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Aussie Meat Trends

The flavor’s in the bag, baby

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Gerard SV

 While many trendy preparations from the heyday of molecular gastronomy were left behind (more sea bean gastrique-foam anyone?), the undeniable advantages to cooking sous vide make the technique a mainstay in modern kitchens. As it’s a great match for both True Aussie Lamb and Grassfed Beef, we chatted up a few of our favorite chefs about cooking “in a vacuum.”

What are some of your favorite preparations using sous vide with Aussie lamb?
“One of my favorites is an Aussie lamb shank that we do with chipotle and spices. All of that flavor just gets concentrated through sous vide; it’s fall-off-the-bone tender, and makes for really easy service.”
– Four Seasons Miami Executive Chef Aaron Brooks

“We’ve had an Australian rack of lamb on our menu that we cook sous vide from a raw state to 130° with butter and aromatic herbs, then season and sear quickly on the grill for service. We keep the flavoring simple, letting that pure, natural, pastured lamb flavor shine through. A number of guests have told us they usually don’t like lamb, but they love ours!”
– Root & Bone NYC Chef de Cuisine Janine Booth

“I like to use sous vide with lamb shoulder, seasoned with a little cumin, coriander, brown sugar and mint. You can cook it to a perfectly pink medium for as long as 72 hours! It acts like a super-charged marination process, and breaks down the collagen into melt-in-your-mouth goodness.”
– True Aussie Beef & Lamb Chef Adam Moore

Chef Adam’s Sous Vide Tips
• You don’t need as much seasoning or stock to add flavor in sous vide – a little goes a long way when it’s all in the bag!
• Finish steaks or loins quickly on a hot grill or a sauté pan to get those Maillard reactions and caramelization
• Brown short ribs, shoulders and other long-cooking cuts before sealing up in the bag
• Wrap herbs in an open-ended tube of food-grade plastic wrap like a cigar or blunt before bagging to keep from getting herb hot-spots

What are the advantages for using sous vide with True Aussie grassfed beef and lamb in particular?
“The right sous vide technique with Australian grassfed beef will break down the collagen and connective tissue, giving you ideal tenderness while keeping the rich natural beef flavor. With Australian lamb, the flavors are mild and delicate, and sous vide helps protect and concentrate them.”
– Cuisine Solutions Chef, Chief Strategy Officer Gerard Bertholon

“One of the most common mistakes with leaner meats like grassfed beef and lamb is overcooking, especially in high-volume situations like hotel banquets. Sous vide allows you to cook meats to a precise internal temperature that’s consistent edge-to-edge, and then be held for a few hours until it’s time for service, without the possibility of overcooking. Then at service time you can just give it a quick sear and go.”
– True Aussie Beef & Lamb Chef Adam Moore

Featured recipe: Aussie lamb shanks with chipotle and spices

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 Aussie lamb shanksTalk about Miami Spice! Check out this dish from our fellow Aussie Chef Aaron Brooks of EDGE Steakhouse at the Four Seasons in Miami. Stovetop instructions are included, but Aaron uses a 12-hour sous vide technique to maximum effect in his kitchen. Good on ya mate!

“Even when I’m not using a grill, smoky flavors like chipotle and the warm spices and aromatics like cumin, cloves and allspice just bloom when they come together with lamb. I put it together with a sexy grain salad with quinoa and roasted corn, a bit of Greek yogurt, and it’s irresistible!” – Aaron Brooks, Four Seasons Hotel, Miami

Meet the grass farmer

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CDF1When you raise lambs on 1,500 hectares (about 3,700 acres) of natural pastures in Victoria, Australia, the foundation of your business is the grass itself! Like many farmers with pasture-based operations, Charles de Fegely thinks of himself as a grass farmer first, and a sheep rancher second. Protecting the soils, planting trees for shelter and creating an environment that’s “low touch” to minimize stress on the animals are all keys to a successful and sustainable farm. 

As excerpted from Target 100:

Our story...
We believe the most productive and profitable farming comes from working with nature, not against it.

We have a breeding flock of about 6000 ewes as part of our prime lamb and wool operation on 800ha of land we own and 700ha that we lease.

Our farming system relies on perennial-based pastures which give us good feed throughout the year, protect the soil and help us to maintain a low cost structure.

Our property has been a focus for many producers, researchers and extension officers to inspect the latest pasture and livestock technologies. Our key focus is on pasture production and utilisation to ensure that we have the most efficient and best quality pasture for our animals.

We’ve also focused on increasing the survival of twin-born lambs in Merino ewes. We’ve found that putting small mobs in small paddocks with good shelter works extremely effectively, delivering an excellent survival rate for twins.

lamb field1We have put in a laneway system to allow stock to move around by themselves, rather than being herded. Our philosophy is that a good flock looks after itself so we leave our animals alone as much as possible. When we need to do husbandry work it is done undercover.

As part of our whole farm plan we regularly plant trees for shelter belts for the sheep, providing protection for them in the heat and cold. We are a member of our local Landcare group and aim to plant between 1000 and 2000 trees each year.

We have fenced off creeks and invested in a fully reticulated water system throughout the property.

In terms of feral animal and weed control we have continual programs to control rabbits and have our own equipment to manage weeds.