The visit to a farm is never a complete experience without tasting/cooking with some of the produce from the farm. This is always my rule no.1 and it’s the same for every farm we visited. Later last year, we toured the Prado Alpaca farm and learnt all the “need-to-know’ stuffs about alpaca from the fleece to the meat. Perry, the owner of the business, mentioned that the alpaca meat should either be cooked very quickly or very slowly to maintain the level of liquid and the tenderness. The two recipes today are super easy for anyone to make at home but can make the dish worth tasting.
w/ pan toasted pecan nut, deep fried shallots, capers and Japanese Kewpie Mayo
250 g Alpaca back-strap
50g Pecan nut (Pan toasted)
1 pinch Deep fried shallots
Sea salt, pepper and truffle oil
1. Freeze the alpaca backstrap for 10 – 15 minutes until slightly hard on the outside. Slice the meat to 3 mm thin and place around the plate as a circle.
2. Cover the meat with a piece of cling wrap and pound it to 1 mm thin and it now should all come to the center as one big round piece. Flip the meat over and place on the plate.
3. Toast the pecan nut in a pan and spread it over the meat, while randomly sprinkle some capers and deep fried shallots.
4. Crack plenty of pepper, sea salt over the meat and drizzle a touch of good truffle oil.
5. Top with Kewpie mayo to serve.
The alpaca meat was extremely clean on the palate. Although served raw and cold, the meat had no game taste at all and the tasting experience was quite pleasant. The meat was not only melt-in-your-mouth, but also was very tasty and flavourful. The deep fried shallots and pecan nuts provided extra crunchiness to the meat while the flavour of nut was fully incorporated into each bite, leaving layered complexity in the mouth. The Kewpie finished the dish nicely with some sourness and creamy texture to complete the meat. The alpaca itself was crisp and was just as brilliant as a good piece of beef fillet steak. It was pink in color without any unpleasant smell. Isn’t it wonderful!
Tataki is a Japanese way of cooking and serving raw meat. I’ve used this method for my toothfish dish.
250 g Alpaca backstrap
1 tbsp Soy sauce
1 tbsp Mirin
1. Cut the back strap into stick shaped stripes and sear in a pan for 20 seconds each side (4 sides in total) until the meat has turned white.
2. In a saucepan, mix the soy sauce and mirin and bring the mixture to boil.
3. Slice the meat into 5-6 cm thick pieces and align them in the plate. Spoon over the cooled sauce from 2. and top with celery leaves.
This dish was extremely easy to make and any home cooks should be able to get it done perfectly. The reason for using this sauce was that it was slightly salty and sweet with no other flavours. This, in a way, let the cleanness and the plain flavour of alpaca to be dominant at this dish. Believe me or not, it was definitely worth venturing into. Flavour, flavour and flavour is all I can say about this dish. If it is a blind tasting, I am sure I will not be able to tell what meat it is. 🙂
If you want to experience alpaca meat at home, they can be purchased from Something Wild. Restaurants across Adelaide are also experimenting with the meat and I hope to see the meat in menus soon.
The next post will be on some of my recent food adventures, which will just be perfect for Easter! Stay Tuned. 🙂