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The Home Plate - Life and Lamb

Reflections on a Trip Down Under

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Chef Conor Hanlon of The Dutch Miami recently returned from a trip to Australia, which he earned by winning a menu contest for his Australian Lamb Saddle with Goat Cheese Polenta and Romesco this spring. We caught up with Conor as he was preparing for a series of “Winter Wonderlamb” promotional events in Miami in his new role as an official “lambassador.” 

 Conor Reflections
MLA: Now that you’re back, what are some of your takeaways from the trip down under?

Conor: It was a bit of a whirlwind – 11 planes, 22 busses, water ferries, you name it…we covered a LOT of ground, and that was part of the learning. Australia is roughly the size of the US, but with a fraction of the people, so there’s a great deal of prime ranchland and pasture and wide open spaces. It’s perfect for raising lamb and beef in a natural environment, and it was great to get to see that firsthand, and especially to meet the people behind the products.

We visited small and large operations, but despite the high level of sophistication and professionalism, it never felt “corporate.“ These are family farms with multiple generations working the land. It also stood out to me that they considered themselves “grass farmers” – they spend a lot of time and effort making sure that their pasturelands will thrive for generations to come. They know that without the natural grasses, they can’t raise Aussie meats the way they want to.

MLA: Is anything coming to The Dutch menu as a result of your trip?

Conor: I was definitely inspired by the grassfed wagyu I saw (and ate!) in Australia. Seeing them graze on fresh nettles in their natural pasture is something I’ll remember for a long time, and I wanted to showcase that clean, natural flavor. I think everything tastes better on the bone, so we’re getting a 32oz tomahawk Australian ribeye, broiling it up and serving it with a local farm salad and a stack of housemade onion rings. It’s simple, but a dramatic presentation that people order once they see it walk through the dining room to another table.

Your Face Here - Bill

(Your Face Here) Permanent link

YFH- Bill MulvaneySeveral home chefs jumped at the opportunity to win two Aussie lamb racks, two lamb legs and a carving kit. The lucky winner selected for this quarter is Bill Mulvaney. To learn more about his dish, check out his interview.

You could be the winner next quarter, so head to our Facebook page and upload a picture of your dish.

AL: Congratulations Bill! We’re thrilled you submitted your lamb dish to the Your Face Here contest. Tell us how was your dish prepared? 

BM: Thanks and sure! For starters, have the meat reach room temperature. Then, preheat the oven to 350°F.

In a rectangle bowl add 1/4 of a cup of the following- crushed rosemary and cracked black pepper. Add Kosher salt to taste, mix the seasoning together then roll the meat until the entire roast is covered.

I use the Ron Propeil Rotisserie, but a roasting pan with a rack would also be good, insert a meat thermometer, (if you insert it before cooking the roast it seals itself and the juices stay intact). Cooking time is approximately 20-30 minutes a pound depending on your oven.

I serve this with boiled small red potatoes covered with melted butter and roasted green beans or roasted asparagus.

AL: What advice would you give to someone cooking Australian Lamb for the first time?

BM: Get a good cut of meat from a good butcher. Also know how many people are going to be served, you don't want to run short.

AL: Which cuts are your favorite? 

BM: I prefer the leg either on the bone or as a boneless roast.

AL: Thanks for chatting with us!

BM: You're welcome.