Amayjen is based in the heart of rural New Zealand and Andrew says his customers are always keen to experience the full ‘meaty’ experience when dining out. He chooses to use prime cuts and secondary cuts together to give diners the whole nose to tail experience using cuts they may not have eaten before. Combining both prime and secondary cuts not only uses more of the animal and enhances the customers eating experience, but is a cost-effective way to create a stunning dish while maintaining a good price point on the menu. Andrew sources his lamb from Leelands in Invercargill where the lambs are processed only 15 minutes from where they graze. This ensures the least amount of stress to the animal resulting in a quality tender and flavoursome product.
Cooking Tip: Lamb neck is an excellent cut to use as a filling for a pie to complement a prime cut on a dish. Andrew uses the following method to make his braised lamb neck pie. He uses about 1kg of lamb necks which creates about 24 small pies.
sear lamb necks in a hot pan to colour and place on a roasting tray
deglaze the pan with white wine and add to the tray along with chopped onion, leek, carrot and garlic
cover with water and braise at 180°C until tender (about 1.5 to 2 hours)
remove the necks and shred the meat
strain the cooking liquor into a pot and reduce to a glaze
fold the glaze through the shredded neck meat
dice celeriac and sauté in butter for two minutes, fold through chopped spinach and season
combine the celeriac and spinach with the lamb neck mixture and check seasoning
place pastry in small pie tins and add neck mixture just a few tablespoons into the pie cases and top with pastry and seal
egg wash and bake at 170°C for 16 minutes