Domestic Lamb

Terang baker’s first lamb pie is a trans-Tasman winner

Terry Sim June 28, 2024

Happy ANZ Bake 2024 winners, Australian team members, from left, Tracy Nickl, Brad Burkitt and Jeremy Mavromatakis.

WESTERN Victorian baker Brad Burkitt is a new convert to lamb, after he helped Australia win the ANZ Bake 2024 teams event with his first gourmet pies made with the meat.

Brad has been baking at his Terang Country Bakery co-owned with his partner Gaye McVilly for almost seven years, but said until the competition, lamb had not been a protein he was familiar with, despite several state and national pie award titles.

“I had never worked in a bakery that had done a lamb pie before and had no experience.

“To be honest I’ve probably put my head in the sand about it,” he said.

“People have often asked and I’ve just given them the answer ‘lamb is too expensive’.

“With this competition we weren’t given any constraints as to the cost or ingredients.”

Brad was tasked to make a gourmet lamb pie as part of Australia’s ANZ Bake team. His team members were New South Wales baker Tracy Nickl from Bowral’s Gumnut Patisserie and Queensland baker Jeremy Mavromatakis from Boulangerie Vietnam in Burleigh Heads. Tracy and Jeremy had to make filled crusty baguettes and sourdough rolls, mini pavlovas and lamingtons.

The Australian team was baking against the New Zealand team of Jason Hay, Patrick Welzenbach and Julia Kaur-Rand in the trans-Tasman competition that hasn’t been held since 2004.

Brad had about six months to prepare his pie recipe and skills before the event in Melbourne last month.

“I had to make 48 of them so I had to have my recipe down pat, because we got judged on our wastage.

“I reached out to a few friends and asked for advice and I tried one and it was no good at all, so I tried another.”

Brad said he kept practising with lamb sourced from his local meat suppliers Midfield Meat, ending up with a traditional style pie with chunky roast lamb and rosemary

Brad Burkitt, left, and Tracy Nickl plate the lamb pies in ANZ Bake 2024 Image – Supplied.

“It had mince in it as well so there wasn’t big gaps in the meat and it was slow-cooked for about two hours, with a bit of crushed tomato and tomato paste to give it a bit of a ‘tomatoey’ taste.”

Brad, Tracy and Jeremy were given two hours to prepare the day before the actual bake-off on the following day, with the event running from 9.30am-2.30pm. It was Tracy’s fourth time in the Australian team and his first win.

Brad said the bakery’s most successful pie and most prestigious pie award win was his Eggs Benny pie that was voted the Best Breakfast Pie in Australia in 2018.

The Terang Country Bakery bakery usually does a pie of the month and his lamb and rosemary pie will be the July feature “and maybe another month after that.”


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