Issue Five Autumn
Lamb
With guest chef editor
Alanna Sapwell

Contents

Editor’s Letters

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Editor’s
Letters

 

Twelve months on and we are back to where it all began with our second Autumn Lamb issue and this time we welcome Alanna Sapwell into the editor’s seat. We baited and hooked the former seafood-slinging chef and with her feet firmly back on the ground embarked on an all-out Australian lamb adventure.

The concept of nose to tail is nothing new but its evolution from a buzz-word to a meaningful philosophy being embraced from paddock to plate is exciting. Chefs are not only now utilising a greater range of cuts but also exploring back-to-basic and modern techniques and preparations to improve flavour and experience. On-farm, innovations and industry research are progressing eating quality attributes across the carcase and improving the potential of products like hogget and mutton.

In the same vein, sustainability is another term that has been trotted out on trends lists for the better part of a decade but what we are seeing now is a more conscious effort to understand and embrace it through the supply chain. Sustainability is not only about conscious production, use and awareness of environmental footprint but also the sustainability of the future of our industries. Leadership, forward-thinking and instigation of meaningful change is essential in moving us forward in the paddock and on the plate.

I’ll let the issue do the talking and bring these themes to life through real people, places and processes – but as your editor, I want to say that it has been a really inspiring issue to put together. I hope that you are as encouraged as I am to see how far we have come and the effort going in on both sides of industry to be better.

 

Mary-Jane Morse
Foodservice Marketing Manager
Meat & Livestock Australia
raremedium@mla.com.au
@_raremedium

There’s nothing more heartwarming than a trip to the country. The endless hospitality you find there is something I aspire to.

Charlie and Eleanor at Haddon Rig are genuine farmers – a role that means a constant reassessment of the way they operate and a constant push to innovate. They’ve tackled things like the stigma of hogget and mutton by trialling dry ageing methods to break down the proteins and surprisingly leave it with a cleaner, yet more distinguished taste. On their 62,000-acre property near Warren (just north of Dubbo) they’ve diversified their business to counter moving markets and give them flexibility – they grow a range of crops like cotton for additional income but also to retain the seed to feed their animals.

At the forefront of their priorities are their employees. They’ve put into place a beautiful culture, giving the staff a place by the river to take a break from what is often a seven day week and a kooky wall of fame from their collective countries. Many of them don’t want to leave and I can see why.

On the other side of Australia on our Roadies trip to Margaret River, we also got to experience various examples of how the influence of many cultures provide the WA food scene with a mix of lamb cuts and methods from tongue to bone marrow rice and everything in between.

Our mission statement was to get out and about and to eat some lamb. What I learnt in the process, through the thoughtful farmers I met and the practices they employ, reinforces what I want to achieve with the restaurant. It also encouraged and reminded me how we can support one another in the food industry.

Big shout out to the gang – MJ, Macca and Jarrod for one hell of a ride x

 

Alanna Sapwell
Head Chef
Arc Dining
@alannasapwell

Copyright: this publication is published by Meat & Livestock Australia Limited ABN 39 081 678 364 (MLA).

 

Guest Chef Profile

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Former head chef of award-winning and wholly fish-focused Saint Peter in Sydney, Alanna Sapwell has opted for a sea change with a new restaurant and a broader culinary spectrum focused on making a difference.

Alanna and Culinary Director David Finlayson.

Her new venue Arc Dining is the signature restaurant of the much-anticipated Howard Smith Wharves development in Brisbane.

The massive new precinct seats 2,200 guests across its various outlets and includes a farmers market, onsite brewery, live entertainment and more.

Howard Smith Wharves Culinary Director David Finlayson says it is more than just another dining and drinking hub – it is also an opportunity to make a change.

“The culinary focus and philosophy is about using local suppliers and farmers and really respecting their produce – using every part, not wasting anything and recycling where we can through onsite composting.”

“But what I really want to do is change the way people see being a chef – if we don’t try and make a difference, we’re going to run out of chefs and we’re not going to have an industry in five years. Here at Howard Smith Wharves, we are focusing on the sustainability of the food but also the sustainability of the industry,” he said.

Central to the philosophy, Arc Dining is not only talking the talk but also seamlessly walking the walk. The 100-seat restaurant and its 140-seat wine bar is all about the farmers and producers – sourcing the best produce and doing it simply, using everything and cooking from scratch wherever possible.

“The culinary focus and philosophy is about using local suppliers and farmers and really respecting their produce – using every part, not wasting anything and recycling where we can through onsite composting.”

Haddon Rig lamb ready for menu testing at Arc Dining.

“We’re getting in whole carcases, selecting the cuts that I want to use in the restaurant and then utilising what’s left to make small plates and charcuterie in-house for the natural wine bar. I want to demonstrate how to use everything and why it’s important – obviously, it is business smart but it is also being aware of one’s ecological footprint.”

Alanna and Jack from Jack’s Bees looking at beeswax for dry ageing lamb.

Like many Australian chefs, traditionally Alanna was trained with primal cuts and encouraged to use them on the menu. At Arc, she is taking a more rounded approach – looking at everything with fresh eyes and an experimental mind to explore not only different cuts but also ageing and preparation techniques.

“I’m pretty excited to be able to play around with cuts that I haven’t used before. What I like about lamb is it has a very definite taste – it’s not wishy-washy so as an ingredient that makes it easy to pair with other ingredients because it has such a distinguished taste.”

“We’re looking at using beeswax for dry ageing our lamb in-house and it’s exciting to see how the process breaks down the proteins and brings a better and more intense flavour to less utilised products like hogget and mutton,” Alanna said.

Arc is also about challenging people’s perceptions without being gimmicky – it is a place to eat well, drink well and experience sustainability in action.

“I want to be using things like lamb fat in my desserts to show that there aren’t such distinct differences between savoury and sweet. It’s just another way of incorporating what we use in the restaurant – substituting some of the butter for lamb fat and pushing boundaries without going over the top,” Alanna said.

As the creator of the Drinks with Chefs event – a hospitality meeting of minds and community where industry mentor and support each other – Alanna is wholeheartedly on board with the precinct’s approach to kitchen culture, training and setting up the industry for a more sustainable future.

Poached lamb leg being finished in the pan.

Arc Dining Head Chef Alanna Sapwell.

She climbed the ranks quickly as a young chef – at 21, she was a sous-chef in Italy and by 24, head chef at a restaurant in Japan – and understands firsthand the pressures the industry can put on individuals.

“All of a sudden I found myself teaching people and in languages, I could barely speak; and I thought what am I doing, I haven’t even learnt how to do everything myself yet! I then took it upon myself to really break down the kitchen and treat each section as a trade within itself – and I set out to master them all,” she said.

She then spent four years focusing on pastry in Brisbane before taking up post at Saint Peter where the focus on fish took in everything from dry ageing to using eyeballs, bladder, sperm and more.

“There should be no shortcuts in a chef’s training and for me, Arc is about coming full circle in that I actually feel like I’m ready to be a head chef now. I’m trying to take it back to the fundamentals and teach the next generation how to cook from scratch and ensure everyone gets trained on each section.”

“I want us to focus on understanding the primals and muscles of the carcase, how to break them down and how they respond to various preparations and techniques. I want everyone to know how to make bread and how to make butter – how to walk before you run.”

“It’s about creating an environment where people are actually passionate and excited to come to work because they have an opportunity to learn and are able to sustain working past 25,” she said.

Lamb neck cooked in fig leaf and salt pastry.

MENU TESTING

Plan For Lamb

 

When we visited Alanna at Howard Smith Wharves – her restaurant and kitchen were not much more than a work site. However, menu planning and testing was well underway and with a beautiful carcase of Haddon Rig lamb at the ready, she plated up four lamb dishes inspired by produce, tradition, emotion and innovation.

Poached Lamb Leg

 

with Beeswax Creamed Leeks

 

“Mum used to make this amazing dish of lamb chops crumbed in cornflakes and I wanted to trial a variation of that. I infused cornflakes into milk then slowly poached the lamb leg before frying it up for some texture. We are planning to use lamb that has been dry aged in beeswax so I wanted to incorporate that element into the dish so I did a little version of creamed leeks. The classic shallot and white wine number but grating and infusing beeswax into the cream.”

Lamb Oyster

 

with Sour Cherry, White Asparagus & Finger Lime

 

“When breaking down the lamb leg, in the oyster blade I found this little nugget a bit like the oyster on a chicken. I cut that out and roasted it up really slowly at about 80 degrees then served with white asparagus and sour cherry. I really like to use texture in my dishes and this was a nice fresh, crunchy number with a pop of the finger lime underneath.”

Lamb Fat & Lavender Caramels

 

“Out the back of the restaurant we’ve got some lavender growing and I wanted to incorporate that with a lamb dish. Lamb fat is one of my favourite fats, it is so delicious – so I’ve been playing around with a caramel recipe for a while using lamb fat as a substitute for some of the butter. I just thought incorporating some of the lavender would be a good move and turns out it was!”

Lamb Neck

 

with Ricotta, Green Almonds & Vanilla

 

“With the lamb neck, I wrapped it in a fig leaf and a salt pastry which allows it to kind of steam and intensify as it cooks and what you’re left with is just a really intense version of that cut – already seasoned and ready to go. I made ricotta from fig leaves which is the traditional way ricotta was made and it tied in nicely to the dish. I also wanted something fresh to finish it off so I used cucumber and its skins, sunflower and some green almonds with a little vanilla dressing.”

 

Paddock Story

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Better With Age
With increasing demand for artisan, handcrafted premium food, the popularity of dry aged beef in foodservice venues continues to rise. Yet despite its similar physical properties, dry aged lamb has been largely unexplored.

Recent research funded by Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) showed that the dry ageing process significantly positively affects the eating quality of sheepmeat and that dry aged sheepmeat of all classes (lamb, hogget and mutton) was preferred over wet aged lamb.

MLA General Manager Research, Development and Innovation Sean Starling said dry aged sheepmeat offered foodservice opportunities beyond typical cuts and with lesser-used products like hogget and mutton.

“We found that dry ageing sheepmeat products had the same result as beef with positive flavour effects and increased tenderness. Dry aged lamb, hogget and mutton were all higher in positive attributes and lower in negative attributes than wet aged lamb.”

“Mutton and hogget typically attract a lower price than lamb due to age, fat content, flavour and eating quality. Applying the dry ageing process resulted in a product with increased tenderness and flavour; and consumer testing revealed a willingness to pay a 30 per cent premium over wet aged lamb,” he said.

Haddon Rig is a 62,000-acre property near Warren in Central West NSW, privately owned by the Falkiner family for over 100 years. Traditionally a stud Merino ram and wool producing operation, the business is now looking to take advantage of the sheepmeat market, and value-adding including dry-aged lamb.

General Manager Charlie Blomfield said they started dry ageing lamb as a point of difference – working directly with chefs and foodservice to develop a product that they wanted.

“Customer-driven demand is key and so we’ve been working with chefs directly to try and create something they want. We were already producing a delicious product but found dry ageing improved the flavour profile and tenderness, especially with hogget and mutton,” Charlie said.

“Initially, we dry aged some lamb for five weeks with Victor Churchill then hosted an event at Porteno with 50 chefs to try it. We put it up against some of our fresh lamb and they all preferred the dry aged. That’s when we thought we were on to something and we’ve been learning ever since.”

The Haddon Rig lambs are processed locally at Fletchers International then sent to Dubbo Meat & Seafood Centre where they are dry aged, cut, boxed and delivered. Owner and head butcher Mark Knaggs says that he has learnt a lot in the process – particularly the specifics of dry ageing in such a dry region.

“It has been an interesting learning curve and it really isn’t as simple as you think. Most dry ageing in Australia occurs in coastal regions where it’s a lot more humid – they’re constantly trying to get moisture out of the air but here we are constantly trying to get it in.”

“There are three main factors with dry ageing – temperature, humidity and wind speed – getting those exactly right has certainly been a challenge but we’ve got it figured out now and are ready to punch forward. We age for three to five weeks and it’s just an amazing product,” Mark said.

Charlie discussing his dry aged lamb product with chef Alanna Sapwell.

Haddon Rig lamb in the dry ageing facility at Dubbo Meat & Seafood Centre.

Given the extra time and process required to dry age, the product usually carries a hefty price premium – something that the team are trying to address to make the product more accessible.

“We’re trying to be cost effective as well and that’s why we’re doing the six-way cut. This reduces labour costs on our end and gives the restaurant a chance to get creative with what they’ve got in front of them and create dishes no one else has,” Mark said.

Producing a high-quality product isn’t just about what happens in the dry ageing room – it starts well before on-farm with genetics, technology and innovation, farm management and passionate people.

Haddon Rig Livestock Operations Manager Andy Maclean has worked on the property for almost 25 years managing day-to-day operations to ensure what leaves Haddon Rig has every potential to deliver an outstanding product.

“Merinos have changed a lot over the last 20 years – traditionally they were small with a massive amount of wool and hard to finish and grow out for meat production. The style of animal we breed today is dual purpose for both meat and wool – earlier maturing, quicker growing and bigger so you get a really good fat lamb with very good eating quality.”

Charlie trimming some freshly cut Haddon Rig dry aged lamb.

“We’ve also adopted a lot of new technologies like eye muscle and fat depth testing to identify those really good animals that end up with a great carcase. We use those genetics to really push our flock along so that our lambs provide a lot of good quality meat and good fat cover,” Andy said.

In the midst of one of the worst droughts in 135 years of Australian history, the ability to consistently supply product despite seasonal conditions is a key part of the Haddon Rig supply chain.

“We developed some centre pivot irrigation at Haddon Rig in recent years to drought-proof our livestock business. Traditionally we’ve relied on pasture but during the dry years, the irrigation allows us to grow crop fodder to feed the sheep and keep our production system going no matter what.”

“For chefs, this means they are going to get a consistent product that, even in a dry year like this, we can continue to supply at scale with good fat cover and intramuscular fat,” Charlie said.

As factors like provenance, sustainability and welfare continue to grow in customer importance and awareness, today a high-quality product is only as good as the story that comes with it.

With more than 100 years of history in the Macquarie Valley, Charlie and the Haddon Rig team are exceptionally proud of the lamb that they are producing and the heritage behind it.

“The Falkiner family has been breeding Merinos at Haddon Rig for over a century and we take very special care of our animals and put a lot of work into their genetic improvement. Establishing a market for our dry aged product makes Merino sheep production more sustainable by providing more value across the animal’s lifespan.”

Charlie and Alanna on the centre pivot irrigation.

“We are really proud to have our supply chain 100% located in Central West NSW. The sheep are born and raised at Haddon Rig, processed by Fletcher’s International in Dubbo then sent to Dubbo Meat & Seafood Centre where the expert butchers dry age and cut our lambs to order and ship directly to the customer,” Charlie said.

Freshly cut dry aged lamb at Haddon Rig

Haddon Rig owner George Falkiner is excited about the move into high-value sheepmeat and believes the Macquarie Valley region to be the best for producing lamb in NSW.

“We are fortunate to be based on the beautiful Macquarie River. It is a very special region with Mitchell grass plains, beautiful gum and eucalyptus trees and a temperate climate. It’s this combination of factors coupled with careful management that produces this exceptional product.”

“Much like some areas are better for growing wine than others – this is probably the premier place in NSW for producing very succulent, tender lamb. We hope that one day Haddon Rig lamb will be recognised as the premier lamb product in Australia – just like Grange in the Coonawarra,” George said.

 

 
 
 
 
 

Roadies

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MJ & Alanna go ‘Off Road’ in WA

ROADIES

WEST SIDE STORY

Perth to Margaret River

 

West is best – or so they say – and so we went to find out for ourselves. We kissed the east goodbye then flew five-hours west and three-hours back in time, arriving as the sun slowly sank into the Indian Ocean.

 

Kicking off in the port city of Fremantle, we meandered down the stunning west coast through Bunbury and on to the magic of Margaret River and the Gourmet Escape festival.

 

Lamb was the plan and WA did not disappoint.

 
 
 
 
 

Cut Showcase

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Lamb
Forequarter

 

There is just so much to love about the lamb forequarter with something for every chef and venue type. As a whole piece, it is exceptional for slow roasting for a group – bringing a little ‘wow’ factor to the centre of the table. Feeling something a little daintier? Sharpen up your knife skills and sub-primal out delicate individual muscles like the lamb oyster. Maybe in your ‘neck’ of the woods it’s more about unctuous braises – well we’ve got you covered there too. On a budget but still want to get fancy? Try a shoulder rack on for size. I’m going to stop now and let the lamb do the talking.

 
 
 
 
 

On The Menu

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Shooting coast to coast for this issue, we’ve been inspired by the range of cuts and techniques that chefs are using to prepare beautiful Australian lamb – but also by the myriad of flavour profiles and cuisines in which lamb is playing a starring role. From traditional Chinese regional cuisine to inauthentic Indian; high-end Middle Eastern in the heart of Brisbane to the cross-cultural-clashing of Southeast Asian and native Australian in Melbourne – the only limit is your imagination.

Lamb Rump with cashew nut & native curry

 

Sunda Dining – Melbourne VIC
Khanh Nguyen

 
Just when you think it’s all been done before, hot spot Sunda brings together a unique mix of Southeast Asian cuisines and native Australian ingredients quite unlike anything else. For this dish, lamb rump air-dries in the fridge for two days and is then marinated in curry paste, loads of spices, sweet soy and a special Indonesian palm sugar. Cooked slowly for about three hours, the lamb is finished over charcoal for service – the palm sugar and soy caramelising and bringing a burnt caramel flavour to the meat. Served with a smoked cashew nut puree and a native curry that combines the Western jus gras (fat sauce) and Asian rendang techniques with traditional and native ingredients like caramelised coconut milk, native pepper berry, lemon myrtle, aniseed myrtle and bush tomato. Roasted cashew nuts that have been braised in palm sugar stock, curry oil and lemon myrtle oil finish the dish with a garnish of begonia leaf bringing a sharp strong flavour to cut through the richness.

Yang Rou Pao Mo

 

Xi’an Eatery – Burwood NSW
Shen Hong

 
It is said that visitors to Xi’an province in China must do two things – see the terracotta warriors and taste the local dish Yang Rou Pao Mo – hot mutton soup. However, if a trip to north-west China isn’t on the cards, head to Burwood instead. Yang Rou Pao Mo translates roughly to ‘soaked bread with mutton’ and is a valid descriptor. At Xi’an Eatery, hot, thick and strong lamb stock forms the basis of the dish alongside glassy vermicelli noodles and delicate slices of tender lamb leg. Unleavened bread is torn into pieces at the table and added to the soup to steep – the smaller the bread is broken, the tastier the dish gets. Garnished with coriander and served with a side bowl of sweet pickled garlic and chilli, it is a tradition we could get accustomed to. For fun, we also ordered up a round of the lamb skewers – heavily spiced bite-size snacks of lightly fried marinated lamb leg.

Raw Lamb with fermented carrots & salted egg sauce

 

Mary’s Pizzeria – Chippendale NSW
Jimmy Garside

 
Tucked away in a private corner of the gritty Lansdowne Hotel you will find a striking culinary contrast that nobody saw coming. The intimate 15-seat candle-lit space is all pretty flowers, linen napkins and table service – with overtones of live music pumping from the bar next-door. In addition to the pizzas, a special blackboard menu is turning out delicate snacks and shares, like this decadent raw lamb dish. Jimmy dices lamb loin then brings it together with house-fermented carrots and Calabrian chilli – adding a punchy heat and salty, smoky undertones to complement the delicate flavour of the lamb. A rich, creamy salted egg sauce adds savoury-sweet umami while a grating of the vibrant orange yolk makes the whole dish pop.
 

Don’t Tell Aunty
Surry Hills NSW – Jesse Singh

 

Aussie Lamb Chops

 
Inauthentic Indian is the claim and if the two cracking lamb dishes that shimmy out from the tandoor are anything to go by; we are more than ok with the notion. Lamb cutlets endure a three-day process of marinating – 24-hours in yoghurt, ginger and garlic; 24-hours in ‘small spices’ like mustard seed and cumin; and 24-hours in ‘big spices’ like bay leaf and nutmeg. The 375-degree tandoor makes short work of the three-day preparation with a 4.5-minute fiery dip turning out perfectly pink centres and crispy coloured crusts – served with house-made mint chutney and raita.

Spiced Lamb Seekh Kebab

 
Next up, lamb leg – chosen for its ability to stand up to the extreme heat of the tandoor – is thrice-minced with onion, fennel, cumin, mint and coriander then moulded around long metal skewers before hitting the tandoor. Served with cumin raita and a cucumber, cherry tomato and onion salad – they are just begging to be wrapped in soft buttery naan bread and inhaled like a 3am kebab.

Lamb Doughnuts

 

Ramblr – South Yarra VIC
Nick Stanton

 
We doughnut ever want to pass up the opportunity to sample some fried dough – especially when it’s stuffed with sticky lamb goodness – al la Ramblr style. The process for these little balls of bounty begins with lamb shoulder bones that are cooked down overnight with salted black beans to make a rich lamb stock. Lamb shoulder and belly is minced then caramelised in a pan before adding sugar and cooking down to a caramel. The lamb stock is added to the mix and everything is reduced until really-sticky and then refrigerated overnight. The sticky sweet lamb is rolled into round portions, wrapped in a sourdough bread dough, dusted in semolina and deep-fried until crispy and golden. It’s the kind of fried good time we want to have on the reg.

Lamb Collar with eggplant & cavolo nero

 

Gerard’s Bistro – Fortitude Valley QLD
Ben Williamson

 
This boneless cut is derived from the forequarter located underneath the blade. At Gerard’s it is marinated in carob molasses to add a bitter sweetness then heavily charred until darkly caramelised. Next, the collar is steamed in a bag for about seven hours then the juices reduced to a glaze. To accompany the lamb, eggplant skins are blended into a ‘tasty paste’ with black garlic, oyster sauce, wakame, black cardamom and lamb fat; and cavolo nero is blanched, dragged over coals then dressed in mushroom vinegar. To finish, dehydrated fermented red cabbage is blended to a powder and peeled and smoked dates bring the dish together in a harmonic balance of sweetness, saltiness and rich umami.

Lamb Heart with brown butter sauce

 

The Unicorn – Paddington NSW
Jimmy Garside

 
Heart is not your average pub grub but The Unicorn is not your average pub. Much like its legendary namesake, this Paddington palace has your best interests at heart – quite literally. Jimmy likes to push the boundaries of pub diners – willing them to try something different and enjoy an experience they usually wouldn’t. Lamb heart is salted and cooked over ironbark and charcoal lending a strong smoky sear to the delicate meat. Once cooked and rested, the heart is sliced and served with broad beans, zucchini flowers and saltbush; and finished with a balanced sauce of brown chicken stock, brown butter and lemon and a touch of fresh salsa verde.

Crispy Lamb Brains

 

Vaquero Dining – Albion QLD
Damon Porter

 
Brissie is all about brains! On our visit, lamb brains were a regular show on menus from pubs through to fine dining. At Vaquero, they are poached in a 2% salted lamb stock that has been infused with thyme, garlic and bay. The brains are cleaned into individual segments and brought to the simmer then chilled immediately in the liquid – this process allows the outside to set but keeps the centre creamy. Next, they are tossed in spiced flour with chilli, paprika, caraway, onion and garlic – some stock is added to forms a paste that helps coat the brains and gives a rustic finish once fried. Served with a roast garlic, chilli and anchovy mayonnaise.

 

Two Under Ten

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With ever-increasing costs of operation – everyone is looking for a little more bang-for-their-jumbuck. But budget doesn’t have to be bogus or boring – diners’ attitudes are changing, they are becoming more adventurous and willing to try new things. Test the waters with dishes that encourage a little bit of adventure without taking diners completely out of their comfort zone.

We called on a couple of Brisbane boys to show us how it’s done – and we weren’t disappointed. You never know where or when inspiration will strike – but here’s a good place to start.

1.

Lamb Sweetbreads

with Hazelnut Tarator, Celtuce & Onion Flowers

 

Ben Williamson
Gerard’s Bistro

 

@gerardsbistro

 

Ben is a bit sweet on sweetbreads – these dainty little delicacies are economical and easy to prepare with firm yet tender centres and a crispy-fried outer.

Derived from the thymus gland and pancreas, they need to be poached and peeled first to remove the tough membranes on the outside. They can then be grilled, braised or fried and they cook up quickly – saving you time and money.

Often served with an acidic accompaniment to counteract the richness and minerality of the meat they are a good ‘gateway’ offal for customers that want to get a bit adventurous.

At Gerard’s, a creamy hazelnut tarator makes a cosy bed for the buttery browned sweetbreads – dusted with celtuce leaf powder and plated with batons of celtuce stem and onion flowers – to be honest, we’re a bit sweet on them too.

Ingredients

 

Lamb Sweetbreads
Butter
Thyme
Garlic
Hazelnut tarator
Celtuce
Onion flowers

 

Total cost — $6.86

2.

Lamb Breast Cutlet with Celeriac Cream Tartare

 

Damon Porter
Vaquero Dining

 

@damon_porter

 

 At Vaquero, Damon likes to think outside the box and experiment with a range of cuts and techniques. This dish started as a staff meal but soon found its way on to the menu because it was too damn delicious not to!

Lamb breast is smoked over coals for about 30 minutes, charring and concentrating flavour into the meat. It is then bagged with juniper, bay, star anise, thyme and garlic and gently sous vide overnight. The meat is shredded from the bones then bound together into a rillettes with its own fat, juices, stock, mustard, fresh herbs and lemon. The bones are cleaned and inserted into slices of the rillettes, then formed into the shape of a cutlet.

The ‘cutlets’ are then floured, crumbed and fried in butter, thyme and garlic and served with a celeriac cream that has been fermented in whey – adding sourness to cut through the richness of the dish.

Ingredients

 

Lamb Breast
Celeriac
Whey
Capers
Golden shallot
Bread crumbs
Egg
Flour
Milk
Garlic
Pickled cucumber
Lemon
Mustard

 

Total cost — $8.40

Fast Facts

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Fast Facts

In the last 30 years, global demand for sheepmeat has grown by more than 50%

Only about one in five meat eaters has a good understanding of how Australian red meat is produced

Australia accounts for 7% of the world’s sheepmeat production

Australia’s per capita consumption of sheepmeat is around five times higher than the global average

Australia exported 95% of the mutton it produced in 2017

Next Issue

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U-S-YAY!

This one is going to be bigger than Texas as we head for the home of the brave on a beef-fuelled adventure like no other. Starring the all-Aussie boy-next-door Curtis Stone; San Diego based Mexican matriarch and Top Chef contestant Claudette Zepeda-Wilkins; and beef glorious beef in all its star-spangled glory.