A taste of home

Food fads come and go, but qual­ity New Zealand beef and lamb is prov­ing to be a quiet hero – it’s nat­u­rally free range, and a win­ner from your pocket to the pan


Tuck­ing into fresh beef and lamb is an in­te­gral part of Kiwi lives, from a juicy chop off the bar­be­cue to the com­fort­ing warmth of a Sun­day roast. it show­cases new Zealand’s nat­u­ral re­sources, and is a trib­ute to the people (from farm­ers to butch­ers) who work hard to bring us top-qual­ity meat.

Choos­ing free-range foods has be­come more pop­u­lar with con­scious con­sumers, who want to know an­i­mals are well treated and free from any chemical ad­di­tives – it’s eth­i­cally re­as­sur­ing, and the meat tastes bet­ter too. But that qual­ity can come at a cost. You’ll pay a pre­mium for most protein op­tions that form the ba­sis of a meal. But qual­ity beef and lamb are nat­u­rally free range, so you get the taste with­out ex­tra ex­pense.

that’s not the only plus con­sumers en­joy. Beef + Lamb new Zealand nu­tri­tion man­ager Fiona Greig ex­plains, “Lean new Zealand beef and lamb can be de­scribed as na­ture’s power pack – it’s an ex­cel­lent source of protein, iron, zinc and vi­ta­min B12 and also pro­vides se­le­nium and vi­ta­min d, to name a few. We’re lucky in new Zealand be­cause our beef and lamb here is raised on grass. Grass-fed beef and lamb have higher lev­els of omega 3 fatty acids than im­ported meat from grain-fed an­i­mals.”

Beef and lamb also have a smaller en­vi­ron­men­tal hoof­print. “the an­i­mals are raised on of­ten-hilly pas­ture that’s only suit­able for beef and lamb, not crops or veg­eta­bles,” adds Fiona. “new Zealand farm­ers have done a lot of work on en­sur­ing we’re pro­vid­ing the most sus­tain­able, ef­fi­cient prac­tices pos­si­ble.”

While culi­nary op­tions have widened since our grand­par­ents’ days of meat-and-three-veg, we could still learn a thing or two from them about get­ting the best value out of beef and lamb. You don’t al­ways need to buy the most ex­pen­sive cuts of meat – though there’s noth­ing quite like a ten­der rib-eye, sir­loin steak or rack of lamb.

Beef chuck, beef skirt or lamb shoul­der, are less ten­der be­cause they come from a more mus­cu­lar part of the an­i­mal. this means they’re much cheaper, but can still be turned into a melt-in-the-mouth, nour­ish­ing meal. All it takes is a slow cooker and a will­ing­ness to try some­thing new.

new Zealand farm­ers are also open to change, us­ing mod­ern farm­ing tech­niques and the lat­est sci­ence to im­prove their knowl­edge of live­stock and min­imise their im­pact on the en­vi­ron­ment. they still de­pend on the same nat­u­ral re­sources of soil, sun­shine and rain their fore­fa­thers did, and all as­pire to pass on their farms to the next gen­er­a­tion in a bet­ter state than they re­ceived them.

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