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Aussie Meat Trends

Aye, there's the rub

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Every chef has their own preferred combination to rub on their meats – their grilled Aussie meats, of course. Simply put, rubs are magic on grilled meats because the intense flavors from salts, dried spices and herbs “bloom” and rehydrate in the juices from the meats as they cook. A bit of sugar in the mix can help caramelization during cooking, too. A liberal coating of rub can create a nice “bark” on the outside, sealing in juices. We chatted with Chef Aron Harbiger about what he goes for in rubs on Aussie beef and lamb.

"I tend to think about a rub from the accompaniments on the plate, not just the meat. Right now, stone fruits are everywhere and they play really well with lamb."

Aron Habiger

"With lamb, my go-tos are cumin especially, then paprika, garlic, coriander and salt. I don’t like too much pepper, and not too many herbs as they can overpower the dish, especially the mildness of Aussie lamb. When you have a good product, you want to let that natural flavor shine through and not mess it up. But the combination of roasted peaches, cumin and lamb on the plate...Wow! it’s a crowd pleaser for sure." 

"For beef, it’s a little crazy but I’ll take a very large quantity of scallions and slow-roast them to ash, then add smoked paprika and salt, and let that cure on the beef for 24-48 hours. Grilled and finished with a bit of cracked pepper, it’s amazing how it amplifies the earthy, grassy notes in the beef, and creates a delicious result that people can’t quite put their finger on.” 

If you’ve never created your own rub blend before, you should have a go! Use Chef Adam Moore’s all-purpose rub as a starting point for your own innovations.

 

Image courtesy of Chefs Roll 

Farming for the future

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 Aussie cattle and sheep producers know that taking care of the land and natural resources is a critical aspect of their business, not just for the herds of sheep and cattle they raise today, but for the next generations of farmers and ranchers. That’s why they take great pride in having reduced their on-farm water usage and greenhouse gas intensity by significant amounts, as was confirmed in a recent published study.

Care for the Environment

Look out! He’s #behindyouwithaknife!

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ARON The chef
 Image courtesy of Aron Habiger, @a_ronthechef

No worries, that’s just a hashtag often used by Aron Habiger, one of the chefs who recently took a trip Down Under to see Aussie beef and lamb up close. Aron is an industry vet now enjoying the freedom of the pop-up dinner scene in Los Angeles and Orange County with Feastly and other partners. We caught up with him to talk Aussie lamb, and find out about a dish he prepared with us recently at an event in Palm Desert. The dish: “Harissa-rubbed rack of lamb with chickpeas and charred romaine lettuce.”

“We definitely went all-in with the umami on this dish! I love harissa in general, and find it a lot more versatile than people give it credit for. It’s so much more than a Middle Eastern flavor; it goes great with fish sauce, for instance! The fish sauce (even just a few shakes) not only gives you those savory, umami notes, but the sugars in there caramelize beautifully on the grill or in the oven. Because the lamb is so lean, it can take a little added fat around it, so we browned the butter on the grill, and steeped kombu and mushrooms in it for even more earthy, umami flavor, then used it to cook the garbanzo beans. I love those ocean and forest elements coming together like kombu and mushrooms. I find they work together beautifully, and remind me of the Pacific Northwest where I was born. The breakfast radishes are meant as a palate cleanser, like having pickled ginger with sushi.”

“Since I got back from Oz I’ve been using Aussie lamb; I love the ‘clean-ness’ of it. To me it tastes like it has more integrity. And there’s a story behind it. I love the pop-up format for the same reason; it’s made for storytelling, attracting the kind of guest who wants to interact with me and hear that story. We see this more and more among our guests — it’s what they want! They want to learn about food and where it comes from, they love the allure of the chef and getting closer to the ‘magic' that goes on in the kitchen."