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The Home Plate - Life and Lamb

Featured recipes from Chef Renate deGeorge

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This month we’re featuring recipes from one of our favorite chefs, Renate deGeorge from airport restaurant group SSP America (more on her here). 

Double smoked lamb stew
Double-smoked Aussie lamb stew with craft porter gravy
"I love using my grill and smoker, even in the winter. Here in Maryland it’s almost never too cold to cook outside! And lamb is great for grilling and smoking. Those smoky flavors really complement the natural flavor of Aussie lamb. I like using the lamb shoulder for dishes like this; it’s ideal for slow, moist-heat cooking. One thing about this recipe — it’s much easier than it looks! I always encourage home cooks to take shortcuts and make substitutions as you like, don’t feel locked into a recipe! If you don’t want to bother with the primary smoking step, it still tastes great. The phyllo knots are a super simple yet impressive element, but a nice baguette or crusty bread works great too. Just don’t shortcut the quality of ingredients!"

anchobrown sugar strip steak Ancho-brown sugar Aussie grassfed strip steak salad 
"This is another recipe I built around my trusty Weber grill. It works in summer or winter, the ingredients are readily available all year long. I find the Aussie grassfed beef has a depth of flavor that works great for bringing together a balance of big flavors, from sweet to sour to spicy. You get sweet from the brown sugar and the grapes, sour from the lime juice, and spicy from the chipotles in the compound butter.

This recipe can come together in a hurry when you need it, and uses one of my favorite secret weapons — canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce. You can find them everywhere, and they’re a real time-saver compared to fresh or dried chiles. Grilling or charring the grapes adds a touch of bitterness and really pops the flavor of the tangy dressing; in the summer you can freeze them instead for an unexpected and cooling contrast."

A chef's life: Renate deGeorge

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Renate headshot

Chef Renate deGeorge is Director of Culinary and Menu Innovation for SSP America, which specializes in running and developing foodservice concepts for airports. She’s responsible for 15 airports from Montreal to Tampa, so she knows what it’s like to be on the road all the time! She’s also a great mate and a fan of Aussie beef and lamb, so we thought we’d have a chat and take a look into her Chef’s Life.

We often wonder how much chefs cook at home, when food is your business all day. In your case, you’re always in the air or in an airport — what is cooking at home like?

It’s true that I’m always in an airport, but actually rarely cooking. I create recipes in our R&D kitchen for our concepts, but at this point in my career a lot of what I do is managing, training and overseeing my airports. So when I’m home, I love to cook! And I learned a while ago to not take things so seriously in the kitchen; your friends and family want to be with you, they don’t need you to impress them with your chef skills.

What do you like about cooking with Aussie Beef and Lamb?

The quality and the flavor of Aussie meats are outstanding. The flavor of the lamb is mild, but still tastes like lamb and has a strong enough flavor that it can handle the big, bold flavors I love.

Speaking of, you gave us a number of your favorite recipes for home cooks; tell us about the “Sriracha Grassfed Beef Sandwich.”

I love that one! Beef round can be a bland cut, but the Aussie grassfed has a great beefy flavor. It’s a roasting cut, but I did it in a crockpot to keep it simple and hands-off. As a sandwich or sliders, it’s like a spicy cheesesteak. Who wouldn’t want that? You can play with the toppings to make it your own, from oven-roasted peppers to tomatoes, or even pickled jalapenos.

OK, we’re hungry now! For more of Chef deGeorge’s recipes, follow this link. And look for her at the airport the next time you fly!

Party on and keep it healthy

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Mediterranean Chopped Salad

We’ve loved seeing all the party faces in our recent #ownyourparty competition. Now that the New Year has begun, it’s a good time to keep your party selves in tip-top shape with a few hot tips from internationally recognized dieticians to help you eat better and feel better.

1) Food is always the best way to get your nutrients. Supplements and vitamins can help, but your body absorbs nutrients in foods much more effectively. Makes sense, right? There’s a reason why restaurants don’t put vitamins on the menu. They’re just not tasty.

2) Lean meats like many cuts of grassfed beef and lamb are a great way to get not just the protein, but also the “good kind” of iron (heme iron), zinc, and vitamin B-12. You can’t get B-12 from your veggies, it’s only in animal proteins.

3) Lamb is an excellent source of zinc and selenium, which both help support your immune system. With the ankle biters bringing home colds from daycare and school, and everyone at work coughing and sneezing, you need all the help you can get! How does the saying go…a lamb chop a day keeps the doctor away? Something like that.

Here's a few of our favorite recipes on the lighter side: