Looking for fresh ideas to feed your family? When we teamed up with True Aussie Beef & Lamb for a meat cooking masterclass recently, we were amazed to discover just how easy it was to create new and impressive dishes to please every age. Here are three of master chef Tarek Ibrahim’s top tasty dishes using the freshest and healthiest True Aussie produce…
Middle Eastern-style roast shoulder of Australian lamb
1.5kg Australian lamb shoulder
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp sweet paprika
1/2 tsp black pepper
3 tsp salt
6 cloves garlic
8 small sprigs of rosemary
250g natural Greek yoghurt
Juice of half a lemon
For the baked tahini yoghurt carrots
400g small carrots
2 tsp olive oil
3 tbsp tahini
2 tsp cumin
1 tbsp honey
A pinch of salt and pepper
1) Preheat your oven to 200°C. Mix the cinnamon, nutmeg, paprika, black pepper and salt together with olive oil and rub all over the surface of the lamb. Pierce the lamb randomly with a small knife to make small incisions and stuff them with the whole garlic cloves and rosemary sprigs. 2) Place the prepared lamb in a roasting tray and transfer to the oven for 30 mins until browned. Remove from the heat, wrap the shoulder in baking paper, then foil and return to the oven. Reduce the temperature to 160°C and cook for a further two hours, until very tender. 3) Meanwhile, wash and trim the carrots, then mix them with the tahini, cumin, honey and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, then set aside to add to the oven with the lamb for the final 20 minutes of cooking. 4) Make a simple yoghurt dip by mixing the Greek yoghurt with the lemon juice. 5) Rest the lamb for ten minutes before carving, then serve with the carrots and the yoghurt dip.
Australian beef sausage with apple and sauerkraut
1 large onion, cut into wedges
2 sharp green apples
1 cup sauerkraut
2 sprigs of thyme
1 cup of water or beef stock
1) Heat a heavy-based deep frying pan over a medium heat, add a slug of oil and sauté the onion until soft. Add the sausages and cook until lightly browned. 2) Add the green apple wedges and thyme and cook for five to ten minutes, until the apples are golden. 3) Add the sauerkraut and continue to cook until very aromatic and well caramelised. 4) Add the beef stock and simmer until most of the liquid is evaporated and the fruit is soft. Serve immediately.
Australian beef meatballs in creamy tomato sauce
500g Australian beef mince
1 small brown onion, finely diced
65g flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
130g mushroom, finely chopped
1 tbsp tomato paste
260g cherry tomatoes
2 sprigs of thyme
2 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
1) In a large bowl, combine the minced meat, half the chopped onion, the parsley and the chopped mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper, then mix until the ingredients are well combined. 2) To make the meatballs, roll the mixture into golf ball-sized pieces, and place on a tray lined with baking paper. 3) Heat a tablespoon of oil in a large heavy based frying pan. Add the meatballs and cook until well caramelised. Set aside. 4) Return the pan to the heat, add the remaining oil, then add the rest of the onions, the tomatoes and the thyme. Cook, stirring often, for around five minutes, until softened. 5) Stir in the tomato paste and cook for one minute, then add the cream and stir to combine. 6) Add the meatballs and their cooking juices to the pan, reduce the heat, cover and simmer for around 20 to 25 minutes, then serve.
Expert tips for buying, storing and cooking quality beef and lamb
At the supermarket
Shop for non-perishable food first, selecting your meats last, and use an insulated shopping bag to keep meat cold – particularly in hot weather. If you need to travel for more than 30 minutes, place your chilled and frozen food into an insulated cooler for the trip home. Make sure you select the right cut for the job too – lamb shanks or beef chuck are best for slow cooking, lamb loin chops and beef oyster blade are perfect for the BBQ, beef ribeye and lamb leg taste great grilled while lamb ribs and beef brisket are ideal for braising.
Place your selected cuts in the meat compartment or on the bottom shelf of the fridge to ensure there isn’t any drip onto other foods, and don’t put raw and cooked meat together in the same compartment. If you’re using frozen meat, thaw it overnight in the fridge. Put leftover cooked meats into the fridge immediately.
At the stove
• Only evenly-shaped steaks will do. For beef, a minimum of 21mm thickness is required while, for lamb, a minimum of 15mm thickness is required.
• For frozen meat, complete the defrosting in the fridge and remove it a good ten minutes before cooking to bring it to room temperature.
• Remember to pat-dry the meat before cooking begins.
• Use heavy-based pans or a BBQ.
• Lightly season your steaks with salt and pepper and rub with a little oil.
• The BBQ does not need to be oiled if the steaks are.
True Aussie lamb and beef is available at all Carrefour, Choithrams, Lulu, Spinneys and Union Coop stores across the UAE, as well as from specialist butcher Prime Gourmet and online suppliers including Springbok and 21 Gourmet Street. For more information, visit lambandbeef.com