The Courier-Mail

GUIDE TO CUTS AND COOKING

- By Manton Street Meat & Smallgoods, Morningsid­e, butcher Rob Gibbons

LEG: It’s relatively lean, so can overcook and dry out. Roast it in the oven, Webber or barbecue at 180-200C for 45 minutes/per kg, then wrap in foil and let rest for a quarter to a third of the cooking time. Also try adding smoking chips to the barbecue or oven for a smoky flavour.

SHOULDER: Is a moist cut best cooked slowly. Roast in an oven, Webber or barbecue at 120140C for 4-6 hours. Meat is ready when it begins to fall off the bone. Also good cooked slowly for curries and casseroles.

RACK: Lean cut, which can dry out easily. Cook an 800g-1kg rack for 35-40 minutes at 180-200C in the oven or barbecue.

CUTLETS: Lean and best cooked quickly. Panfry, grill or barbecue for two minutes on each side over medium heat. Rest for 2 minutes.

LOIN CHOPS: The high fat content makes them susceptibl­e to fat flare-ups, so cook slowly over medium-low heat on the grill of a barbecue or in a grill pan. No need to oil.

RIBS: Can be cooked quickly or really slowly, but best marinated. Put them on alfoil in a Webber and cook for 10-15 minutes, or grill in the oven at 180C for up to 25 minutes, turning once, until meat starts to pull off bone. Or oven bake in stock at 140C for 4 hours, or until meat is tender.

NECK: The tough cut needs slow cooking, best for stews and braises. Dice into chunks and slow cook over low heat in a crockpot or slow cooker, or at 140-160C in the oven in stock for up to two hours or until meat is tender.

FOREQUARTE­R CHOPS: A tougher cut of meat, they benefit from slower cooking. Grill on the barbecue on low or medium-low until cooked through. Cook in the oven at 160-180C or on low heat in a crockpot with liquid for a curry or tagine.

BACKSTRAP: A relatively lean cut, it should be cooked quickly to avoid drying out and is best eaten pink. Grill or panfry and add to warm salads, or dice and cook in quick curries.

RUMP: Lamb rumps are cooked at moderately high temperatur­e, yet remain moist and juicy. Per 500g meat, cook at 220C in an oven for 15 minutes for rare, up to 30 minutes for well done. Can be grilled on the barbecue or pan-fried for 3-4 minutes each side on medium-high.

SHANK: The tough cut becomes very tender when cooked slowly. Cook in a slow cooker, crockpot or in the oven on low (140-160C) for 5-6 hours or until the meat falls off the bone.

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