Feast magazine or check out our great subscriptions offers here.