Summer meats: Australian lamb
With all the fuss about seafood and beef steaks on the barbie, poor old Australian lamb often barely gets a look-in over summer. It certainly deserves one. Lamb is a great choice for barbecues and fresh summer dishes. But before you rush out to your local butchers to grab some lamb for dinner tonight, check out these six secrets to buying lamb courtesy of Australian Lamb. They’ll help you to know what to look for when shopping for lamb.
Six secrets to buying Australian lamb
1. It’s all about the cut
Be guided by the lamb cut and weight recommended in your recipe. Need advice on the best cut for your meal? Ask your butcher or download Meat & Livestock Australia’s handy meat cuts app. It’s available for free on Apple App store and also on Google Play.
2. Give it the once over
Freshly cut lamb should be a dark, cherry-red colour.
3. Be quality confident
Meat Standards Australia grades lamb to make sure you tuck into tender, juicy and tasty meat every time. If you’re buying packaged lamb, look for the “Meat Standards Australia Graded” stamp on the pack for trusted quality.
4. Thrifty cuts are in
Lesser-known cuts like ribs are easy on the pocket. But they’re also full-flavoured and worthy of their slow-cooking hype. Give them a tasty whirl. Lamb mince is another economic cut. Think crowd-pleasing shepherd’s pie, moussaka, burgers and more.
5. Check pre-packed lamb
You’re looking for a fair use-by date and packs that are well-chilled, undamaged and properly sealed so the juices can’t escape.
6. Don’t cook lamb in the car
It can get super hot in the car over summer. So take an insulated cooler if you live more than half an hour from the shops. Buy lamb last and keep it chilled on the journey home.
Miso lamb cutlets with rocket and pear salad
Recipe courtesy of Australian Lamb
Prep time 10 minutes
Cooking time 25 minutes
1 medium sweet potato, scrubbed, cut into wedges
1½ tbsp olive oil
8 Australian lamb cutlets, frenched, fat trimmed
1½ tbsp miso paste
1½ tbsp mirin (or lime juice)
80g baby rocket leaves
2 small pears of your choice, cored, thinly sliced
2 celery stalks, thinly sliced
¾ tbsp balsamic vinegar
¼ cup walnuts, toasted, chopped
20g parmesan cheese, shaved
Chopped chives, to serve
1. Lightly spray sweet potato with oil, season and cook in a large char-grill pan or barbecue over medium-high heat for 10-12 minutes or until tender. Set aside to cool slightly.
2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl combine half the oil, miso paste and mirin (or lime juice). Season and brush cutlets with the dressing.
3. Reheat the same large char-grill pan or barbecue over medium-high heat and cook cutlets, in batches, for 2-3 minutes each side or until cooked to your liking. Set aside on a plate loosely covered with foil to rest for 5 minutes.
4. In a large bowl, combine baby rocket, pears, celery and sweet potato. Drizzle with remaining oil and balsamic vinegar, season and toss to coat. Sprinkle with walnuts, parmesan and chives. Serve with lamb cutlets.
1. Lamb loin chops or forequarter chops would also work well in this recipe.
2. Slice up any leftover meat from the cutlets, add any leftover salad and wrap in Lebanese bread or pita pockets for a healthy lunch.
3. Swap pear for peach or apple; walnuts for hazelnuts or almonds; and parmesan for pecorino or goats’ cheese.
For loads more recipes, cooking tips and lamb hacks, head to the Australian Lamb website. We’ve also got recipes for lamb, date & apricot tagine, a Middle Eastern butterflied lamb leg platter, grilled lamb forequarter chops with cucumber and enoki salad and Moroccan spiced lamb leg with plums. Lamb it up, people!