Our top 3 cuts of lamb for spring

It’s spring. It’s a time when we celebrate the excellent spring lamb that Australia is so well known for. It’s when we embrace our culinary traditions and put lamb on the menu. From a lamb roast with baby peas, roast potatoes and great pools of gravy – to a Greek lamb salad, redolent with oregano and fresh lemon juice – there’s a lamb dish for all lovers of meat. And we are so lucky here in Australia to have vast, lush pastures in the south of the nation where we raise much of our prime lamb herd.


Ross Thomson

Bidfood meat expert

One of the best lamb brands in the market is Emerald Valley. It comes from farms in central Victoria where sheep graze on natural pasture. Our Emerald Valley lamb farmers care for their country and are heavily involved in regenerating the soil. The lambs are bred for tenderness and flavour and, most importantly, are MSA graded for eating quality. Yes, you can spend money on cheaper lamb than Emerald Valley, but you get what you pay for. Emerald Valley is perfectly trimmed, so you’re not paying for excess fat or bone, and is vac-packed in thermoplastic polymer for extended shelf life and product integrity. It’s a quality product with superior flavour and texture for everyday use. 

Emerald Valley lamb backstrap

This is a lean and trimmed premium cut, packed in ready-to-cook pre-prepared 220-250g portions (138125). It is the muscle that runs along the spine – the one you see in the lamb loin chop. Trimmed away from the bone and all of the fat, this is a cut that loves a quick hot burst of cooking over the charcoal grill, in the pan or in the oven. It has a subtle flavour and, in the warmer states at this time of the year, it works beautifully with Mediterranean flavours. Oregano, dill, garlic, olive oil, lemon and flame. It can be wrapped in flatbread or served on a bed of salad, and perhaps some feta for a rich mouthfeel. Down south, where the weather is a little cooler, think about some warm, deep and rich flavours or the aromas of Middle Eastern cooking. A salt and cumin rub with a touch of cinnamon, the smoky tang of the grill and a warm bowl of spiced couscous with some ruby-red jewels of pomegranate sitting on top. These are all great dishes that match with a lighter style of red wine to complete the perfect serve. 

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Emerald Valley lamb rump

A lot of Australians grew up on the big flavour of lamb chump chops. Part of the chump is the rump. When you trim it away from the bone you’re left with that big, beautiful, robust lamb flavour. Emerald Valley lamb rump is available fully trimmed in single serve portions, with (50851) or without (138119) the fat cap left on. The fat cap chars perfectly – even better than beef – making a marinated rump that’s been cooked on the grill a great dish for a bistro. The rump can be portioned, skewered and cooked Brazilian-style on the chargrill then served with a chimichurri sauce. Or it can be cooked sous vide, cooled and finished to order in the oven before serving with gravy and veg. The trimmed rump is popular amongst chefs that are doing big numbers. It can be seared all over and cooked in a red wine and rosemary jus, for example, then served on a creamy mash with loads of reduced jus for a lip-smacking main. More robust in flavour, it loves bigger reds such as malbec, sangiovese or cabernet sauvignon. 

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Emerald Valley lamb leg

There is nothing like the aroma of a lamb roast to remind people of family meals, Sunday roasts and hearty dinners. The Emerald Valley lamb leg (138118) gives the chef all the flavour of a big, beautiful, tender lamb roast – without the waste of excess fat and bone. The hind leg is boned, rolled and netted in approx. 2.5kg ready-to-roast portions. This is perfect to rub with olive oil and salt before roasting in an oven on a bed of garlic and rosemary. Deglaze the pan and add the aromatic juices to the gravy then serve over peas, potatoes and slices of perfectly cooked roast lamb. A great blank palette for chefs to paint their own culinary vision, Emerald Valley rolled lamb leg is ready for warming spices, a savoury sous vide marinade and a finish over flames, or even a filling for some fresh flatbread, salad and minted yoghurt. The type of meal perfect for a zinfandel or shiraz.

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Whatever cut of lamb you put on the menu this spring, make sure you think about quality, tenderness, flavour and getting what you pay for. Emerald Valley lamb ticks all of those boxes. 

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