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Aussie Meat Trends

Sweet & Spicy

(Trends and Recipes) Permanent link

Let your taste buds fall in love this Valentine's Day with a delicious lamb dinner. Our sweet and spicy recipes will have you cancelling those dinner reservations, and instead whipping up a home-cooked meal for two.

For a sweet treat, try this recipe for baked Australian lamb racks with honey. It's a true crowd-pleaser, and pairs well with many sides.

Feeling more spicy? Our lamb cooked with chipotle and spices will definitely heat things up.

Satisfy both cravings with this recipe for sweet and spicy Australian lamb leg. Either way you can't go wrong with all natural, pasture-fed Aussie lamb.

Sustainable ≠ Local

(Trends and Recipes) Permanent link
Some of the nation’s top foodservice programs on college campuses, one of the industry’s pioneering segments for sustainability initiatives, are starting to rewrite the equation where sustainable = local. Led by Stanford University’s Residential and Dining Enterprises and UMASS Amherst, these schools are measuring environmental impact and sustainable sourcing in more than food miles. Here’s a recent article about the program at UMASS – more will be coming out soon about the dynamic program at Stanford.

Featured Chef: Miles Vaden

(Featured Chef) Permanent link
Miles VadenIn this month’s edition of the Meat Mail, we talk to Executive Chef Miles Vaden of DC Coast. Miles recently took home first prize in a menu contest during DC restaurant week for his Braised Lamb Schwarma with Black Tahini, Pomegranate Tzatziki, Mint Chermoula, and Pickled Beets on Grilled Lavash. Chef Miles will now go to the Aspen Food & Wine Festival as Aussie Lamb’s honoured chef!

We asked the Chef about the inspiration for the dish, and he told us he was looking to create something with lamb for the lunch menu and knew he wanted to use the shank. “Especially when the weather’s cold, a slow-cooked, braised meat is hard to beat,” said Miles. As he is often found on his days off in one of the many excellent authentic Eastern Mediterranean restaurants the DC-area is blessed with, schwarma was a natural choice. Chef Miles’ dish takes all of the traditional elements of a classic schwarma and gives them his own creative and often colourful touch. Thus tahini became a housemade black sesame tahini, tzatziki got a lift of color and flavour pop from pomegranate seeds, fresh herb notes come from a mint chermoula, and pickled beets add acidity and vibrant color. “I love colors on the plate, and as a chef I try to match the color with a flavorful purpose,” explains Chef Miles. “The pomegranate seeds and pickled beets both do that, and they keep the dish from getting one-dimensional. Every bite will be a little different than the last.” All of those elements work to complement the main attraction, which is of course the braised Aussie lamb shanks, which bring plenty of flavour of their own to the plate. For full cross-utilization, DC Coast is also featuring a dinner version of the shank with cauliflower couscous and crispy chick peas.

When we asked Chef what he liked best about working with Australian Lamb, he said “The flavor first of all is so mild, sweet and clean; it’s not at all the gamey, heavy flavor that a lot of Americans might remember from their childhood. When I learned that Aussie lamb is so well raised and taken care of – grass-fed, hormone-free and humanely treated – it was an even better match for what I want to serve my guests.”

And for a final word from Chef Miles, echoing what we’ve heard a lot from chefs and trend researchers alike recently - “Consumers are slowly changing their minds about lamb – it’s not just racks at fine-dining places anymore. People are really warming up to it, especially when it’s done in a Mediterranean flavor profile.”

We Gaúcho Your Lamb

(Meat Masterclass) Permanent link

We recently caught up with Chef Evandro Caregnato of Texas de Brazil, a Churrascaria chain based in Dallas, TX. Chef Evandro’s “Gaúcho-style Lamb Shoulder” with Australian Lamb was served at a recent media event in Dallas to great acclaim.

AL: Tell me about the “Gaúcho-Style Lamb Shoulder” - you made it for us at the event in Dallas last year, and it was a huge hit. What was the inspiration?

EC: This dish is very typical of southern Brazilian cooking. There is a long history of Italian immigration to that part of the country, including my family back in the late 1800s. Italian families came to help settle the country, farm and ranch, and they brought their culinary traditions with them. [gaúcho means cowboy in Portuguese] As a result, you find foods like polenta a lot in south Brazil. It’s like mashed potatoes for Brazilians…at least in the south.

Lamb is typically cooked in long and slow braises in Brazil. The garlic and aromatic herbs like sage and rosemary are quite common, and echo what the lambs would graze on. You want to taste the natural lamb flavor, so it’s a pretty simple dish - hit it with a quick sear, braise with wine, garlic and herbs and tomatoes, and serve over the soft polenta. It’s delicious.

AL: Last year you had a very successful promotion for Aussie Lamb at Texas de Brazil. What have you noticed about Americans’ preferences for lamb?

EC: I think it helps that with our churrascaria concept, you pay a flat price and can try any variety of meat you want. If you’re at a traditional steakhouse, it can be hard to try something new and commit to a full entrée of something less familiar like lamb. At Texas de Brazil, all of that pressure is gone, and we get comments all the time from guests who tell us “It’s been so long since I had lamb” or “I didn’t think I liked lamb.” We had one guest eat 52 Aussie lamb chops in a single sitting! I don’t recommend that, but it shows you how far lamb fans will go once they have a good product prepared the right way.