Domestic Lamb

Sam’s lamb burgers and spicy patties ready for AFL appetites

Sheep Central, March 15, 2024

MLA’s corporate chef Sam Burke, centre, with Dubai BBQ Pit Master Hattem Mattar at right,  and chef Koji Fukuda from Japan during a recent Lambassador workshop in Victoria.

VALUE-ADDED fast food lamb products have resulted from a collaboration between science agency CSIRO and Meat & Livestock Australia, just in time for the 2024 AFL premiership season.

Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) and its marketing subsidiary Australian Lamb today announced the return of the Lamb Paddock, an innovative outlet featuring concept lamb products at the Melbourne Cricket Ground with Delaware North.

The return of the Lamb Paddock follows a project between MLA and CSIRO centred around increasing the number of value-added lamb products suitable for quick service restaurants (QSR).

MLA’s product & business development manager and corporate chef, Sam Burke, said MLA wanted to elevate lamb from a “limited offer” product to a regular menu item in QSRs nationwide.

“MLA worked with CSIRO to understand the barriers that QSRs and full-service restaurants (FSRs) had in featuring lamb products on their menus.

“The aim of the project was to identify and address these barriers, to drive the demand for Australian lamb products in this sector,” Mr Burke said.

“To resolve this, we worked with over twenty fast food and quick service outlets to discuss how to overcome these barriers and increase the likelihood of lamb products in QSRs.”

For Dr Aarti Tobin, who leads animal protein research at CSIRO, the interviews with key QSR stakeholders provided significant insight into understanding the role of lamb within fast food restaurants and hospitality venues.

“The interviews showed that lamb was traditionally eaten as part of a meal, as roasts and chops, hence is not considered a fast food,” Dr Tobin said.

“According to the outlets interviewed, there are several challenges with featuring lamb on the menu.

“The main barriers that these companies identified were ensuring consistent product quality, reliability of supply and costs compared to other proteins.”

Following the interviews, Mr Burke and CSIRO developed and tested two lamb products for these menus, a high-quality lamb burger patty which included minced lamb with a Middle Eastern spice blend.

“Similarly, a pulled lamb product was developed, where the lamb shoulder was covered with a rub, consisting of Middle Eastern spice blend and thickeners, vacuum packed, cooked at 75°C for 12 hours and then shredded into pulled meat texture.

“A 28-day frozen storage trial showed that both products maintained their sensory quality after cooking and reheating,” Mr Burke said.

“These two lamb products will provide the industry with a great opportunity to value add to lower value lamb cuts and trim, as well as address an unmet need of the QSR market,” he said.


Culinary director at Delaware North, Australia and New Zealand, Chef Markus Werner, was one of the chefs interviewed, and said the industry should continue to consider the findings from the interviews and address the challenges.

“When the issues around product quality, consistency, reliability of supply, and costs are addressed, lamb can feature on the QSR/FSR menu all year round, rather than as a special occasion meat,” he said.

Source – MLA.


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