Home' Clubs and Pubs Manager : Autumn 2018 Contents CLUBS AND PUBS MANAGER AUTUMN 2018 • 61
FOOD AND EQUIPMENT
For a lot of Australians, lamb is the one meat that
goes hand in hand with cooling weather, and coming
together with friends and family. Whether you’re
grilling chops on the barbecue or heading out to your
favourite restaurant, the season for lamb is here – but what
makes this meat perfect for an autumn menu?
We caught up with Darren Robertson, Head Chef of Three
Blue Ducks and new venture Rocker, in Sydney’s Bondi, to
find out how he is serving up this Australian favourite.
‘There’s no denying that Aussies expect lamb on the menu
all year round. I find Aussies often have a favourite cooking
method or flavour combination, and it can be hard to stray
from these classics and order something new when dining
out,’ says Robertson.
Despite the nation’s love for lamb classics, its versatility
means that chefs are able to experiment with new ways of
cooking lamb, and offer unique flavour combinations for the
more adventurous diner.
If you are thinking about adding lamb to your menu,
Robertson suggests experimenting with different cuts and
‘Lamb has a variety of cuts and price points to choose
from, making it the perfect addition to the menu for
restaurants, from fine dining to bistro.
‘Chat to your butcher and get to know how to cook your
favourite lamb cuts, because they all have their own
particular qualities. Or do your research with apps, like the
MeatCuts app, which are designed to guide you in making
the right decisions.
‘You can actually barbecue a butterflied lamb leg in 20
minutes with the hood down, which makes it a great menu
option, even when service is busy. I like to grill butterflied
lamb leg over the barbecue or hot coals for a smoky flavour
and delicious char.’
When it comes to flavour, Robertson recommends trying
a variety of flavour combinations. Lamb can take on some
robust herbs and spices, and works with a number of
cuisines, from Asian to Middle Eastern, and everywhere in-
‘Coming up with new lamb dishes is always a joy. I’m
constantly inspired by the vast amount of different cuisines
and Asian flavour influences in Australia. It’s hard to
overpower the flavour of lamb. Luckily, lamb can take on
some robust flavours without losing its delicious taste, so it
pairs well with lots of different herbs and spices.
‘It’s all about balancing flavours and experimenting with new
combinations. A Moroccan-inspired spicy marinade for your
lamb served with fresh watermelon or pomegranate is a
While most diners want to stay healthy in this day and age,
the modern foodie is also in search of new and exciting
flavour and texture combinations. Robertson suggests
experimenting with unique combinations that people might
not have tried before.
‘When the weather gets warmer, I inevitably find that people
are looking for lighter and healthier meals, so I will often
combine lamb with a few seasonal fruit or vegetables, and a
tangy dressing or salsa for a refreshing and light choice.
‘When eating out, I think people choose a dish they
wouldn’t or couldn’t cook at home. That’s why I like to
experiment with new combinations that people might not
have tried before, and inspire them to getting cooking with
‘For example, my lamb chop recipe paired with a side of
zucchini, fennel, apple and almond salad uses the crisp fruit
to offer a burst of fresh flavour that people might not have
tried with lamb before.’
Robertson also recommends not wasting any bones.
‘Keep your leftover lamb bones and freeze them for when
the weather gets a bit colder. Full of flavour and nutrients,
they are perfect in soups, risottos and sauces. When
making a lamb stock, add a little lemon juice, as this will
assist in breaking down the bones to extract even more of
that delicious lamb flavour.
For a popular choice on the menu all year round, it’s clear
that lamb is a sure-fire winner. It’s versatile, able to hold
diverse, robust flavours and, of course, it tastes delicious.
Try Robertson’s lamb recipes on pages 62 and 63 to mix
up your menu, and offer guests an impeccable dining
experience with lamb. C&PM
Image © Anna Kucera
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