The Roast Collection

Ever eaten hogget? I hadn’t, but I got the chance to on Monday night as part of the Melbourne Food and Wine festival’s Roast Collection which includes over 80 different roast events throughout Victoria in June.  I am all about winter hibernation with books, ugg boots (indoors only thanks), DVD box sets, and of course a great excuse for a roast with all the trimmings.  Yes, it’s glamour central here at Chez Gourmet Chick, even if Melbourne’s winter is nothing on the London winters I am used to the colder weather is still a great excuse to indulge in all of these things.

Diavoletti cheese

My hogget was served up by Glenn Laurie, the chef at Royal Saxon who is showcasing a different rare breed beast each Monday night during June for the Roast Collection.  All three courses of dinner were roasted starting with baked Diavoletti cheese wrapped in lemon leaves and teamed with roasted chicory.  Diavoletti, or “little devil” is an Italian smoked cheese and comes wrapped around a chilli stuffed olive.  While there is a lot of room in my heart, and my stomach, for roasted cheese I did think this was cheese overload and the flavours of the chicory did not really work with all that heavy dairy.

Hogget with artichokes

Luckily there were no issues with the hogget itself.  Hogget is slightly older than traditional lamb, which is a young sheep which has not cut its adult teeth, and so is a bit unfashionable but Laurie wet roasted the hogget so that it fell off the bone and served it on a large platter with artichokes, potatoes and crunchy shards of Italian fried breadcrumbs known as pangrattato.  The hogget used was Shropshire Hogget, sourced from Fernley Farms near Daylesford.

To finish dessert was a roasted Howell pear which had been cooked in Dolcetto d’Alba until it was a rich ruby red sitting in a puddle of boozy sauce.  To add to the booze factor, Royal Saxon also matches it rare breed roast to three glasses of wine for an additional $25.  All the wines were Italian and our favorite was the full bodied Le Cinciole Chianti Classico from Tuscany.

Roasted pear

Next on the agenda at the Royal Saxon are Tamworth Pigs on Monday 18 June and Aylesbury Ducks on Monday 25 June.  If you don’t feel like sitting down to a rare breed dinner there are plenty of other Roast Collection events on for the rest of the month.  I’ll be posting soon about some of the options in country Victoria which I discovered on the weekend and updating you on a cracking crackling class which I’m also going to as part of the festival.

Gourmet Chick was a guest of Melbourne Food and Wine.

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The Roast Collection festival runs throughout June all around Victoria.
Details: Royal Saxon, 545 Church Street, Richmond 3121 (03 9429 5277)
Damage: Pricey.  $65 for three courses and an extra $25 for three matched wines.


  1. I don’t think I’ve ever had hogget but I’d definitely give it a go! And I agree, once you’ve endured several London winters, Sydney ones seem almost balmy by comparison. lol!

  2. The Pangrattato has given me loads of ideas I can’t wait to try out in the kitchen. Was the Hogget strong in flavour I wonder. And were you meant to eat the roasted lemon leaf, or was it just there to impart flavour and scent.

  3. I’ve never even heard of Hogget! So I learnt something new tonight 🙂

  4. Love to try hogget. I wish restaurants cooked it more. I should find it for myself to cook I guess. And on the topic of winter, at least you have one in Melbourne, all my coats are going to waste, I don’t even have a heater yet! (I kinda wish it was colder, truely).

  5. Helen – Yes it doesn’t seem to appear on menus very often

    Temasek – I was equally inspired by the pangrattato. The roasted lemon leaf was just there to impart flavour – it was not very edible as it was all crisp and hard.

    Iron Chef – Glad to hear it.

    Vintage Macroon – Yes I was thinking the same thing but it is probably something you have to ask your butcher for as I have not seen it either. My coats are certainly getting a workout here!

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