This content was produced for New Zealand by the foundry @ Meredith Corp. Food & Wine editorial staff was not involved in its creation or production.

PHOTOS : NEW ZEALAND BEEF AND LAMB

Although it spans an area roughly the same size as Colorado (just over 100,000 square miles) and is surrounded by the Pacific Ocean, New Zealand feels quite big—often larger than life. Across its wide-open spaces, cattle and sheep have plenty of space to roam freely and graze year-round on the lush green grass. And for New Zealanders, preserving nature—or “kaitiakitanga,” meaning guardianship of the land—is a point of pride.

“There’s nature everywhere. You don’t have to go far to be in it,” says award-winning chef Matt Lambert, now executive chef of The Lodge Bar in Auckland and Queenstown.

In this lush country, kaitiakitanga is a word with deep roots, which now encompasses a forward-looking approach to everything from growing grapes to raising cattle and sheep. Among family-run stations like those that supply Atkins Ranch, which was the first lamb producer in the world to achieve Non-GMO Project verification, ranchers see themselves as custodians of the land.

Simply put, New Zealand farmers care about the process from pasture to plate, resulting in a product that is unlike anything else.

PHOTOS : FIRST LIGHT FARMS
PHOTO : NEW ZEALAND BEEF AND LAMB
PHOTO : NEW ZEALAND BEEF AND LAMB

A culture of care and innovation

In New Zealand, a commitment to raising animals humanely and producing the highest-quality meat naturally has been passed down for generations, and yet it’s completely modern. Among its most progressive leaders, First Light was the first meat company in New Zealand to receive international Certified Humane accreditation. Based in Hawkes Bay, the company started out with pasture-raised venison in 2003, and then 100 percent grass-fed Wagyu beef. Subscribers to First Light’s Steak Club receive humanely raised, GMO-free meat without antibiotics or added hormones. And the choice cuts are so popular, there’s a waiting list.

The hard work that local ranchers and farmers put into raising animals as nature intended produces some of the tastiest cuts of grass-fed beef and lamb on the planet. Beyond care and quality, they also closely watch their impact on the earth. Compared to the global average, New Zealand beef farms produce 75 percent less carbon emissions.

“New Zealand’s reputation precedes it for being very clean and green,” says Lambert. “Our farming standards are revered because everything is pasture-raised 365 days a year. It’s one of the biggest standouts.”

Across the local food industry, New Zealand has invested in research and development, especially when it comes to delivering fresh and safe products efficiently to more than 140 countries around the world. Among global suppliers, New Zealand is a leader in rigorous food safety and biosecurity measures.

Even well-established names in the meat industry, like Silver Fern Farms, founded in 1948, have embraced the value of traceability and cutting-edge technology to improve operations.

PHOTOS : NEW ZEALAND TRADE AND ENTERPRISE

How to get it and what to do with it

Fortunately, you can easily find New Zealand grass-fed beef and lamb throughout the U.S. in local supermarkets, at specialty suppliers, and even online. While many want to savor the best products during the holidays, home cooks are carefully considering the ingredients they choose year-round, placing value on taste, sustainability, and animal welfare.

The world first got a taste of New Zealand grass-fed lamb in the 1880s. New Zealand is one of the most interesting food-producing nations in the world—and home to some of the most talented chefs shaping food culture today. Along with exporting top grass-fed beef and lamb, New Zealanders are leaving their culinary mark, from craft beer-infused stew to savory meat pies.

“Every country has their version of street food,” says Lambert. “Our version would be meat filling in pastry, which is sold everywhere as a quick lunch or snack.” Traditionally, meat pies and rolls were made with steak and ground beef, but now there are variations that include flavor profiles like Thai curry or Indian butter sauce. For a party menu, mini meat pies are an easy appetizer with a flaky, buttery crust.

A holiday roast involves one of the simplest cooking methods for anchoring a fantastic meal—and the higher the quality of the meat, the easier it is to get right. Whether you want to stick to tradition with a lamb roast and vegetables or get creative with a garlic herb tri-tip, there are many different cuts of grass-fed beef and lamb to suit any occasion, including beef sirloin, lamb loin chops, and cutlets.

A beef or lamb roast can be the centerpiece inspiring the rest of your meal, such as a traditional pairing of lamb, spring peas, and mint sauce. “I’ve had the experience of observing cattle grazing on kale or other brassicas and brought those greens into a dish,” says Lambert.

From simple, easy preparations to complex recipes, New Zealand grass-fed beef and lamb set the table for a delicious meal—no matter where you happen to be.

To learn more about the world’s best, most natural-tasting beef and lamb—and to find more recipes—visit beefandlambnz.com.

PHOTOS : NEW ZEALAND BEEF AND LAMB

New Zealand
Grass-fed Beef
IPA Stew

See Recipe

New Zealand Grass-fed Beef IPA Stew

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds New Zealand grass-fed beef short ribs (Tip: Look for the Taste Pure Nature logo)
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil

For the stew:

  • 6 slices bacon, diced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 12 ounces IPA beer
  • 10 sprigs fresh thyme

FOR THE SHORT RIBS:

  • Preheat the oven to 350° F.
  • Season the beef short ribs with salt and pepper.
  • In a large Dutch oven or oven safe pot, warm the canola oil over medium-high heat. Place the ribs into the oil and sear on both sides.
  • Transfer the seared ribs to a bowl.

FOR THE STEW:

  • Put the diced bacon into the Dutch oven or pot and cook for 3 or 4 minutes on high heat. Add the onion, carrots, and garlic, and stir well. Cook for 2 minutes.
  • Add the tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, spices, and flour. Mix well.
  • Pour in the beef broth and beer, followed by the seared short ribs. Lay the fresh thyme sprigs on top and cover.
  • Roast the ribs in the oven for 2 hours, then take the lid o!.
  • Cook for 2 more hours, until the meat is tender.
  • Remove the ribs from the pot and shred the meat with two forks.
  • Strain the rest of the stew through a large sieve. Skim any fat from the surface with a spoon.

TO SERVE:

  • Serve the shredded beef on mashed potatoes and top with the stew sauce.
  • Garnish with chopped parsley, if desired.
PHOTOS : NEW ZEALAND BEEF AND LAMB

Hearty New Zealand
Grass-fed Lamb &
Rosemary Pie

See Recipe

Hearty New Zealand Grass-fed Lamb & Rosemary Pie

Serves 5-6

Ingredients

  • 1.5 pounds New Zealand grass-fed diced lamb shoulder (Tip: Look for the Taste Pure Nature logo)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 sticks celery, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped roughly
  • 3 tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 1/2 cup tomato paste
  • Zest of 1 lemon, plus 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 anchovies, chopped (optional)
  • 2 cups chopped spinach
  • 3 teaspoons cornstarch, mixed with 2 tablespoons water
  • Neutral cooking oil

TO ASSEMBLE:

  • 4 or 5 pre-rolled puff pastry sheets
  • 1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon milk
  • Preheat the oven to 280°F on conventional bake.

FOR THE LAMB:

  • Cut the lamb shoulder into 2- or 2 1/2-inch chunks.
  • Heat a little oil in a large frying pan over high heat. When the oil is hot, season the lamb chunks with salt and pepper, then fry in batches until they’re browned all over. Transfer to a casserole dish.
  • Reduce the heat to medium, and add the butter and a splash of oil along with the onion, celery, red bell pepper, and sweet potato. Cook, stirring, for about 10 minutes until everything is soft and starting to caramelize. Add the garlic and rosemary and cook for another 2 minutes.
  • Add the stock, tomato paste, lemon juice and zest, and anchovies (if using), and stir. Pour over the lamb and mix gently to combine. Cover the dish with a lid (or 2 layers of tinfoil) and bake for 3 1/2 to 4 hours.
  • Remove the lamb from the oven and let cool slightly. Stir in the spinach and cornstarch mixture. Season with salt and pepper. Increase the oven temperature to 425°F.

TO ASSEMBLE:

  • Line 4 to 6 greased small pie dishes (or one large dish) with pastry sheets.
  • Add the lamb filling, brush the bottom pastry edges with some of the egg mixture, and cover the filling with a pastry lid. Press to seal, trimming any excess pastry as necessary.
  • Brush the top of the pastry with egg and cut a couple of air holes. Bake at 425°F in the lower half of the oven for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the pastry is dark golden brown and cooked through.

SLOW COOKER OPTION:

  • You can make the filling in a slow cooker, cooking it on low for 8 hours or high for 6 hours. If the sauce needs thickening at the end of cooking, simmer it in a saucepan with 2 teaspoons of cornstarch and 1/4 cup water.
PHOTOS : NEW ZEALAND BEEF AND LAMB

Ultimate New
Zealand Grass-fed
Leg of Lamb

See Recipe

Ultimate New Zealand Grass-fed Leg of Lamb

Serves 8

Ingredients

  • 4.5-5.5 pounds New Zealand grass-fed boneless leg of lamb, at room temperature (Tip: Look for the Taste Pure Nature Logo)
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon roughly chopped thyme leaves
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • 1 or 2 handfuls thyme sprigs
  • 1 onion, peeled and sliced
  • 1/2 cup olive oil

For the meat sauce:

  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 3/4 cup crème fraiche or sour cream
  • Lemon zest, finely grated
  • 1 tablespoon wine vinegar
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt, to taste

FOR THE LAMB:

  • Preheat oven to 320°F.
  • Use a sharp knife to make 4 or 5 shallow slits in the lamb flesh. Mix together the butter, garlic, and chopped thyme. Spread the butter mixture into the slits and sprinkle lamb with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Place the thyme sprigs and sliced onion in the base of a roasting tin and set the lamb on top.
  • Drizzle the olive oil over the meat. Place it in the oven and roast for 2 3/4 hours.

FOR THE MEAT SAUCE:

  • Remove the lamb from the oven and place it on a board, then tip all the juices into a saucepan. Put the lamb back into the roasting tin and return it to the oven for 30 minutes.
  • Skim the fat off the roasting juices in the saucepan. Add the beef stock to the juices and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat, and add the crème fraiche or sour cream, lemon zest, vinegar, and bay leaf.
  • Simmer until the sauce reduces a little (it will be a thin sauce). Season with salt to counteract acidity.

TO SERVE:

  • Remove the lamb from the oven and let it rest, covered loosely with foil and a tea towel, for at least 10 minutes before carving.
  • Strain the sauce into a bowl or gravy boat and serve it hot with the lamb and vegetables.

FOR BONE-IN LEG OF LAMB:

  • If you’re using a bone-in leg of lamb, increase oven temperature to 350°F.
  • Place the thyme sprigs and sliced onion in the base of a roasting tin and set lamb on top.
  • Drizzle the olive oil over it. Roast for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, depending on weight and doneness.
  • Remove the lamb from the oven and let it rest, covered loosely with foil and a tea towel, for 15 to 20 minutes before carving.
PHOTOS : NEW ZEALAND BEEF AND LAMB

New Zealand
Grass-fed Garlic
Herb Tri-Tip

See Recipe

New Zealand Grass-fed Garlic Herb Tri-Tip

Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1 2 1/2- to 3-pound New Zealand grass-fed beef tri-tip (Tip: Look for the Taste Pure Nature logo)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons garlic, minced

DIRECTIONS:

  • Preheat the grill to high heat.
  • Combine the chopped thyme, rosemary, and salt and pepper in a small bowl.
  • Rub the tri-tip with olive oil. Using your hands, evenly distribute the minced garlic. Cover both sides of the oiled tri-tip with the seasoning blend.
  • Place the tri-tip on the hottest part of the grill and sear for 2 or 3 minutes. Flip the tri-tip over and transfer it to an indirect-heat section of the grill. Continue grilling until the inside temperature reaches your desired level of doneness (135°F for medium rare).
  • Transfer the tri-tip to a platter, cover with foil, and let it rest for 10 minutes.
  • Slice the meat across the grain and serve immediately.
mwc-white