We recently caught up with Chef Keith Pears, a new mate of ours and Executive Chef at the new W Hotel in Toronto.
“I love working with Australian lamb,” says Chef Pears. “The sirloin in particular I loved; it’s really tender and flavorful. Across the board with Aussie Lamb, the natural flavor is mild, which makes it really versatile. You can take dishes that normally call for beef and use the lamb to create something different with a whole new appeal.”
Take for instance Chef’s “Jakarta Lamb Skewers” which were given the front-cover treatment on Flavor & the Menu magazine! They’re a thoroughly modern dish that’s spot on for the W Hotel, but approachable as any “meat on a stick.”
“My inspiration came from my time as a young cook working at the Teahouse in Stanley Park in Vancouver, my mom was the chef there. She had Jakarta Lamb Chops on the menu, and they were delicious,” says Pears. “They had a peanut butter and almond crust with an Indonesian sweet soy sauce.”
We love the depth and layers of flavor and textures here. He uses Aussie lamb sirloin, choosing that cut for its tenderness, marinating it in soy, honey, liquid koji, fish sauce, cumin, anise, micro lemongrass and cilantro. That potent blend of sweet, salty and umami flavors are vacuum-packed into the lamb for maximum impact.
For the peanut butter glaze, he combines peanut butter with local honey, soy sauce, sambal and more of that liquid koji. For texture, there’s a finishing crumble of almonds, mint and parsley.
Nice one chef!