Bultarra Saltbush Lamb Degustation at The Stag Hotel

The Stag Hotel - 299 Rundle Street, Adelaide SA 5000

There is no doubt that Australian's love lamb, as it has traditionally been the meat of choice for roast dinners around the Aussie kitchen table in the 60s, 70s, and 80s. However, in recent years we have seen the consumption of lamb decrease and fewer restaurants, pubs and cafes using the protein on their menus - instead favouring beef, chicken and pork.

Bultarra Saltbush Lamb are here to put lamb back onto plates by providing a high quality product to restaurants, premium butchers and select supermarkets in Australia and around the world. Bultarra’s approach to sustainable land and animal management has been acknowledged and endorsed by Australia Certified Organic, meaning they are a certified organic producer and supplier of organic saltbush lamb.

On The Chopping Board (OTCB) were recently invited to a Bultarra Saltbush Lamb degustation dinner at The Stag Hotel in Adelaide. Head Chef Josh Barry worked closely with Bultarra to curate an exceptional menu for the night that showcased the award-winning Bultarra Saltbush Lamb in a number of different ways.

Saltbush Livestock lambs from Bultarra are grown in the unique environment of northern pastoral South Australian country on saltbush and Australian native grasses, giving the lamb a very clean and natural taste, which was displayed beautifully throughout the six course meal. We also loved the use of Australian native foods throughout the degustation menu, a way to value, acknowledge and respect the traditional land that is home to the saltbush which feeds Bultarra lamb.

Course 1 - Eye of loin carpaccio, finger lime, pickled black garlic, quince emulsion

The first course in the Bultarra Saltbush Lamb degustation was a carpaccio - a traditional Italian dish of paper-thin raw meat. Although the dish most commonly calls for beef, the eye of loin was used to create this version of the dish using lamb. This incredibly tender cut of meat was perfect for a carpaccio as it just melted in the mouth and was not at all overpowering in flavour. Finger lime, pickled black garlic and quince were all acidic but well balanced additions to the dish, matching perfectly with a glass of delicate and crisp Mollydooker Sparkling Verdelho.

Course 2 - Charred round steak, rosemary cream, soft egg, Twenty Third Street gin glaze

The second course of the degustation was a charred lamb steak served with rosemary cream and a soft boiled egg. Smothered in a glaze of Twenty Third Street Distillery's signature gin, the lamb was tender, sweet, sticky and boasted flavours of juniper, mandarin and coriander. Paired with the Orlando St Hilary Chardonnay from Padthaway, the full flavoured wine complimented the creaminess of the dish, whilst still providing some acidity and citrus notes to cut through the richness.

Course 3 - Shoulder cutlet, smoked cauliflower, spinach purée, pinenuts, quandong jam

Shoulder cutlets are an ample and flavourful cut of meat, often overlooked as they are generally less tender and take a longer amount of time to cook. However, when cooked properly, the sweetness of the meat really comes through the marbled cut, and the meat falls away from the bone effortlessly. And this is exactly how Josh cooked this dish. The lamb was buttery, rich and tender, a perfect match for smoked cauliflower and a tart quandong jam. This dish was paired with a glass of Shaw & Smith Pinot Noir - a wine that was powerful enough to match the rich meatiness of the slow cooked lamb, yet still delicate, fragrant and smooth.

Course 4 - Neck pie, kakadu plum, sugar snap peas, puff pastry

When cooked low and slow, lamb neck is really something special - perfect as the filling to a pie or tart. The fourth course of our Bultarra Saltbush Lamb degustation was a flavourful, open style pie of puff pastry, with a fresh crunch from sugar snap peas, and an unexpected sour flavour from Australian native kakadu plum. A glass of Down the Rabbit Hole Tempranillo was a thoughtful match for this dish - with notes of liquorice and spice that complimented the slow cooked, rich pie filling.

Course 5 - Banjo cut shoulder, lamb jus
Course 5 (side) - Kipfler potatoes with Murray River pink salt
Course 5 (side) - Charred cucumber, grilled cos hearts, sprouts, vintage carrots in whey

Undoubtedly the star of the Bultarra Saltbush Lamb dinner was the last savoury course for the night - a full banjo cut lamb shoulder served with lamb jus. Slow roasted to obtain perfectly tender and soft meat with a slightly crisp outer, head chef Josh did this piece of meat great justice. Served with a rich, salty jus, roasted kipfler potatoes and a side of charred cucumber, grilled cos hearts, sprouts and vintage carrots in whey, this course took meat and three veg to a whole new level! This was paired perfectly with a glass of rich, complex and bold Yalumba Signature Cabernet Sauvignon Shiraz.

Course 6 - Lamington gateaux, salted caramel, blueberries

To end our night on a sweet note, a beautifully presented dessert of lamington gateaux, salted caramel and blueberries was placed before us. Just sweet enough, this chocolatey indulgence was a wonderful way to end a six course meal, and washed down perfectly by a glass of one of the most awarded wines in history, De Bortoli Noble One.

Although the dishes we enjoyed at the Bultarra Saltbush Lamb degustation were created as part of a once-off collaborative menu, it really showcased the undoubted skill and technique of head chef Josh Barry and his team at The Stag Hotel. Our eyes were opened to the many different cuts of lamb we haven't eaten before and how they can be prepared, and we really look forward to dining at The Stag Hotel again in the future!

The Stag Hotel Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


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