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Aussie Meat Trends

A Korean classic goes Down Under

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bibimbapThis month’s featured dish, Aussie Grassfed Beef and Ancient Grain Bibimbap, is Chef Adam Moore’s take on a classic Korean bowl food. Bibimbap may sound like a little town in the Australian outback, but it’s a Korean word that translates to “mixed rice.” It’s traditionally a hodgepodge of rice, spicy gochujiang, veggies, beef and egg, all combined artfully in a bowl. Chef Adam’s version uses a mix of barley, farro and quinoa for the base, mushrooms, corn, cabbage and edamame for the veggies, and of course Aussie grassfed beef. The beef is marinated in a bulgogi-style sauce overnight and grilled over a live fire for maximum flavor.

Green at the source: Meet an Australian grassfed cattle rancher

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Sam taylor Meet cattle rancher Sam Burton-Taylor. His farm, Kenny’s Creek, runs approximately 20,000 head of black Angus cattle on four properties in southern New South Wales and northern Queensland, Australia. He specializes in naturally raised beef that’s 100-percent grassfed with no added hormones or antibiotics—something Sam’s passionate about. “Grassfed is just better all around,” he says. “It’s better for the environment, better for the animals and better for consumers.”

While Sam is a fourth-generation farmer, his passion for the farm came later in life. He previously had a successful corporate career in Sydney, but decided to swap it for life as a cattle rancher. In 2010, Sam and his wife, Nikki, bought the butcher shop where his grandfather once worked in rural New South Wales. He sold the shop last year, but what he learned from his customers was invaluable—and what led him to sharpen the family’s focus on raising cattle as naturally and sustainably as possible.

Sam says, “People today want to know where their beef is coming from, that it was treated humanely and on what it was raised. While full traceability is the law of the land in Australia, and grassfeeding is common practice, we weren’t drawing attention to it.”

“When we brought our story to the front of the store, it resonated with our customers,” he says. “I also believe people want beef to taste like beef, with a more full-flavored, natural beef taste. When you bite into a steak, you should know you’re eating top-quality meat.”

Live fire cooking catches fire

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Thomas_LiveFire Chefs are a bit like moths to the flame when it comes to live fire cooking. Maybe it taps into some primal part of the brain from our caveman ancestors. Perhaps it’s the wild, raw challenge. Whatever it is, it can’t be resisted! We chatted with our mate Chef Thomas Horner for his top tips on cooking with fire.

Keep in mind, the appeal is all about our primal natures. Read or watch Cooked, and you’ll learn that cooking food over fire was humankind’s way out of the caves with bigger brains! OK onto the tips:

#1 Start small. Your old-fashioned Weber or a Yakitori grill with charcoal is a great way to begin. You learn to play with the balance of flavor from high-heat char and low-heat smoke.

#2 Get to know asado grills.
It’s a style of cooking that’s all over the world — indirect heat; so low and slow. The grill is big and showy with iron crosses, a real plus at outdoor events and parties. Lamb is fantastic on the asado, as are sausages and even salmon.

#3 Cooking with live fire is all about controlling the flames and the heat, really the essence of cooking itself. So many variables are part of the appeal, from the wood or charcoal you use, to wind, ambient temperature, humidity…and that’s before you even think about what you’re cooking.

#4 The best tip: Cheat! Brine and inject your meats.
This gives you some room for error, since the easiest and most commonly made mistake in live fire is overcooking.