You’d have to have been lost in a cloud of smoke of a different variety to have missed the many variations of the “smoke” theme on menus, trendwatch lists and at conferences everywhere lately! Since it goes so well with our Aussie lamb, we thought we’d pick up the thread and chatted up a few of our favorite chefs about how they like to get their smoke on.
What are some of your favorite preparations using smoke with Aussie lamb?
I recently prepared “Smoked Australian Lamb with Butternut Squash and Wild Mushrooms”(left) inspired by the province where I grew up in India, where lamb is a staple. I wanted to use lamb to create a dish with the flavor profiles of bacon, and decided on smoked lamb belly that had been slightly cured. It kept the naturally earthy and sweet flavor and gives you everything you would want in one beautifully presented bite—bacon, smokiness and earthiness. – Regional Executive Chef Nijo Joseph, Residential & Dining Enterprises, Stanford University
“Slow smoked lamb shoulder with hickory and mesquite is hard to beat. But I also love grilling lamb chops over charcoal, with fresh rosemary sprigs placed directly on the coals. As the sprigs smoke, they release a great aroma which flavors the meat.” – True Aussie Chef Adam Moore
What’s the best part about cooking with smoke?
“Using smoke with lamb allows me to do something unique, but with flavors that my guests are used to. It allows me to educate our diners on various cooking methods and expose them to new foods. The food education aspect of my job is a great part of working for R&DE Stanford Dining.” -Chef Nijo
“I like using smoke because it has a familiar appeal, that sort of backyard BBQ feel to it, but you can be a lot more creative than just using a grill, and use more creativity and subtlety without alienating your guest.” - Brendan Joy, Bondir
If all that isn’t enough get you to light it up, check out Chef Brendan Joy’s Aussie Lamb Tartare with Smoked Egg Aioli.