Innovative Shoulder Rack popular with New Zealand Chefs

Fri, 30 Jul 2004
Graham Hawkes

One of the problems our food service industry continually faces is the demand for primal cuts of top quality red meats, especially lamb.

We have often passed a tongue-in-cheek comment on to our farming friends that they need to produce a lamb that has six racks, four hind legs, a head and forget about the rest.

The farming community has not been able to change the way the animal grows but our locally based secondary processing team out at Blue Sky Meat -Morton Mains- has come up with a processing technique that produces four racks from each carcass.

These skilled boners have created a new cut by changing the way the forequarter has been traditionally secondary processed and now produce two shoulder racks.

These four-bone racks have a generous eye of tasty meat, which when cooked is as tender as a traditional lamb rack. They weigh about 260 to 270g each and are ideal for a single serve.

The eye of the shoulder rack can be stuffed with a bread-style stuffing. For something more elaborate use spinach and pine nuts; for colour try a filling of julienne of winter vegetables. Force a solid round object through the eye of the meat to create a cavity and fill it.

The shoulder racks can be cooked in unison as a crown roast or as an individual rack for a single serve.

To prepare the shoulder rack, brush the outside of the eye of the meat with whole grain mustard before rolling in breadcrumbs seasoned with sea salt, ground black pepper and a generous helping of chopped, fresh mint.