December 4, 2013

Boost your red meat street-cred with Lamb Masterpieces

Following the highly successful launch of Beef Masterpieces, Lamb Masterpieces provides chefs with the inspiration and information they need to master cuts of lamb not often seen on menus.
Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) has launched the second phase of their foodservice red meat revolution: Lamb Masterpieces – Volume 02.
What do Andy Warhol and a lamb leg have in common? More than you might think, actually. Just like the pop art genre itself, this edition of Lamb Masterpieces explores how the seemingly ubiquitous leg of lamb can be elevated to new heights, just by changing our perceptions and the context of how we look at it.
Volume 02 of Lamb Masterpieces picks up where the first issue left off, giving lesser known (yet equally superb) cuts their time in the sun. Not only does Lamb Masterpieces deliver on sustainability by encouraging us to use the whole beast, but lower plate costs benefit your bottom line too … and isn’t a sustainable business the ultimate expression of the word?
In Volume 02, MLA look at the leg, both as a butterflied and an easy carve, as well as broken into the knuckle and hindshank with inspiring results. From the humble (and glorious) roast, to charcoal scented grills, slow braises and even raw potential, the only thing limiting the lamb leg is your own creativity.
Already very well-known lamb cuts in foodservice, the easy carve leg of lamb and butterflied leg of lamb are very versatile and can be used across all seasons and many menus. Both are famous for their roasting potential; however, they can also be diced, grilled, thin sliced and are lean enough to be served raw.
The most quintessential cook method for an easy carve leg is roasting. Baste with any pan juices during the roasting period and rest before carving to relax the meat fibres. For the carvery, the easy carve leg of lamb lives up to its name. It has a perfect circular plate profile that keeps its uniform shape during carving, and the shank bone can be used to hold its position on the board. Flavourful and tender, the easy carve leg can be stuffed with herbs, spices and other ingredients and trussed to hold shape.
When thin slicing the easy carve leg for dishes such as the Japanese negimaki, Korean lamb bulgogi, hot pot cooking and stir frying, partially freeze the easy carve to stabilise the fibres before putting it on the slicing wheel. When cooking thin slices, brush the meat with marinade; that way, the spices are grilled along with the meat, drawing out fragrance and caramelising in situ. Slow roasting on a rotisserie grill keeps the easy carve leg tender and moist, while adding so many flavours. Marinate the leg in lemon, garlic, and herbs like rosemary and coriander. The marinade should also contain enough vinegar to help carry the flavours deep into the meat. Make sure you baste regularly.
If grilling on a Uruguayan parilla, let the lamb speak for itself by only salting and letting the wood of the parilla impart flavour. Serve with traditional accompaniments such as chimichurri.
Because of its inch thickness, the butterflied leg of lamb is perfect for the grill. Trim excess fat before cooking and baste with juices or marinate to keep moist. There are so many cuisines that grill lamb to perfection. In Turkey, lamb leg is hand chopped, using a zir. Hand chopping allows the chef to have control over the meat’s texture, which should hold together on the skewer but crumble under fork. The hand cut leg is then shaped onto a skewer for sogan kebabh chopped lamb and onion kebab glazed with pomegranate molasses. In Jamaica, butterflied leg often served with a refreshing mango relish – the roast is kept simple, while the relish is spicy, peppered with habanero chillies.
In the Xinjiang province in western China, the Muslim population, the Uighurs, favour Iamb. Tender pieces of cubed Iamb leg are marinated in earthy cumin, sweet oyster sauce and chilli flakes before being grilled in a classic dish called chua.
The butterflied leg of lamb is lean enough to be served raw such as in the Levantine dish, kibbeh nayyeh. Kibbeh nayyeh is a hand cut lamb leg dish frequently served as part of a meze in Syria and Lebanon, garnished with mint leaves and olive oil, and served with green peppers, scallions and pita.

Keep some fat cover, to ensure the roast doesn’t dry out during cooking. Sear in a hot pan or moderate oven and slow roast to prevent excess weight loss. Covering in a crust or wrapping with bacon or prosciutto can assist in reducing moisture loss, as well as adding flavour. Roast to medium rare and rest to relax the meat fibres.
Leave some fat for flavour and juiciness. Score any silver skin to assist the cooking process. Cook in a hot pan or grill, basting with a sauce or dry spices.
To ensure the fat and meat is cooked through, finish in an oven. If diced, marinate or lightly coat in cornflour to prevent drying out during cooking. Baste during grilling and cook to medium rare.
To use for poaching in steam boats and broths, chill the easy carve leg to stabilise the fibres then slice very thinly on a slicing wheel.

Roasted Easy Carve for Rotisserie or Carvery
Potted Lamb or Lamb Rillettes
Lamb Shawarma
Grilled Lamb with Light Salad
Braised Lamb Steaks
Stuffed, Rolled and Roasted
Butterflied Leg of Lamb
Singapore Lamb Noodles
Kibbeh Nayyeh
Lamb Miso-Nabe

Lamb Shawarma Wrap  |  Serves 10


2.5 kg butterflied leg of lamb, thinly sliced
1 bunch coriander, roots and leaves chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tsp sweet paprika
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp allspice
1 tsp sea salt
½ tsp black pepper, freshly ground
½ tsp cardamom
2 lemons, zest and juice
100 ml olive oil

– makes 1 1/4 cups
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/3 cup lemon juice
½ cup tahini paste
1 tsp sea salt
black pepper to taste, freshly cracked
¼ cup olive oil
¼ bunch flat leaf parsley
10 Lebanese pita breads
2 bunches spring onions, roots and tips trimmed
2 bunches of endive
1 bunch continental parsley, chopped
1 jar pickled turnips
20 whole pickled green chillies
In a medium bowl combine the ingredients and mix thoroughly. Add shredded fresh parsley. Set aside.

1. Mix together the chopped coriander, garlic and lemon juice and zest.
2. Stir in the spices to make a very wet paste.
3. Marinate the thinly sliced lamb for at least 2 hours prior to grilling.

Prepare wrap ingredients and set aside for assembling later.

Heat pan or grill and sear lamb pieces, ensuring both sides of lamb are coloured but the centre is pink. Remove and rest for 2 minutes.


For more inspiring Lamb recipes go to the FoodService Resources section:

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