Tuesday, May 5, 2009

New Zealand Lamb, Cute, Prolific and Tasty.

Hello Friends;

In New Zealand Lamb is an important part of the export industry and worth approximately 3 billion dollars per year.With 9 sheep to every person, they are a familiar sight in rural New Zealand. We export to 95 countries, Europe receiving 51% of our export volume and half of that goes to the United Kingdom. China is an emerging market and with the possible volumes involved is a very exciting prospect, as well as promising signs of a free trade deal with the U.S/ Obama administration, but its not all that rosy. Despite lamb prices climbing 6.4% to a new high and continuing a rising trend since mid 2007, low prices for more than a decade have resulted in a shift to farming deer, beef, dairy and forestry. This trend coupled with harsh climatic conditions, i.e, droughts, has seen the national flock fall from 57 million sheep to 34million since 1990, numbers not seen since the 1950's. Obviously the export market is vulnerable to currency fluctuations and the sizable gains made for lamb have been erased by the rise in the New Zealand dollar.
New Zealand lamb has a very good reputation and can be found in many top international restaurants and supermarkets. Here is a lamb recipe which is simple, quick to prepare and very tasty.

The recipe serves 2, and is as follows;

2 lamb racks, skin on and approximately 260grams each.

2 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced.

2 sprigs of lemon thyme, or rosemary.

2 anchovy fillets

Freshly ground pepper and flaky sea salt.

100ml olive oil

400g tin of boiled lentils (Divella) 240g net weight.

100g round green beans

Preheat your oven to 200 deg Celsius. Season lamb and lift up the skin flap and stuff with the anchovy, thyme and garlic. Pour half the oil in a roasting tray and place the lamb, skin side up in the tray. Place in the oven and cook for 30 minutes, reducing the temperature to 180 deg after 15 minutes. Take out of the oven and allow to rest.

In a small pot of boiling, salted water, add green beans and cook for 2 minutes, add contents of lentil tin and bring back to the boil, take off the heat and strain. Put in the lamb roasting dish and mix in the cooking juices.
Arrange the lentils/ beans on serving plate and place the rack on top, serve immediately.

Chef Jules Tips
Roast the lamb with skin on to keep the meat moist while cooking. You can always remove it after for the fat conscious diners.

If using tinned lentils or beans I like to reheat them by plunging into boiling salted water, this also removes the thickened brine.

Instead of Lentils you could use mashed potato, mushroom risotto or polenta.

Just a reminder that I am continually adding to the Pantry List, click on pantry photo, above right.

Well that's it till next time so ciao for now!