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Monday, August 25, 2008

Market Day Lamb

It was a beautiful day to swing by the Hutt Market last Saturday (Yes, my posts are at least a week out of date right now, mainly thanks to one little boy who has decided that 9pm is a fine time for him to go to sleep.). I was cheeky and took Isaac's buggy, even though I had no Isaac. After loading up with the usual fantastic array of fruit and veges, I stopped at the little stall selling Farm Fresh Lamb. We've been by these guys a couple of times and often been tempted, and I decided I'd give them a go. So this is a review, if you like, of Wai-Ora Farm's product.

Wai-ora have a small stall at the market with a refrigerated display, where they sell portions and cuts of lamb, but thier prime sales drive is in half and whole joints, prepared to suit you. Your meat will be waiting for you to pick up on the day if you order by the Monday prior. I spied a piece I liked the look of and asked the salesman (who I see smiling out of the website photo, which is encouraging) what the cut was and how best it should be cooked. It was a cut of rump steak, and he told me that about 15 minutes in the oven at 150C would be just beautiful.

Do excuse me for being dubious.

Anyway, I brought it home, and duly prepared it while the oven preheated. I took mint from the garden, along with a few loose sprigs of thyme and oregano that came loose when I got excited and did some weeding. Seasoned with the chopped herbs, freshly ground pepper and salt and rubbed with olive oil, the lamb duly went into the thusly preheated oven with a few mushrooms for good measure. While the 15 minutes ticked away I did the obligatory pile of fresh market veges (I know, its repetitive, but its important), and decided that it needed at least another 5 if not 50 minutes. I don't like to eat my meat raw.
Finally, after 20 minutes, I gave up on the oven and put that piece of steak where it belonged: In a hot pan. Hot fry, 5 minutes per side.
Dished with boiled new potatoes, the fried whole button mushrooms, and steamed green stuff.
The Verdict: The meat was absolutely divine. It was fresher and had more taste to it than anything I can ever recall buying from the supermarket. It was a $5.00 cut, which is at the top end of our meat for 2+1/2 budget, but it was more than worth the money. The cooking advice I was not so impressed with. It's a steak. Whole fillet beef steak is best sealed in a hot pan before being roasted hot in the oven, so I'm not sure how a low oven heat alone was meant to bring out the best in a slice of lamb steak. But it was saved, and it was delicious.

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