Trio work magic with lamb, from paddock to plate

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Binnu butcher-turned-farmer Evan Hall debones a lamb while celebrity chef Theo Kalogeracos looks on.
Camera IconBinnu butcher-turned-farmer Evan Hall debones a lamb while celebrity chef Theo Kalogeracos looks on. Credit: Cally Dupe

Two cockies, two lamb carcases and one celebrity chef with a penchant for pizza.

It sounds like the start of a bad joke, but it was recipe for success at last week’s McIntosh & Son Mingenew Midwest Expo’s Paddock to Plate section.

Watheroo farmer Brad Millsteed, who coined the hashtag #cockylikestocook, and Binnu butcher-turned-farmer Evan Reynolds put on three cooking shows during the first day of the Expo.

The pair were joined by celebrity chef Theo Kalogeracos, known as “The Golden Greek” in his weekly radio segment on ABC Regional Drive.

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Together, they cooked two 15-month-old lamb carcases fresh from the farm, opting for a handful of different cooking styles.

Binnu butcher-turned-farmer Evan Hall.
Camera IconBinnu butcher-turned-farmer Evan Hall. Credit: Pictures: Cally Dupe, Cally Dupe

“The idea was to do things totally differently than everyday cooking,” Mr Reynolds said.

“A lot of guys cut their own meat up but learning the finer points can make it a easier and a bit more palatable.

“Farmers usually cut up shoulders into chops, loins into chops and then have two leg roasts.

Together, the trio used the first mid-loin for backstraps cooked with a chimichurri sauce. They also tunnel-boned the legs to make a carved leg of lamb.

The second carcase was cut into a mid-loin rack of lamb before it was sliced into cutlets, which were crumbed and cooked on stage.

There was plenty of friendly ribbing during the presentation, with Mr Millsteed regularly referring to Mr Reynolds’ “fat wallet” and successful farming operation at east of Binnu.

Mr Millsteed said he was pleasantly surprised by the interest from an international guest he said “coyly” asked him what a paddock was. “Other people don’t relate to what we do on farm, so I was very happy to answer the question,” he said.

Mr Millsteed also used time in the spotlight to encourage the public to be more open about mental health, encouraging farmers to “talk to a mate”.

The Watheroo grain and sheep farmer first started using the Twitter hashtag #cockylikestocook four years ago and is well-known mental health advocate.

“I want other farmers to realise it is not unmanly to be able to cook for those you love,” Mr Millsteed said.

“This is my hobby and my switch-off from farming.”

Originally from the city, Mr Kalogeracos — who owns Theo & Co Pizzeria in Leederville — said he loved seeing the audience’s reaction to the cooking demonstration.

The group used butchering gear from Getaway Outdoors in Geraldton.

“It was really good to have a lamb broken down in front of us,” Mr Kalogeracos said.

“The audience was fantastic, they loved it.

“In the city we talk about farmer’s markets, using the nose to tail, all this bulls.... But this was the whole beast.

“There was respect for the animal, no waste.”

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