Datassential reports that Australian lamb on U.S. menus has grown 49 percent across four years. Australia, Chef Kevin Draper believes, has a well-earned reputation for producing top-notch red meat.
“People definitely associate Australian lamb with quality,” says Draper, who is executive chef at Bin 54, a high-end steakhouse in Chapel Hill. “I think it’s well-known as a place where they do lamb—and beef—right.”
Draper is one of the notable chefs participating in the Aussie Beef and Lamb Chef Challenge, organized by a partnership between Aussie Beef & Lamb and FSR magazine. The challenge? To make unique dishes that showcase the quality and versatility of various cuts of Australian lamb and beef.
Participating chefs recently received an assortment of cuts from Aussie Beef and Lamb. This slideshow gives some insights into their gameplans for how they will make a trendsetting dish for the chef challenge.
The answers reveal a respect for the natural flavors of red meat from Australia: each chef was, in their own way, seeking to enhance the taste of the meat rather than hide it. It turns out, that’s what chefs love most about Australian grassfed beef and lamb: the flavor, driven by the renowned quality referenced by Draper.
Chef: Kevin Draper
Title: Executive Chef, Bin 54 (Chapel Hill, NC)
Meat Cut Selected: Grass-Fed Beef Tenderloin
What are your thoughts on grass-fed beef? “Grass-fed beef comes off to many as tasting, for a lack of a better word, gamey. I’d say it’s got minerality and deep beefy flavor, and I don't want to mask that but to complement it.”
Chef: Ben Lambert
Title: Executive Chef, Modena (Washington D.C.)
Meat Cut Selected: Lamb Shoulder
How did you treat the cut? “First, I made sure the lamb shoulder was heavily spiced and smoked. Then I braised it in order to fully optimize the flavor.”
Chef: Brian Landry
Title: Chef/Co-Owner of Marsh House, Nashville, and Jack Rose (New Orleans, LA)
Meat Cut Selected: Lamb Ribs
What is your approach going to be in making a dish with these lamb ribs? “Inspired by the delicious lamb, I want to make sure it was front and center… and that the other components of the dish I am going to create will bring out the flavors and textures of the lamb.”
Each chef is concocting an innovative dish using the Aussie Beef & Lamb products they received. The dishes are intended to “reflect the personality of the chef and their restaurant group,” and will be showcased in future placements on fsrmagazine.com, as well as FSR magazine and Aussie Beef & Lamb’s social media channels.
Aussie Beef & Lamb and FSR magazine encourage chefs looking for inspiration to follow along.
For more on Aussie Beef & Lamb, visit the organization's website.