Shanks very much: be a lamb legend

8th October 2020 | Eativity editors

We could all use a little inspiration after the year we’ve had, so to provide some positive vibes, Australian Lamb is sharing heart-warming community stories in their new content series Lamb Legends, in which Aussie chefs cook up tasty lamb meals for local legends.

The content, housed on the Australian Lamb website, celebrates everyday heroes who’ve made a big, feelgood dent in 2020. The campaign kicks with top chefs – MasterChef star Hayden Quinn, Mr Wong legend Dan Hong and Three Blue Ducks chef Darren Robertson – saying thanks to a deserving legend with an appetising lamb dish.

That’s one impressive beard: Hayden Quinn (left) with melanoma warrior Jimmy Niggles.

First in the series, Quinn treats his mate, undisputed legend Jimmy Niggles, to a plate of Mediterranean lamb cutlets. Founder of Beard Season, a charity that encourages skin checks, Niggles was inspired to start the movement after he lost a friend to melanoma. Having grown up on a lamb farm, Niggles knows the importance of a yarn over the barbie, and uses his famous beard to start conversations and spread awareness.

Growing up in the surf, Quinn also understands the value of early melanoma detection: “We’re the sunburnt country, so to be able to spread the word about getting skin checks is pretty amazing,” he says. “I wanted to say a big thanks to Jimmy for all the work he’s done.”

Darren Robertson (left) and Pete Ceglinski share some spiced lamb leg.

The Lamb Legend series also sees Byron chef Darren Robertson cook a delicious spiced butterflied lamb leg for environmental entrepreneur Pete Ceglinski. Having been around the ocean his entire life, in 2014, Ceglinski began a mission to free oceans of pollution. He founded the Seabin Project, a revolutionary method of cleaning up oceans with a floating bin designed to catch rubbish, oil, fuel, detergent and microplastics.

 “Pete is definitely a legend that deserves some love,” Robertson says. “He’s someone making genuine change to the environment around us. It’s amazing.”

Dan Hong (right) says thanks to Shaun Christie-David for his work with Sri Lankan immigrants.

To wrap up the spring series, Merivale Executive Head Chef Dan Hong treats Colombo Social co-founder Shaun Christie-David to his famous grilled lamb forequarter chops. The Sydney-based social enterprise eatery supports Sri Lankan immigrants, providing employment opportunities and supporting their integration into Australia.

“I’m in awe of what Shaun does for everyone, for the community, for asylum seekers, for refugees,” says Hong. “It’s a small gesture to cook up some lamb chops for Shaun, but it’s nice to give back to someone who gives so much.”

We’re lucky enough to have Hong’s recipe which, being absolute legends ourselves, we can now share with you. Make it for someone legendary, okay?

Dan Hong’s grilled lamb forequarter chops with cucumber and enoki salad

Serves 6
Prep time 30 minutes
Cooking time 10 minutes

You’ll need:

For the lamb and marinade

6 lamb forequarter chops
Steamed rice
Lemon wedge
2 cloves garlic
1 golden shallot chopped
3 coriander roots
8 white peppercorns
3 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp sesame oil

For the salad

1 Lebanese cucumber, finely sliced
2 green shallots, finely sliced
50g enoki mushrooms, base cut off and separated
1 fresh red chilli, finely sliced
Half bunch coriander, washed and cut into 3cm lengths
Half bunch mint (leaves only)
Juice of 1 lemon,
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp light soy sauce
1 tsp grapeseed oil

Method:

1. In a mortar and pestle, pound garlic, shallot and coriander root with peppercorns and sea salt until it combines into a paste, then add the oyster sauce and sesame oil before mixing thoroughly. Pour this marinade all over the chops and massage with your hands. Let the chops marinade for at least 2 hours (or overnight).
2. Heat a grill, BBQ or fry pan.
3. Lightly season chops with a little salt. Cook lamb chops for approximately 3-4 minutes on each side until they’re nicely caramelised, slightly charred and still a little pink in the middle. Season with a little more salt after cooking.
4. Mix the salad ingredients in a bowl and add lemon juice, soy sauce, sesame oil and grapeseed oil just before serving.
5. Serve the lamb chops with the salad along with some steamed rice. Garnish with fresh chilli and lemon wedges.

Lamb Legends will continue through Christmas and into autumn 2021. Get inspired and watch all the Lamb Legend videos at australianlamb.com.au

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