Last night I joined Brisbane Food Bloggers and friends for a Lamb Appreciation night at Super Butcher, Eagle Farm. It's an experience I enjoyed last time when the topic was beef.
We sat - audience style - in a rear cool room behind the shop that was not as cold as the retail premise. Anyone who has visited the retail store will know it's hard to linger there unless you are really rugged up, so I was well prepared for the chill last night.
I felt a bit strange biting into luscious lamb while watching it being carved in front of me but that didn't last long. As the butcher showed where various cuts came from and how they were prepared, the audience was treated to cooked examples of the cut.
As the end of the session there was a whole lamb cut up on the table - it's a lot of lamb.
After some of us (including moi) had a go at 'frenching', which involves cutting around the bone and stripping the meat for a neater look, we sat down to a lamb dinner with plenty of mash. I am a bit lambed out today but I'm sure I'll be back.
Some of the interesting facts that I learnt included -
- Lamb neck is a forgotten cut and the flavour is amazing in a casserole
- Start your lamb loin chops by cooking them on the side with the fat side on the heat. Makes the lamb fat nice and crisp and renders the fat to give a surface to cook the chop.
- It's easy to make mutton look like lamb and it all comes down to the honesty of the butcher. Look for white fat for higher grade lamb.
- Since the tsunami, Japan has changed it's order and they don't want fattened cattle just mince, so there's lots of great quality amazing meat that Aussies don't usually get to eat flooding the market.
- Meat closest to the bone is the sweetest
Best tip of the night was Lamb USA Ribs - these sell for $5.99 a kilo and are delicious marinated and slow cooked in the oven. They would make a great nibble with drinks and much cheaper than lamb cutlets.
Super Butcher has multiple retail outlets but they run the Meat Appreciation evenings at their Eagle Farm store.