In this series for the Upper Cut, we’re shining a spotlight on some #aussome dishes chefs are cooking up around the country with True Aussie beef and lamb. These chefs are featuring high-quality, sustainable and grassfed proteins in a wide array of different forms, well beyond the standard steaks and chops that used to be their main home on the menu. It’s about meeting modern diners where they are, and making full use of the cuts, cooking techniques and cuisines in the chef’s toolkit. Though all very different, you’ll see a common thread of affordability, dynamite presentation, bold flavor and – of course – deliciousness, all at a food cost designed to be profitable.
The dish: Lamb pita with harissa aioli, pickled shallot and roasted garlic, bitter micro greens
The cut: Aussie boneless lamb leg
Where it fits on the menu: passed canape, sharable app, main
Estimated Food Cost*: $4.47 as an app
Estimated Food Cost %: 26% as an app; 11% as a canape
The Chef: Renee Scharoff, Blonde on the Run catering
We had a blast a couple of months ago with our bestie Chef Renee Scharoff of Boston-based Blonde on the Run catering, who recently cooked this dish among many others at our immersive Aussie pop-up in DC. She’s got so many great ideas for using our lamb that always look amazing on the plate!
“This versatile dish is always a hit with guests, and scales beautifully up or down, from a small passed canape or medium-sized shareable appetizer up to a main course on a larger pita,” explains Renee. “It’s approachable and fun, even for guests who aren’t familiar with lamb. It’s also a brilliant vehicle for leftover roasted lamb leg or shoulder.”
“Because I know first-hand how humanely and sustainably the Aussie lamb is raised, I know I can always count on the quality. My catering clients appreciate that too, and that I can stand behind the product so proudly.”
Renee lets the natural flavor of the lamb shine through with a simple rosemary and herb roast – or uses a similar leftover roast lamb preparation – and accents it with the rich heat of a harissa aioli on top of a fresh-baked pita. For balance, pickled shallots and bitter greens provide a nice clean finish. So tasty!