Some ingredients take a long journey from farms to our plates. This journey may be as long as across the seven seas. And those ingredients make dining even more special. It’s like taking a trip abroad just with your taste buds. We were the lucky few who got to sample New Zealand lamb from Silver Fern Farms when they introduced quality lamb range to the food service industry in collaboration with Empire Foods, who are the sole distributors of Silver Fern Farms lamb products in the country.
About Silver Fern Farms
Silver Fern Farms is a leading New Zealand processor and marketer of lamb, mutton, beef, venison and associated products to more than 60 countries. They promise freshness, tenderness and great taste, all naturally. The lamb is premium, and naturally raised by expert farmers on open green pastures of one of the safest meat producing countries in the world. The perfect climate coupled with free-grazing cattle and high levels of food safety, make these products sought after worldwide. They have a ‘plate to pasture process’ that means the needs of consumers and customers drives them to produce products in the best possible manner.
Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, Colaba introduced the lamb to diners over cocktails and an interactive session with the team at Silver Fern Farms and Empire Foods. We had a lovely chat with Stu Donald, Regional Head of Silver Fern Farms, who educated us on their products. He spoke about how the lamb they produce are all free-grazing which means they are fed on natural grass as opposed to synthetic grains. Because after all, ‘you are what you eat’. He also said that the Indian meat eating market has great potential and will grow in the coming years.
The lamb I tasted that night was indeed succulent, juicy and fell right off the bone, just like how lamb ideally should be.
I decided to whip up some slow cooked lamb rack as a Sunday treat to myself and the folks. It was going to be a challenge since I didn’t have an oven at home so I’d have to resort to the longer process of pan frying it and then steaming it in the cooker. The Silver Ferns Farms lamb rack is one of their best-selling iconic products.
Slow Cooked Lamb Rack in Red Wine and Garlic:
Cook the lamb in a pan, turning frequently, until browned on all sides. I added very little olive oil in the pan since the lamb rack had the natural fat cover intact, so the lamb needs barely any oil to cook in. This maximises the distinctly sweet lamb flavours and helps retain natural juices during cooking.
To the pan I then added some chopped onions, carrots, and garlic. Also a bit of vinegar, and some Burgundy red wine. You could substitute it with any other red wine. And a bit of salt and pepper to season on top.
The lamb was then transferred to a slow cooker, barring the veggies and cooked on low pressure for about 30 minutes.
I ended up with a lovely medium rare meat which was bursting with this garlic-pepper flavour. The veggies also imbibed a meaty taste in them. Simple, experimental recipe that went off well. Since the lamb itself was of such good quality, the final outcome was bound to be delicious. I’m still left with half a lamb rack and contemplating on what next to do with it. Do share your recipes with me!