Australian Lamb

The holidays are in full swing and company parties, family get-togethers, and celebratory dinners mean chefs are not only stacking paper, but looking for great winter dish inspiration too. While lamb brings images of spring to mind, it also makes the perfect winter dish. It draws a crowd around carving stations and stands out as something special on holiday menus. We’ve compiled a few ideas with Meat and Livestock Australia from chefs around the country to get your creative juices flowing.
Chef Thomas Horner, Executive Chef of the JW Marriott Palm Desert Resort
“We’ve been playing a lot lately with unique crusts, char rubs, using cane sugar, honey crystals, even date crystals. The sugars form this hard crust that helps seal in the juices, and the caramelization is fantastic. We did a sage and date crystal rub- with a little chili for kick – on an Aussie lamb loin for a wine dinner. We grilled it and finished in the oven…so good!
During the holidays at the property, carving stations are a key driver, no question. For big-time buffets, we’ll do 1400 covers for Thanksgiving and Christmas, all-day brunch. Everyone wants to see those big hunks of roasted meat; lamb legs, racks, and the like. The visual and the aromas bring people in, and help make it feel like the holidays. When you’re sitting outside dining in Palm Desert and it’s 75 degrees and sunny on Christmas, setting the ambiance with the food is important!”

Image from Meat Livestock Australia
Image from Meat Livestock Australia

Chef Michael Doyle
, Executive Chef at The Herget Group

“I like to do lamb two ways. First method would be a slow roasted leg of lamb with herbs de Provence and a rosemary lamb jus. Second method is a basil and mint crusted rack of lamb that is seared and finished in the oven, then brushed with Dijon and white wine, rolled in the basil and mint panko breadcrumbs. Then, I’ll slice and present the dish with a fresh mint marmalade. Both are sensational. Australian lamb is really nice. It has a delicate flavor and tends to be meatier and more tender than other lamb. Australian Lamb is a great option for serving in the US as our guests prefer a more mild and less gamey flavor in their lamb dishes. It is also economically priced as there is large scale production in Australia. Australian lamb is a winner in my book.”
Chef Andy Husbands, Tremont 647 and Sister Sorel
“One of the best things you can do with lamb is just grill or roast it simply with olive oil and herbs, then hit it with a bit of lemon and sea salt. Meat in general and Aussie lamb in particular is naturally sweet – so the classic contrast of sweet and sour works really well.”  Click here for Chef Husband’s Australian Lamb recipe.
Executive Chef Jeff McInnis and Chef de Cuisine Janine Booth, Root & Bone and Bravo TV’s Top Chef
Root & Bone has a strong theme of on-the-bone meats and root vegetables and one of those on-the-bone meats is an Australian rack of lamb, which the chefs cook with a very modern “sous vide” technique but in a simple preparation with butter and aromatic herbs. It gets finished quickly on the grill for service. “We keep the flavoring simple, letting that pure, natural, pastured lamb flavor shine through.” Says Booth. “We’ve had a number of guests tell us that they usually don’t like lamb, but they love ours. I think it has a lot to do with the mild, sweet flavor of Aussie lamb. We love changing peoples’ perceptions of what lamb can taste like.”
Chef Renee Scharoff of Blonde on the Run Catering
“My catering clients are always looking to impress, and lamb has an appeal of being special and a luxury. Lamb chops and shanks present really well, too – they look great on the plate, and come with a handle (she laughs). When you are working with a great product like Aussie lamb, you get a really clean, mild, natural flavor.” Click here for Chef Renee’s Lamb Shank Bourguignon
Lamb Shank Bourguignon
Lamb Shank Bourguignon

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