I receive some weird and wonderful invites in the Belly Rumbles inbox. If an invite arrived for me to attend a lunch using Aldi products, I most probably would of declined. I have nothing against Aldi and actually do shop there. Though in the past I have never purchased any meat or seafood products from them.
This particular invite was pretty hard to turn down. Would I like to attend an exclusive, seven course, Aldi meat and seafood degustation lunch prepared by Teage Ezard of Black by Ezard? Well yes, of course I would. I would be pretty mad not to.
The idea of the degustation was to showcase Aldi’s all Australian seafood and meat range. We were even given a goodie bag to take home with ingredients to recreate one of the lamb dishes from the lunch. The recipe for you to enjoy is later on in the post.
I will say I was pretty impressed with the dishes. Of course a highly rated chef in a professional kitchen prepared them, but when the protein is the major component of the dish, there’s no hiding its quality.
Sesame cured Almare Atlantic salmon served with edamame puree and chardonnay dressing. Almare salmon is sourced from the pristine waters of Tasmania and is exclusive to Aldi.
The lamb chop is taken off the bone, ‘tail’ and chop are separated. Served with salsa verde, lemon, pepper and fennel salad.
The ‘tails’ separated from the loin and then given the confit treatment. They are then fried to become crisp and placed on top of the loin and salsa verde when serving. Many of you will know I am not fond of lamb, but I ate this dish. The confit ‘tail’ was actually really tasty and not ‘lamby’ in taste at all.
‘The ‘tails’ separated from the loin and then given the confit treatment’
Killarene lamb is sourced from farms in Victoria and NSW. Is MSA graded, and has no added growth hormones.
Chicken breast served with chestnuts, brussel sprouts and a seared shallot.
Certified by FREPA (Free Range Egg & Poultry Assoc.) and is sourced from the Southern Highlands of NSW, South-East Queensland and the Bedndigo region in Victoria.
The loin is deconstructed and rolled in duck fat for cooking. Served with braised kale topped with a kale chip, apple puree, cider and mustard dressing. Pebble Creek pork is 100% Australian grown and raised in a sow stall free environment in NSW, Queensland and Victoria.
The lamb leg is slow poached in olive oil and the trimmed pieces from the lamb leg are made into a ragu. The ragu was quite tasty indeed and hidden under the main piece of lamb. The dish was served with smoked eggplant, black garlic, paprika and lemon.
Medium rare beef fillet served with buttered desiree puree, exotic mushrooms and truffle.
Highland Park beef is again sourced from NSW, Victoria and Queensland. The cattle are raised in a natural ‘free range’ environment, free to roam and graze as they please.
This was my dish of the day and one that I would love to have a go recreating at home. The pork leg is cooked in master stock before being fried. This creates a lovely crisp skin surrounding the tender pork. It is then smothered in the most delicious green chili caramel and accompanied with nashi pear and sweet/salty peanuts.
Lamb Chops, Lemon, Black Pepper & Salsa Verde
- 12 Aldi Killarnee lamb chops
- 2 tablespoons + ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Salsa Verde
- 2 cups loosely packed fresh mint leaves finely chopped
- ½ cup flat leaf parsley leaves finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh tarragon finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon salt packed capers soaked, rinsed, drained and finely chopped
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red chili flakes
- 6 oil packed anchovy fillets drained and finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic finely chopped
- Fennel Salad
- Juice and zest of half a lemon
- ½ fennel bulb
- ½ Spanish onion
- handful parsley
- extra virgin olive oil
- salt & pepper
- Place lamb into a small baking dish, rub with 2 tablespoons of oil, season with salt and pepper. Set aside to rest for 30 minutes.
- Salsa Verde
- Combine mint, parsley, tarragon, capers, chili flakes, anchovies and garlic in a medium blow. Slowly drizzle in remaining oil while stirring with a fork to make the salsa verde, set aside.
- Fennel Salad
- Peel and thinly slice onion. Thinly slice fennel. Zest the lemon with a micro plane, then juice. Pick leaves from parsley. Toss altogether with juice in a bowl, dress with oil, and season to taste.
- Lamb Chops
- Build a medium/hot fire in a charcoal grill or set gas grill to medium high heat. Alternatively, heat a cast iron grill pan over medium high heat. Add loin chops and cook, flipping once, until browned, crusty and cooked to desired temperature. 6-8 minutes for medium rare if using loin chops (rib chops will take only 4 minutes or so to reach medium rare). Transfer lamb to platter.
- To Serve
- Stir sauce and drizzle over chops, reserving some of the sauce to serve on the side with the fennel salad.
Belly Rumbles attended Aldi’s Meat & Seafood degustation as a guest of Aldi and Black by Ezard
Black by Ezard
Level G, Harbourside, The Star, 80 Pyrmont St, Pyrmont, Sydney
Tel: +61 2 9657 9109