"You don't have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces - just good food from fresh ingredients." - Julia Child

Watch "The Heart of the Country"

Pick & Crumble Peaches

Small Farms Disappeared

Rub, Marinade & Roast Lamb

Forbes Lamb, is produced by farmers, on the pristine plains of Lachlan Valley, in farms that have been in Forbes families for generations. Lamb, one of Australia's favourite meats, is the meat of sheep in their first year. Forbes lamb is free range. At two to four months, lambs are weaned from their mother and placed into pasture, where they are are fed on legumes, rye and other grasses.

Forbes is prime lamb country with over eighty per cent of the Forbes Local Government Area designated Important Grazing Land. In 2013, there were over 300 sheep farms in Forbes, turning over greater than $22 million and employing around 1,000 people.

Lambs are very adaptable to the different terrains of Forbes and live in hilly country and on the flatter plains. Hooves enable lambs to live in the rocky outcrop farmlands, in addition to the smoother pastures. The fleece of a lamb keeps them cool in summer and warm in winter, allowing them to graze across country, while being exposed to the elements.

Sheep grazing country is also Gray kangaroo country. In Forbes the Gray Kangaroo co- habits the farmland with sheep, Gray Kangaroos tower up to 7 feet tall and 130 pounds in weight. Kangaroos are foliovores and travel up to 12 kilometres in a day looking for tasty foliage. It is common for visitors to see kangaroos bounding through sheep country looking for feed.

Farmers make a significant contribution to the quality of the meat with pasture management. Pasture management involves managing access to feed throughout the year. In spring, farmers make hay for summer and autumn, by drying grass and packaging it into a bale. Farmers and their sheep dogs, move the sheep around paddocks all year long to ensure there is optimum access to feed.

The weather, the soil and the range of grasses and other feed, will all have a dramatic impact on the quality and taste of meat. One type of lamb that has particular distinctive flavor is Saltbush lamb, lambs that graze on the Australian native, Oldman Saltbush, also known as atriplex plants. Lambs grazed on Old Man Saltbush are noted for a more succulent and tender meat.

Aging of the meat can also improve the eating quality. Aging is a process that makes the meat more tender, by breaking down muscle fibres through naturally occurring enzymes.

Health benefits of lamb

Iron in lamb enhances your concentration and sustains your energy, it carries oxygen to the muscles for energy and keeps our brains in peak performance such as memory and concentration.

Vitamin B12 in lamb is great for the nervous system.

Lamb helps those who are watching their weight, while iron helps them with sustaining their energy and the protein helps with growing bodies. As lamb is also tender and moist, it can be used in no fat cooking. Half of the fat in lamb is monounsaturated.

Catch, Cook & Eat Yabbies

There are many popular cuts of lamb to choose from

Lamb is classified into three types of meat, the forequarter (the neck, shoulder, front legs and ribs up the shoulder blade). The hindquarter includes rear legs and hip. The loin, which is the rib, which separates the forequarter and the hindquarter.

  • Lamb chops are cut from the rib, loin and shoulder areas
  • The leg of lamb is the whole leg
  • A rack of lamb is from the ribs
  • Lamb shank is a cut from the upper part of the leg or shoulder

Visitors to Forbes can take home their favourite cut of lamb in vacuum packed containers. Vacuum packed lamb can store your lamb safely in the fridge for 6 to 8 weeks, frozen lamb can be kept from from 2 to 6 months. The Forbes local butchers sell vacuum seal packs for people travelling with fridges and eskys.

There is no better taste of lamb than the one you cook yourself on a campfire roast lamb on the banks of the Lachlan River.

Visitors to Forbes can purchase a camp oven for roasting lamb at the Forbes Visitor Information Centre and purchase Forbes lamb with local rubs and marinades, at the local butchers.

Here is a guide to making your own camp oven lamb roast.

The first thing you need to do is light a fire.

Put your vegetables at the bottom of the camp oven, and add oil.

Rub and marinade the lamb using the traditional family recipes sold through the local butchers.

To roast a lamb in a camp fire dig a hole big enough to fit your camp oven with space around it to place glowing coals from your fire, using a long handle shovel. Make sure the coal bed is at least 8 cm thick, and ensure it circles round the camp oven and cover the lid.

A protective rim of dirt shovelled around your camp fire will protect it from any breezes.

It takes about two hours to roast a lamb in the camp oven. If its not done after two hours ensure you have enough burning coals to keep the camp oven going.