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The Home Plate - Life and Lamb

It's your party - Own it

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This Spring, turn ordinary into Aussome with these delicious recipes. #BeAussome

  Spring party recipes




Looking for Australian lamb in your area? Visit our where to buy page.

A chef's life: Roy Villacrusis

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Roy Villacrusis

When we first met Chef Roy Villacrusis, “the Asiatic Chef,” he was cooking in Palm Beach County, Florida, and we loved his style — both cooking and personal! Though known for his sushi, Chef Roy is quite adept with our Aussie lamb and grassfed beef too. These days he’s in Las Vegas, working the pop-up restaurant scene and looking to open a new restaurant of his own. We caught up with him recently to talk about the new spot, and some of his favorite Aussie lamb and beef recipes.

What can you tell us about Gaijin, your new restaurant work-in-progress?
Gaijin means “outsider,” which refers to what I’ve been most of my career. I never went to culinary school, so I tend to do things my own way, with no rules. It will be a 20-seat spot, which will feature no menu, just what the chef wants to cook that day, with sushi of course, but lots of other things too.

What’s the hardest part about waiting for it all to come together?
I keep myself busy with pop-ups, and have been working with Elizabeth Blau on the sushi at Andiron Steak here in Vegas. In addition to finding the right space, getting the right investors on board is tough. It’s like trying to catch (the rare pokemon) picachu!

When you’re not working in a kitchen every night, do you cook more at home?
Absolutely. Some nights we just keep it easy with a one-pot meal, like a take on the Filipino stew called Caldareta, but many times we cook just like we’re at a restaurant, with three courses and beverage pairings. And we love to entertain.

What do you like about using Aussie lamb and grassfed beef?
As a chef I love the consistency. When I cook with Aussie lamb, I know the flavor and quality will always be right on point; never too fatty or gamey. With the grassfed beef it’s just so simple — you’re getting a clean, lean product that you don’t need to do a lot to, just let it shine.

What advice do you have for home cooks who may not be as familiar with cooking lamb?
Just try it! It’s a guarantee that you’ll love Aussie lamb. I love using the shank; it’s economical, and very forgiving. You braise it, season it and forget it — you can’t really overcook it.

Speaking of lamb, tell us about your roasted leg of lamb with sriracha kimchee-mint sour cream.
I love this dish because it’s very flavorful, and deceptively simple. It looks really fancy on the table, but at the same time, it’s a kind of comfort food with the roasted potatoes and lamb. The condiment really shows how versatile sour cream can be as a flavor carrier — add a little sriracha and the liquid from your favorite kimchee, and you have a delicious flavor enhancer to add a little zing to everything on the plate.

Follow these links to try Chef Roy’s recipes, and if you are headed to Vegas, you can catch his sushi and sashimi at Andiron in downtown Summerlin. As soon as we hear about Gaijin’s opening, you’ll see it here!

Eating the whole kit and (ka-)Boodle

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OK, so what the heck is a boodle, and why would you eat it?! The answer to the second part is because it’s fun and delicious. The first part is a bit more complicated.

Boodle collageThough we don’t know for sure why it’s called a boodle, it’s a style of dinner that originated in the Filipino military, and was a celebratory, camaraderie-building meal where generals and common soldiers were on equal footing. We heard about this from our mate, celebrated chef Roy Villacrusis, who cooked one up for us at a recent event.

Here’s how it works: with banana leaves covering the table, white rice is strewn around, along with heaps of traditional Filipino delicacies, from pork sausages to smoked fish, an Aussie Lamb loin stew called caldereta and even coconut-milk-braised jackfruit. Condiments range from a pungent and salty shrimp paste to a palate-cleansing green papaya relish, and fresh mangoes. You’re encouraged to toss food to your neighbors, and everyone eats with their hands – there are no utensils! Cracking good fun, and delicious as well.

Menu roundup: Fall 2016

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Here are a few Aussie lamb dishes we spotted on social media that had our mouths watering. Get your lamb fix if you’re near one of these spots!
Seasons 52 lamb shank
Seasons 52 – Nationwide 
Mediterranean Braised Lamb Shank, Autumn Vegetables, Yukon Mash 

Canoe – Atlanta, GA

Roasted Australian Lamb Chop
Border Springs Ribs, Eggplant, Foie Gras Ravioli, Tamarind

State Fair of Texas – Dallas, TX
Duel Austraian Lamb Chop Pop with Twice Baked Potato Fries at Belgian Waffles

Weber Grill Restaurant “Founders Menu” – Chicago, IL

Grilled Australian Lamb Chops (Thomas Farms, Southern Australia)
Double Cut 7-oz. Rib Chops, Dried Cherry & Caramelized Onion Compote

TUC Craft Kitchen – Vancouver, B.C.

Orange-glazed Australian Lamb Ribs (Australian lamb, jalapeno pepper, orange glaze)

Did we miss one of your local favorites? Share it with us in the comments below.

Under the Asian influence

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This month’s featured recipes are from our mate Las Vegas Chef Roy Villacrusis, often referred to as “the Asiatic Chef” for his encyclopedic knowledge and skill with Asian foods from Japan to Korea, and his native Philippines. 

First, we love his take on a familiar combination – roast leg of lamb and potatoes – but given an Asian spin with a unique yet simple rice vinegar marinade and kimchi-sour cream condiment. 

The second dish is one we had at the “boodle” (more on that here) — a lamb shank stew inspired by the classic Filipino caldareta. Rich and hearty, it’s “Aussome” comfort food with a twist. 


lamb shank stew

Chef Roy's Filipino-style lamb shank stew