From the archives: This post was from our original site – MyCityLife, back in July 18 2014
Never has cattle and sheep farmers needed our love so desperately. Those plant-based – macrobiotic diets are all awesome, healthy and wholesome and stuff (as Alejandro Cancino quite happily advocates in his latest feature here), but we’re at the top of the food chain for a reason. Humans love meat. We belong to a wonderful eco bio-network where cows, pigs, sheep and chickens love being domesticated by us. They want us to look after them, clean out their pens, dress them up in silly straw hats and generally keep them happy so they can then end up on our plates making us happy. And Chef Darren Taylor is adamant that sustainable farming is possible.
Sustainable is so in vogue at the moment, which we explored when The Emporium launched its Winter Cocktail menu back in June. We are in a cycle of ecological economics, where our human austerity meets our ecology head-on. The artisan mentality with the locavore approach is fast becoming the lifestyle; entire suburbs and communities revolve around it. The butcher, the baker and the candlestick maker are coming back with a vengeance. It’s coming back to looking after our friends, to choosing to work with like-minded fellows and forming a financial ecological network where everyone works together, plays together and stays together. We want to know where our ingredients come from; we love the quirky personalities that are willing to oversee newborn produce through to their full-grown stages. And Target 100 is driven by Australian cattle and sheep farmers to deliver sustainable farming by 2020. We can satisfy all our needs and wants, while still enhancing the quality of the environment, and make efficient use of non-renewable resources while keeping to natural biological cycles and controls. The message is getting out there: A happy animal is a tasty animal, and we can all work in harmony that sees agricultural practices being sustainable.
And as ambassador for Target 100 as well as Chef for Three Blue Ducks Café & Restaurant in Sydney, Chef Darren Robertson is spreading the word for our agricultural practices to be sustainable. We don’t need to deny ourselves, we just need to keep it there for the future. And Darren is on a mission to educate us and help us understand where our beef and lamb comes from. His demonstration ‘Nose To Tail –What’s Your Beef’ will look at a variety of beef cuts from different parts of the animal. It’s not always about sirloin and rump. Secondary cuts are some of the tastiest bits, perfect for winter cooking flavoursome, tender meals best cooked slow and low. And in the lead up to his EAT-SHOW-TELL demonstration from The Courier Mail Piazza, MYCITYLIFE hits on Darren Robertson for his Top Regional Flavours Dishes.
|SLOW COOKED BEEF CHEEKS WITH SOFT POLENTA AND PICKLED ONIONS|
Beef cheeks and soft polenta are pure comfort food and definitely a winter warmer. Slow cooking makes the cheeks meltingly tender. They are a regular on The Three Blue Ducks menu for those cold days.
|RAW FLANK STEAK WITH PICKLED CARROTS AND CARROT TOP SALSA VERDI|
I like to use raw flank steak as well as cooked because it’s a really flavoursome and versatile cut. A decent salsa verdi, made sustainably using the tops of the carrots, takes this dish to another level.
|ROASTED BEEF SHIN WITH CUCUMBER, CHILI & MINT SALAD|
Beef shin lends itself well to being an easy one pot wonder and has a rich, full bodied flavour. The chilli, mint and cucumber salad livens up the dish for a fresh take on a winter meal.
|SLOW BBQ BRISKET AND/OR BBQ SKIRT STEAK STRIPS SERVED IN HOMEMADE TORTILLAS WITH SPICY ‘SLAW|
We make tacos at our restaurant in the snow every day and they’re a favourite for me at home too. You can fill them with all sorts of goods, but slow cooked BBQ brisket is tough to beat. For those poor on time, strips of BBQ skirt steak makes for tasty tacos too.