Rachel Klein, Liquid Art House Boston
At the 2015 Boston Star Chefs Honorees Dinner, Aussie lamb was a star of the evening, especially in the dish from Liquid Art House Chef Rachel Klein. We caught up with Rachel to ask about her dish and her self-professed love of lamb:
First tell us about your dish, the Roasted Saddle of Australian Lamb Loin with fava beans, and olive jam.
It’s pretty much the same dish that’s the #1 seller on my menu – I love lamb, and my guests really go for it too. Lamb is hot here in Boston!
In my dish, the Aussie lamb loin is seasoned with a berbere spice mix - cumin, coriander, warm spices, allspice; I find it gives lamb more depth and complements the natural flavors, especially when it’s roasted. Pasture-raised lamb like what I get from Australia has a floral-ness to it that you can bring out with spices.
For the fava puree I use split giant white favas, cook them with olive oil and garlic, puree it. The green favas I treat really simply with marjoram and black garlic; they’re served at room temp, and bring this really meaty, earthy quality. The final element is the olive jam, which is cooked down with olive brine, sugar and lemon juice. Super savory!
Even with all of that flavor it’s actually pretty healthy - the worst thing on the plate is the sugar in the olives, and there’s not much of that.
What do you like about Aussie lamb?
I’m a meat person generally, and love lamb in particular. It’s a great vehicle for béarnaise! The Aussie lamb is great because you consistently get great flavor, and it’s really well trimmed, so there’s no waste. You might not think about that as a cost savings, but it definitely adds up.
We also adhere to what we call the Never-Ever 3 program for proteins – we only buy all-natural, no antibiotics, no hormones, no by-products, and humanely raised meats. Aussie lamb checks all those boxes. It’s really about serving food that I’d want to feed my family, and still be affordable and approachable to my guests.
You said lamb is the #1 seller at Liquid Art House – what’s your secret?
We have a really diverse clientele that trust us to deliver great food; I have to give them credit for being willing to try new things. But also, lamb is an easy sell in New England; in the winter we can sell lamb shanks or beef short ribs all day long, and in the summer lamb burgers will fly out the door.
Folks might not feel comfortable cooking it at home, but they definitely want it at restaurants.