Lambassador Chefs Showcase MLA lamb
It was a day Lambassadors took over as Chef Eric Siew and Chef Steven Wong from Hilton KL gave a hands-on cooking workshop using Halal Australian Lamb at Hilton KL. Australian High Commissioner Dr Justin Lee was also present to share a little about Meat & Livestock Australia, and he joined the media in the making of lamb open pies.
Halal Australian lamb is versatile with many cuts that work with many different flavours. Lamb from Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) holds up well with and without spices and marinades, both in Asian and western cuisines without losing its true essence. It’s quality meat that’s easy to cook and is easily available in supermarkets and hypermarkets. The difference between lamb and mutton? When it’s younger than 10 months old, it’s classified as lamb while meat from older animals are called mutton. Lamb doesn’t take long to cook as it’s still young and tender, while mutton is often preferred for curries and stews as it has a stronger flavour.
Australian lamb has the all-natural advantage of being pasture-raised and grassfed in a pure environment, free of artificial additives and hormones. Sustainable agriculture is conscientiously practised in Australia and its sheep meat industry is now considered climate neutral and carbon neutral. This means that eating Australian lamb does not have an adverse impact on the environment.
Australian lamb is certified halal, slaughtered under the Australian Government Supervised Halal Programme, by Muslims approved by accredited Islamic certifying authorities in accredited processing plants, according to strict Islamic law or Syariah, and also complying to importing country’s strict halal protocol. This programme is guaranteed under the Australian law, and administered by the Federal Department of Agriculture.
More than adherence to a set of conditions of how the animal is slaughtered and meat processed, Halal also refers to how the animal is treated during its life, emphasising zero tolerance to animal abuse and mistreatment. It must also be provided with enough space to roam, clean water, food and fresh air and access to all these is abundantly available in Australia. Animal welfare is top priority among farmers in Australia and it is regulated by laws enforced by Government. As it’s a large and isolated island continent, all livestock are naturally free from animal diseases.
Malaysia is Australia’s second largest export market for mutton and largest destination for sheepmeat in South-East Asia. Despite modest per capita consumption levels, the frequency of sheepmeat consumption is relatively high in Malaysian diets. About one-third of consumers say they have bought lamb in the last month, well above Asia’s average of 19% (Source: MLA Global Consumer Tracker).In 2020-2021, Australian sheepmeat exports to Malaysia reached an all-time high at 26,010 tonnes, largely driven by a 45% year-on-year increase in demand for lamb. This is a reflection on Malaysians’ priority for healthy foods to keep immunity strong.
Australian lamb is a good source of protein and contains 13 essential nutrients required for good health. Among them are Iron, Zinc, Omega-3 fatty acids and B vitamins. Australian grassfed lamb (when trimmed of visible fat) is a source of Omega 3 fatty acids, the same healthy fat found in fish.
It’s suitable for both Asian and Western cooking, from Barbecued Ginger Lamb Satay with Thai Dipping Sauce, Bulgogi Style Lamb Lettuce Cups, Zesty Lemon & Roasted Garlic Leg of Lamb Steak, easy-carve lamb roast to Aussie Lamb Baharat Party Pies.
(Recipes are available at https://www.trueaussiebeefandlamb.my/#)