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The Home Plate - Life and Lamb

Your Face Here - Karen Chrestay

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Several home chefs jumped at the opportunity to win two Aussie lamb racks, two lamb legs and a carving kit. This quarter's winner is Karen Chrestay. 

Karen Chrestay

AL: Congratulations Karen! We’re thrilled you submitted your lamb dishes to the Your Face Here contest. Tell us what inspired your dishes? 

KC: The chance to win all this lovely lamb was an inspiration in itself! We’re definitely lamb lovers in this house and so are many of our friends so it’s on the menu quite often — especially in the summer when we can grill and rotisserie. All my submissions were first-time experiments (my favorite way to cook) that were either inspired by a recipe I saw somewhere then tweaked to my own liking or just looking in the pantry, fridge and spice rack and putting things together. The Moroccan Spiced Rotisserie Leg of Lamb and the Curried Lamb Pie are two resulting examples. The mustard-herb-breadcrumb coated rack of lamb is a classic preparation that’s just too good to change.

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

KC: No mint jelly! (Although I do make a broth-based fresh mint sauce that’s quite good with lamb). My biggest tip would be to invest in a good instant-read meat thermometer and use it often during cooking. There’s nothing worse than overcooking a fabulous leg or rack of lamb. And be sure to let it rest before carving. Don’t be afraid to experiment with cooking techniques or seasonings. Even if it doesn’t turn out exactly how you wanted, there’s almost always a way to salvage or re-invent the meal.

AL: What’s one of your favorite lamb recipes that would be good for a beginner to try? 

KC: A lamb stew made from the shoulder or shanks might be a good choice. Once all the ingredients are assembled, you really just sit back and let the stove do all the work and there’s not much chance of overcooking. Lamb burgers would be an easy intro to lamb cooking. Move on to grilled chops, then try roasting a half-leg. Once you’re familiar with lamb flavor and texture, you’ll feel more comfortable working with larger, more expensive cuts like whole legs or full racks.

AL: You mentioned hosting a lamb party for all your friends with the prize. Which fixings are you thinking will complement your lamb? 

KC: We have a wine dinner club called the Corkheads. I’m sure it will be the recipient of some of this wonderful lamb. We’ll ask the members to bring the sides and I’ll give them some ideas based on the theme of the meal. In the summer, it might be lots of cold salads and marinated and grilled vegetables. In colder months (like now), I like crispy roasted potatoes or a creamy, cheesy gratin and a bright green vegetable. And it goes without saying that at least one of those racks is reserved for my lamb-nut friend, Laura!

AL: Awesome. Thanks so much for chatting with us, and Happy Holidays!

Your Face Here - Bill

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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. 

 

Your Face Here-Tim Jugmans

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Several 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 Tim Jugmans. 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 Tim and thanks for being a fan of Australian Lamb! Your dish looks amazing. What was your inspiration?

TJ: I look for an aesthetically pleasing dish. The vibrant green of the pea puree and the bright red vine tomatoes provide a great background to the lamb lollipops.

AL: Most chefs have a few tricks up their sleeves. What’s your secret to a great meal?

TJ:  Use quality ingredients like Australian lamb.

AL: For people who have never tried lamb, how would you describe the taste to them?

TJ:  Now that is a hard question. Imagine a gourmet piece of beef with a stronger, tastier meaty flavor.

AL: We can’t let you leave without asking for your recipe. Would you mind sharing it with other home chefs?

TJ:  I cooked this on my Broil King Keg, so the method applies to a charcoal BBQ grill. 

4 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary

5 cloves of minced garlic

6 tablespoons quality olive oil

0.5 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper

The biggest Australian rack of lamb you can find

1) Mix all the ingredients (except the lamb) to form a wet rub.

2) Cut the rack into serving pieces of 2 bones each

3) Apply the wet rub to  lamb and leave in the fridge overnight in a Ziplock bag

4) Heat the BBQ grill up to 180F and add a couple of apple chunks for some smoke flavor.

5) Warm the meat up cooking on indirect heat until the internal temperature is 110F, approximately 5 minutes per side.

6) Wrap the bone ends with foil so they don’t burn.

7) Quickly crank the BBQ up to 600F and cook with direct heat until the internal temperature is 125F, turning the meat every minute or so. This will give it a nice crust.

8) Sprinkle some coarse Kosher salt to taste.

Serve with pea puree, roasted vine tomatoes and small golden potatoes.