Food For Thought: Lamb

A truly sustainable, or even regenerative, farming model is in practice and the stress-free sheep are producing some of the country’s best lamb.

I remember learning about the Macarthur family dynasty at school and how important the wool and lamb industries were to the newly colonised Australia. Today we are the largest wool-producing country in the world and our production of lamb is not far behind. Meat and Livestock Australia estimates around 74.7 million sheep make up the national flock count, more than three times the amount of people. With lamb farming so steeped in Australian history I wanted to find out what lamb farming will mean for future generations. The next generation is most evident at the Savannah Lamb Farm in the Clare Valley. A truly sustainable, or even regenerative, farming model is in practice and the stress-free sheep are producing some of the country’s best lamb. Phil and Michele hand-raise around 60 lambs every year creating an unbreakable bond between them. The use of dogs, motorbikes and other herding techniques are all made redundant, as the 60 ‘children’ who have returned to the flock share their trust for Phil and Michele with the others. Although micro farms like Savannah Lamb have their limitations and possibly some practicality issues for larger-scale farming, the ideology is something all farming should strive for. Whilst large-scale farming will always need and have a place in society, it will be the practices of these farms that will need to change and meet the standards of a more educated and aware society. The best way to show support for ethical, clean and sustainable farming practices is to support it with consumer demand. Lamb is one of the most patriotic meats around and what better day to celebrate lamb than on Australia Day. Whether it is a lamb chop on the BBQ or a lamb sausage roll, support ethical farming practices by buying the best lamb you can fi nd and you will help shape the future of farming for generations to come.

Lamb and Cumin Sausage Rolls

This recipe works with regular lamb mince but it is great with minced shoulder; your butcher will do this for you. Ingredients • 1 green apple • 1 red onion • 1 garlic clove • 500g lamb mince • 1 teaspoon chilli flakes • 2 teaspoons toasted cumin powder • 1 egg • Sea salt and black pepper • 2 sheets of puff pastry or sour cream short crust • 1 egg, beaten Method 1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. 2. Quarter the apple and remove the core. 3. Peel and halve the red onion. 4. Grate both the onion and apple on the coarse side of a hand held grater. 5. Peel and grate the garlic clove on the fine side of the grater. 6. Place the grated apple, onion and garlic with the lamb mince, chilli flakes, cumin and egg into a large bowl. 7. With clean hands, mix until well-combined. 8. Season with salt and pepper (heat a frying pan and test a small amount of the mixture and adjust the seasoning and required). 9. Trim the pastry into approximately 13cm strips and place onto a baking tray lined with baking paper. 10. Divide the mixture into four portions and pipe or spoon down the centre of each pastry rectangle. 11. Brush the beaten egg down either side of the mince. 12. Bring the sides of the pastry over the mince, one of top of the other. Gently press down to create a seal, roll them seal side down. 13. Place the tray into the freezer for 10 minutes for the pastry to chill down. 14. Cut each roll into your desired length and place evenly on a baking tray. 15. Brush with egg wash and bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown and the pastry is cooked throug @annabelleats

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