366 days of gratitude

May 27, 2016

Last night we were among nearly 200 people enjoying Alliance Pure South’s gala dinner at the Skyline restaurant in Queenstown.

Skyline’s chef had made way in his kitchen for three of NZchefs Olympic squad who will be competing in the culinary Olympics in Erfurt, Germany later this year.

We were asked not to take photos or share the menu on social media so I can’t tell you exactly what we ate.

But I can say that among the ingredients the chefs used was prime Alliance meat and what they served was a delight for the eyes and the taste buds.

The team’s chef de mission Graham Hawkes asked why New Zealand doesn’t sell itself as a culinary destination when our food can be as stunning as our scenery and other attractions.

Many would travel long distances to dine as we did last night.

I’m grateful for that experience and to be part of the chain which provides the top meat for our top chefs.

 


Rural round-up

January 28, 2015

Repositioning NZ trade on the world stage:

Founder and Chairman of ANZCO Foods, Sir Graeme Harrison, is showing his unwavering commitment to New Zealand business by personally funding a Professorial Chair in Global Value Chains and Trade at Lincoln University.
The newly created position will contribute to the research and teaching at the specialist land-based university – but it will also come with a far wider reaching remit: to help lead change in the way New Zealand businesses engage globally throughout the value chain.   
 
Described by Lincoln University Vice-Chancellor Dr Andrew West as “an extraordinarily visionary and generous act”, the funded professorial chair will need a unique set of skills. “As well as carrying core academic responsibilities, we see the appointee becoming a leading spokesperson on global trade, particularly around the challenges facing New Zealand’s agricultural exports,” says Dr West. . .

Conviction for the illegal sale of home killed meat applauded:

Federated Farmers is applauding the Ministry for Primary Industries prosecuting a Northland man for selling meat which had not been processed in accordance with the Animal Products Act 1999.

The Chair of Federated Farmers Rural Butchers, Haydn Cleland says the successful prosecution shows the inspection regimes to protect the integrity of New Zealand’s food safety systems are working. . .

Caution not panic in kill plans – Alan Williams:

Farmers are taking a cautious line on stock for processing during an increasingly dry summer, booking them for two to three weeks ahead.

But they were ready to take them out if there was decent rain in the meantime, AFFCO Holdings interim general manager Rowan Ogg said.

In some cases farmers might have lambs booked in with more than one processor, he said. AFFCO had more stock than it could handle. . .

NZ lamb wool price rises to 3-year high on increased demand – Tina Morrison:

(BusinessDesk) – New Zealand lamb wool prices rose to a three-year high last week on increased demand for the fibre from clothing manufacturers in China.

The price for lamb wool jumped 10 cents to $6.10 per kilogram at last week’s North Island auction, matching a price last seen in January 2012, according to AgriHQ. The price for 35-micron clean wool, a benchmark for crossbred wool used for carpets and accounting for the majority of New Zealand’s production, was steady at $4.85/kg compared with the average price in auctions in both islands the previous week. Merino and mid-micron wool didn’t trade in the latest auction. . .

Sporting Stars Set to Choose Nation’s Top Lamb:

Iron Maidens Lisa Carrington, Sophie Pascoe and Sarah Walker are set to judge the ninth annual 2015 Beef + Lamb New Zealand Golden Lamb Awards, aka the Glammies.

The competition, supported by Zoetis, aims to find the most tender and tasty lamb in New Zealand, with categories for both farmers and retailers.

With the sporting superstars on the panel, alongside foodwriter, Lauraine Jacobs and head judge Graham Hawkes, entries will have to be of superior quality to impress this year.

Third time judge, Sarah Walker says she is thrilled to be involved in the competition once again. . .

NZ Forests Gain International Visibility:

With the acceptance of the NZ Forest Certification Association (NZFCA) as New Zealand’s PEFC Member, New Zealand forest growers gain visibility in the world’s leading forest certification system. “We are delighted to be accepted into membership of PEFC and to represent PEFC in New Zealand” says Dr Andrew McEwen, chair of NZFCA.

With more than 260 million hectares of certified forests, PEFC (Programme for Endorsement of Forest Certification) is the world’s leading forest certification system, promoting Sustainable Forest Management through independent third party certification. PEFC works throughout the entire forest supply chain to promote good practice in the forest and to ensure that timber and non-timber forest products are produced with respect for the highest ecological, social and ethical standards. Thanks to its eco-label, customers and consumers are able to identify products from sustainably managed forests. . .

 

 


The perfect roast

October 2, 2014

Chef Graham Hawkes showed us how to cook the perfect lamb leg roast at Alliance Groups’ Pure South conference earlier in the year.

I roasted a leg recently which, more or less, followed his instructions:

* Take leg from fridge and allow tempering for an hour at room temperature.

* Preheat the oven t0 220 C.

* Place a bed of roughly chopped vegetables (including onion with the skin on which helps colour the gravy) in the bottom of a shallow roasting dish.

* Place the leg on top and season generously.

* Place in over and roast for 15 minutes.

*  Add a couple of cups of water to the dish and turn the oven down to 180 C.  Cook for 25 minutes per 500 grams of meat.

* Add a little more water if necessary as it evaporates.

* Remove lamb from oven when cooked, place in a warm place covered by a clean tea towel and allow it to rest for 30 minutes.

Gravy:

* Discard the vegetables from the pan and tip out any visible fat.

* Stir a couple of tablespoons of flour into what’s left in the bottom of the roasting dish.

* Add small amounts of water (preferably what you’ve been cooking other vegetables in), stir to mix after each addition until you’ve got enough.

Put pan on element over moderate heat, stir constantly until gravy thickens.

Here’s another recipe.

 


Rural round-up

May 19, 2013

Gisborne throws support behind MIE – Anne Calcinai:

The Meat Industry Excellence (MIE) group departed Gisborne this week with overwhelming support for change.

More than 150 farmers attended the meeting on Wednesday and became the fourth group to support the MIE group.

Farmers in Gisborne voted unanimously to support a mandate for change, based on the six principles outlined by MIE.

MIE executive chairman Richard Young said it was clear from the meeting farmers understood they needed to change their behaviour and that commitment to meat companies on a longer-term basis was essential. . .

Kahungunu takes giant step into farming:

 Chairman Ngahiwi Tomoana says, “Ngāti Kahungunu have taken the first step to diversify its interests from Fisheries to Farming.”

 The Kahungunu Asset Holding Company on behalf of its shareholder Ngāti Kahungunu Iwi Incorporated has completed a Sale and Purchase Agreement for the Tautane Station, owned by the Herrick family for over 120 years. The iwi is pleased to have been the successful bidder of this historic farm located south of Porangahau.

It is the first major real estate investment that the iwi has made and is a template for further land acquisitions. This is part of the iwi’s ‘gate to plate’ strategy to build on relationshps in the high end growing Asian market that’s demanding high quality food product direct from the producer to the supplier. Over two years the iwi has investigated orchards, dairy farms and other commercial properties, but Tautane meets all the iwi’s economic indicators covering environmental, social, educational, historical and cultural objectives. . .

Steak of Origin champions do it again:

Chris and Karren Biddles from Northland have been named Grand Champions in the 2013 Beef + Lamb New Zealand Steak of Origin competition.

After winning in 2007 and taking the Producer of the Decade title in 2012, the Te Kopuru couple have now taken out the 2013 grand prize with their Angus/Jersey beef sirloin entry.

The competition to find the country’s most tender and tasty steak, sponsored by Zoetis, culminated in the Grand Final at the Beef Expo in Feilding last night.

The 20 finalists were tasted by a panel of judges, comprising three leading chefs. Head judge and chef Graham Hawkes says the quality of the steak on show was exceptional. . .

New hope for new farmers:

FARMERS WHO have joined the Scottish industry in the 10 years since subsidy entitlements were set in historical stone can now claim a share of £2 million worth of extra funding from the Scottish Goverment.

Rural Affairs CabSec Richard Lochhead said this week: “It is crucial that we do all we can to help introduce new entrants to farming – they are fresh blood to the rural economy.”

But new entrants themselves, at risk of seeming ungrateful, pointed out that £2m, shared between the 1000-plus Scottish farmers currently excluded from the historical subsidy system, paled into insignificance next to the average SFP payment their neighbours received annually. . .

Dairy Boards don’t have standing to challenge pizza kits

Canada’s watchdog on cross-border trade says it can’t rule on a company importing pizza topping kits made with cheaper U.S. mozzarella, if the request for a ruling doesn’t come from another importer.

Canada’s 10 provincial dairy marketing boards, under the not-for-profit name BalanceCo, had sought a ruling from the Canadian International Trade Tribunal (CITT) during a appeal hearing last month in Ottawa, against imports of pre-packaged pizza toppings combining shredded mozzarella and sliced pepperoni from the U.S.

The packs were recently developed for import into Canada from the U.S. by J. Cheese Inc., an Ontario distributor, for a “particular customer” — namely the Toronto-based Pizza Pizza chain, which operates almost 700 Pizza Pizza and Pizza 73 outlets across Canada.

The packs are now classified for tariff purposes as a “food preparation” and thus aren’t subject to the tariff rate quotas (TRQs) imposed on dairy imports under Canada’s supply-managed dairy marketing system. . .

Canada prepares to target U.S. goods in COOL spat:

Canada will put forward a list of U.S. products it wants to target in retaliation for U.S. country-of-origin meat labels if last-minute changes to U.S. label regulations don’t prove satisfactory, Canadian officials said on Friday.

The dispute stems from a 2009 U.S. requirement that retail outlets put the country of origin on labels on meat and other products, a move the government said was in an effort to give U.S. consumers more information about their food.

Canada and Mexico complained that the mandatory country-of-origin labeling (COOL) rule caused a decline in U.S. imports of their cattle and pigs, and the World Trade Organization has ordered the United States to make changes by May 23. . .

Farmhouse succession – Paul Spackman:

It is a significant and symbolic step in the handing over of responsibility of any family farm business when a son or daughter takes over occupancy of the main farmhouse from their parents.

All too often, however, it is a process that hasn’t been planned well enough and is perhaps done hastily out of necessity, rather than as part of a considered succession plan.

This can strain family relationships and in some cases jeopardise the future viability of the business, especially if non-farming relatives have to be paid off and parts of the farm broken up or sold, says farm consultant Siân Bushell. . .

 

 

 


Rural round-up

March 12, 2013

2013 Glammies victor crowned:

Beating out over 180 entrants, Mangapoike Ltd, represented by Pat Sheriff from Gisborne, has been crowned the 2013 Glammies Grand Champion.

Their Composite lamb, processed at Silver Ferns Farm Takapau, took out the title at the final taste test, after being tasted next to 20 other finalists. 

The final was judged by Iron Maidens, Sarah Walker and Sophie Pascoe, food writer Lauraine Jacobs, Beef + Lamb ambassador chef Darren Wright and head judge and chef, Graham Hawkes. 

Hawkes noted the high level of quality this year, saying it was a step up from last year’s competition. . .

Drought conditions perfect for grape growers:

Grape growers say the hot, dry weather which is wreaking havoc for farmers could produce one of their highest quality yields in years.

Gisborne grower John Clarke who is also New Zealand Winegrowers deputy chair said Gisborne’s growers have been enjoying the highly favourable conditions.

Mr Clarke said the weather means there is no disease pressure and grapes which have been harvested in Gisborne in the last couple of weeks are displaying excellent flavours.

He said the weather conditions around the country have been favourable for wine and growers have their fingers crossed the vintage this year will be fantastic. . .

DOC, Green Taliban, everyone take note. Cows are good for the climate [must watch] – Whaleoil:

Antony Watts at Watts up with That? says

Imagine, shooting 40,000 elephants to prevent the land in Africa from going to desert because scientists thought the land couldn’t sustain them, only to find the effort was for naught and the idea as to why was totally wrong. That alone was a real eye opener. Every once in awhile, an idea comes along that makes you ask, “gee why hasn’t anybody seen this before?”. This one of those times. This video below is something I almost didn’t watch, because my concerns were triggered by a few key words in the beginning. … I want every one of you, no matter what side of the climate debate you live in, to watch this and experience that light bulb moment as I did. The key here is to understand that desertification is one of the real climate changes we are witnessing as opposed to some the predicted ones we often fight over.

I like to add my recommendation that this is a Must See video, no matter what you think about Climate Change currently. . .

Now that is interesting – Gravedodger:

Several blogs are embedding a video featuring a 23 min lecture part, of an hour full length effort on combating desertification by Allan Savory who in the early years of his study advocated culling elephant herds to combat desertification on the vulnerable fringes of the deserts of Africa.
He has now worked out what many graziers have known for years but has remained hidden due to an unpopular perception stance in great debates on denuding of soils contributing to degredation.

Most farmers I have encountered in over 60 years of life are basically environmentalists if only because they understand a poorly maintained machine will eventually fail often with devastating outcomes. Yes there are some tossers in farming, there is at least one in every bus. . .

BOP Dairy Awards Winners Progress:

Winning the 2013 Bay of Plenty Sharemilker/Equity Farmer of the Year title has proved a natural progression for Russell and Nadine Meade.

The couple won the2010 Bay of Plenty Farm Manager of the Year title and set about developing innovative and flexible investment opportunities to achieve farm business ownership.

Now 50% sharemilking 220 cows for Barbara Sullivan at Whakatane, the couple took home cash and prizes in winning the top prize worth $16,600 at the awards dinner held at the Awakeri Events Centre last night. . .

Organic certifier points to producers and consumers for double digit growth:

The latest organic market report launched on Wednesday (6th March) at Parliament confirms double digit growth of organics in New Zealand over the past 3 years and comes as great news for organic certifier BioGro, its certified producers and consumers.

The organic sector has grown 25 per cent in the past three years – from $275 million in 2009 to $350 million in 2012. The export and domestic market for New Zealand organic products has grown on average 8 per cent a year at a time of global recession.

BioGro’s CEO Dr Michelle Glogau says the report, funded by the organic sector umbrella group Organics Aotearoa New Zealand (OANZ) is a really positive sign of the increased demand for organics amongst consumers. ‘It supports the trends we are seeing with dramatic growth in certified wine and extension into health & body care products’. . .


Top man picks top lamb

March 13, 2012

Prime Minister John Key helped 2011 Supercross World Cup Champion Sarah Walker, 2012 Beef + Lamb New Zealand Ambassador Chef Ben Batterbury and Chief Judge & Invercargill chef Graham Hawkes pick the country’s top lamb.

The arduous job of judging the best of the 20 best barbequed lamb samples in Beef + Lamb’s annual Glammies  (Golden Lamb Awards) took place at the Upper Clutha A&P Show on Friday.

John Key & Graham Hawkes

Watching the competition unfold, Minister of Primary Industries, Hon David Carter says that this competition shows the high quality of our New Zealand lamb.

“In my own experience, judging the Glammies has to be one of the toughest tasks around.  Luckily it’s also one of the tastiest!  The high standard achieved here today proves once again the supreme quality of lamb produced by our farmers.  It’s also great to see that this year’s competition attracted a record number of entries.”

Lamb fans - PM John Key and David Carter

 

Don Morrison of Gore with their Growbulk lamb was named 2012 Beef + Lamb New Zealand Golden Lamb Awards Grand Champion, taking home a cheque for $2000, the Glammies Grand Champion Trophy and a magnum of Mt Difficulty Pinot Noir. The winners of each class received $500 and a bottle of Mt Difficulty Pinot Noir, and each finalist won a plaque showing their placing.

Countdown South Island was awarded the Champion Meat Retailer trophy and Alliance Mataura was named the winning processor.

The 2012 Golden Lamb Awards (aka Glammies), sponsored by Pfizer Animal Genetics, attracted a record 150 entries which all underwent testing at Carne Technologies. Factors such as tenderness, colour and succulence were tested to determine the top twenty finalists tasted in Wanaka.

The full results were:

Class 1 – Dual Purpose

  • 1st: Don Morrison, Gore (Growbulk) processed at Alliance Mataura
  • 2nd: Pete Swinburn & Bruce Isles, Waipukurau (Composite/Perendale) processed at Silver Fern Farms Takapau
  • 3rd: Patrick Sherriff, Gisborne (Perendale/Coopworth) processed at Silver Fern Farms Takapau
  • 4th: Roger & Allison Thomas, Tuatapere (Perendale Texel X/Perendale) processed at Silver Fern Farms Finegand

Class 2 – Dual Purpose X Terminal

  • 1st: James Crutchley, Palmerston (Texel Romney X/South Dorset Down) processed at Blue Sky Meats
  • 2nd: Hamish Pavey, Christchurch (Romney/Suffolk Texel) processed at Silver Fern Farms Fairton
  • 3rd: Robert & Rosemary Gardyne, Winton (Perendale Texel X) processed at Alliance Mataura
  • 4th: Colin Lockhart, Lawrence (Romney/Texel Suffolk) processed at Alliance Mataura

Class 3 – Composite/Crossbreed X Terminal

  • 1st: Sarah Rodie, Amberley (Texel X/Texel) processed at Harris Meats
  • 2nd: Graeme Dodd, Tuatapere (Texel Romney X/Texel) processed at Alliance Mataura
  • 3rd: Murray & Jan Wards, Gore (Textra/Textra Suffolk) processed at Alliance Mataura
  • 4th: Wendy & Leon Black, Riverton (Textra/Texel) processed at Alliance Mataura

Class 4 – Open

  • 1st: William Oliver, Te Kuiti (Perendale Romney X/Landlord Romney) processed at Silver Fern Farms Waitotara
  • 2nd: Graham Clarke, Gore (Romney/Romney) processed at Silver Fern Farms Finegand
  • 3rd: Brian Thomson, Mosgiel (Perendale/South Suffolk Texel) processed at Silver Fern Farms Finegand
  • 4th: Matt Wyeth, Masterton (Highlander/Primera) processed at Silver Fern Farms Takapau

Class 5 – Retail

  • 1st: Progressive Enterprises Ltd (Countdown South Island)
  • 2nd: Harris Meats, Cheviot (Murray Downs)
  • 3rd: Progressive Enterprises Ltd (Countdown South Island)
  • 4th: Harris Meats, Cheviot (Murray Downs)

 


Meating and greeting

March 11, 2012

Prime Minister John Key was at the 75th Upper Clutha A&P Show on Friday, meeting and greeting.

Or should that be meating?

He was one of the judges of the Glammies, Beef+Lamb NZ’s Golden Lamb Awards.

That resulted in him getting somewhat more than the daily requirement of iron:

“It’s hard to eat for your country but someone’s got to do it,” Mr Key said, as he primed his knife and fork to help BMX world champion Sarah Walker and chefs Graham Hawkes and Ben Batterbury judge the Glammies awards.

After the judging he and Waitaki MP Jacqui Dean joined some locals at our place for lunch.

He greeted me by saying he’d just eaten more than his own weight of lamb. Fortunately we were serving beef and chorizo* as well as lamb, cooked on our parilla.

When we first went to Argentina we fell in love with their parillas, the wood-fired barbeques on which they cooked delicious meat, pizzas and vegetables.

It’s taken 15 years, but we’ve finally got one ** – just in time for Friday’s lunch:

Waitaki MP Jacqui Dean & John Key

The meat was accompanied by green salad and tomatoes with basil. The second course was fresh strawberries and raspberries, meringues and Skinny Chocolate Brownie ***

* chorizo from Zamora

** Strictly speaking it’s a braai, the South African version of a South American parilla. We bought it from Kiwibraai, the company which imports them. Regardless of what you call it and where it comes from, the food cooked on it (so far) is delicious”.

*** Skinny Chocolate Raspberry Brownie

1 cup mashed raspberries

1/3 cup cocoa

3/4 cup self raising flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 cup sugar

chopped white or dark chocolate (optional).

Line a 20cm tin with baking paper.

Put raspberries in a bowl, add sifted cocoa, flour and baking soda then sugar (and chopped chocolate if using it).

Stir until just mixed – don’t over-stir or it will go tough. If it looks too dry add a wee bit more mashed raspberries.

Cook at 175 degrees for about 25 minutes – or until skewer comes out almost clean.

Remove from oven, cool in pan for 10 minutes then turn onto cooling rack.

When completely cool put on serving dish, decorate with fresh berries and/or grated chocolate or dust with icing sugar.

Could use other mashed or stewed fruit but raspberries are particularly good because you can taste them through the chocolate.

Adapted from Healthy Food Guide’s Chocolate Brownie. It uses apple puree instead of raspberries and adds walnuts.


%d bloggers like this: