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The Home Plate - Life and Lamb

When the Ivy League goes Down Under

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Trip

 martin breslin You may have seen from our Facebook feed or on YouTube that a group of chefs recently went Down Under with us on a tour of Aussie beef and lamb farms. One of the talented chefs in our group was Martin Breslin, Executive Chef and Director for Culinary Operations at Harvard University Dining Services (HUDS). We caught up with Chef Breslin after his return to see what impressions from the trip had stayed with him, and what Harvard students and faculty are thinking about grassfed beef and lamb.

What stuck with you after seeing Aussie beef and lamb farms firsthand?
“It was amazing to see what ‘pasture raised’ really means with my own eyes — to watch the cattle and lambs feeding on natural grasses and clovers, outside and unconfined. It reminded me of what I saw growing up in Ireland. The people we met were amazing too. They are totally devoted to what they do, and enjoyed teaching us about it, obviously taking great pride in their craft and how they care for the animals and the land. And you really can taste the difference this kind of practice has on the meat; it’s hard to describe, but there’s a distinct natural flavor in grassfed beef that’s frankly delicious.”

What’s next for Aussie beef and lamb on campus at Harvard?
“Thanks to this experience, I have a richer understanding of the good animal welfare and husbandry practices in Australia. It’s a topic that matters to some of our students, and one we’d really like to address in our purchasing with the right solution, which may well mean featuring something like Aussie proteins.”

How are you using Aussie meats today?
“We currently serve Australian Lamb in our catering department, but are looking into Aussie grassfed beef now as well. At our size and scale, the economics matter a lot. We hold sustainability as a core value, and love local and supporting small farmers, but we also have to find solutions that translate to scale and still embody those values. We’re hopeful that grassfed beef from Australia can be part of that solution.”

Sooba noodle bowl If you want to eat like an ivy-leaguer tonight, here’s a delicious dish that Chef Breslin cooked up with us — an Aussie Lamb Noodle Bowl. It’s a bit more complex than your average recipe, but it’s all in the prep! With the lamb braised and mix-ins made ahead, it comes together in a flash. Cheers Chef! You’re welcomed back Down Under anytime.


When local isn't always more sustainable

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 Fallacy of food miles


While we’re all used to saying “local, sustainable” in the same breath for years now, it turns out that when you do the math on Australian beef and lamb, transport on ocean containers is a tiny fraction of the overall impact on the planet. What matters more is how it was raised, mate!


Back to school

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There’s something about summer that has us feeling like we’ve been flat-out like a lizard drinking (editor’s note: that’s Aussie slang for “busy”) for three straight months. Whether yours are going to kindie for the first time, or off to Uni, we’re guessing that getting into a steady routine probably sounds good to you too. To ring in the occasion, we’ve tee’d up a set of our favorite family recipes for back-to-school! They’re easy to put together in a flash or make ahead, or you can even pull out the slow-cooker.