A cut above the rest

Mint and Pistachio Lamb Noisette.
Mint and Pistachio Lamb Noisette.

Our "Pure South" Sharp Blacks have achieved the ultimate and been named the best butchers in the world. All Alliance Group suppliers should take great pride in the success of the team adding further international exposure to their Pure South brand and the satisfaction they have supported the best in the world.

Butchers from around the country had to go through a nomination and trial process to make the team and the current Sharp Blacks will return to Auckland to defend their position in the team against a trialist team on September 11. The team is managed by Heller's founder Todd Heller, who also travelled with the team. Following many months of refining their skills, the Pure South Sharp Blacks' performance at their last practice in Auckland before they left had confirmed the promise of our national team of butchers.

On the day it all came down to just two hours when they turned a side of beef and a whole carcass of lamb into valued- added meals, creating more than 50 impressive products fit for a top-shelf butcher's display.

For Cantabrian team captain Corey Winder winning gold on the other side of the world has been a career highlight.

"When it comes to butchery the Brits have a lot of history, not to mention passion invested in the trade, so for ourselves the national team from New Zealand to be recognised for our skill is pretty rewarding. On top of that the feeling of representing your country and doing them proud is really indescribable."

I had the pleasure of presenting at the recent Alliance Group Pure South Conference alongside two of the Sharp Blacks (Corey Winder and David Timbs). I thoroughly enjoyed it - as did the people at the conference - and, boy, they certainly showed their skills with their knives and meat presentation.

This week lets cook up one of the lamb dishes they presented in Yorkshire with a thanks to the team at New World Windsor butchery for preparing the lamb for us.


1 double lamb mid-loin
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tsp crushed garlic
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/4 cup chopped mint
1/4 cup chopped pistachio nuts
2 Tbsp olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1. Mix together the garlic, parsley, mint, pistachio nuts and oil.

2. Spread the mid-loin with the mustard followed by the nut mixture.

3. Roll and tie to secure.

4. To cook place a heavy-based pan on to heat and pre heat your oven to 230' Celsius.

5. Rub the lamb with olive oil and seal in the hot oven-proof pan.

6. Place into the preheated oven and cook for 20 minutes.

7. Remove from the oven and allow to rest covered with a clean cloth for 20 minutes.

8. Serve alongside your favourite vegetables.

Graham Hawkes operates Paddington Arms at the Queens Dr/Bainfield Rd roundabout.

The Southland Times