Keeping lamb on the menu

WITH growing perceptions that lamb is becoming more expensive, Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) is rolling out new programs designed to raise awareness of the range of affordable cuts available to secure lamb’s place on Australian menus.

Beyond our borders it’s well known you can use lamb neck to make a moussaka or a lamb shoulder for an aromatic lamb pasanda.

Locally, the popularity of non-loin cuts such as lamb shoulder, neck and rump is gaining momentum with two new initiatives from MLA aiming to keep lamb on the table at homes and in restaurants, despite strengthening prices.

MLA is looking to global flavours to inspire Australian butchers and chefs to venture beyond lamb backstrap and cutlets to other equally tasty, less expensive cuts, through MLA’s Lamb Masterpieces and Racking up your Profits programs.

MLA General Manager Marketing, Glen Feist, said with lamb prices holding firm, now is the time to educate and inspire chefs, butchers and consumers on how to get the most out of lamb using less expensive cuts, to ensure the Australian love affair with lamb continues.

“We want to inspire people with ideas from around the world where they are great at turning less expensive cuts – like shoulder, neck, rump, mince and ribs – into delicious meals,” said Mr Feist.

“Most Australians are hesitant about cooking cuts they are unfamiliar with, like lamb shoulder and rump, preferring to cook tried and true traditional Australian favourites such as lamb legs, chops and cutlets. They are generally unaware of what can be created from the less expensive non-loin cuts.

“Lamb Masterpieces and Racking up your profits are a great step in educating chefs and butchers that cuts such as neck can make a delicious lamb ragu or lamb moussaka at an affordable price for consumers.

“We are targeting chefs and retailers initially, as we know consumer home-cooking habits are influenced by what they eat when they’re out and what they can buy at their local butcher or supermarket.

“We hope the program will continue the success of previous MLA foodservice marketing initiatives, such as those that helped promote the lamb shank – a cut once known by many as a bone for the dog – to a popular lamb cut at foodservice and now at home.”

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