Australian & N.Z. Lamb: A Tasting

by Qian Leung @ 10 Aug 2018
Australian & N.Z. Lamb: A Tasting To find the best lamb for their creations, three chefs gather for a blind tasting of lamb from Australia and New Zealand.

Among the six samples of Australian and New Zealand lamb, all three chefs  – Chef Victor Loy of Plentyfull, Chef Erik Gustafsson of Sear, and Chef Alvin Tan of Xin Divine – picked Maori Lakes lamb neck from Culina as their favourite.

Maori Lakes lamb neck from Culina

“Even though I’m a big lamb rack lover, this is the best cut of the lot,” says Chef Gustafsson. “The texture is perfect; it is everything I would ask for.” Chef Loy points to the balance of both texture and flavour, calling it a ‘winner’. Chef Tan explains that it has a texture and flavour that locals would prefer. While it was not available for any of the chefs’ individual shoots, the Mottainai Omega lamb neck from Huber’s, which is the same cut, is presented by Chef Gustafsson with salsify, roasted onion jam, and mint.

Mottainai omega lamb neck fillet stew with salsify, roasted onion jam, burnt cucumber & mint (Sear)

When it comes to the second favourite, both Chef Loy and Chef Tan pick Australian Lamb Co. lamb rack. “It is compact and delicate, with butteriness and slight gaminess,” says Chef Loy. “It has a little more bite,” says Chef Tan. This has been presented by Chef Nagalingam with herb Persillade.

Australian Lamb Co. lamb rack with herb Persillade (Wooloomooloo)

Chef Gustafsson picks Mottainai Omega lamb rack from Huber’s as his second favourite, noting its “nice, subtle, lamb flavour,” while Chef Loy adds that it is “clean and flavourful, with a meaty texture that meatlovers would enjoy.”
Mottainai Omega lamb rack from Huber’s

This is served with a potato purée, potato chips, and heirloom carrots by Chef Gustafsson. “It’s actually based on a traditional Swedish dish of lamb stew with dill sauce. I find this lamb extremely good; it contains a lot of fat, so even if you were to accidently cook it medium-well, it’d still be tender.”

Mottainai omega lamb rack with potato purée, potato chips, heirloom carrots & dill (Sear)

Aside from the aforementioned, Chef Loy presents White Stripe lamb rack from Indoguna stuffed with foie gras, confit tomato, and basil. Foie gras is first frozen in a tube, then rolled in confit tomato, and wrapped in basil leaves. “When we eat a piece of meat, it’s always the salt on the tongue first,” says Chef Loy. “We thought, ‘let’s be a little playful – why don’t we season it from the inside out?’”

White Stripe lamb rack stuffed with foie gras, confit tomato, and basil (Plentyfull)

Adapted from the Jul Aug 18 issue of Cuisine & Wine Asia.