The Dining Room at The Lord Milner Hotel has been serving its guests for the last 120 years.
These days—using local ingredients sourced from the district—Head Chef Tronette Dippenaar creates contemporary takes on traditional South African dishes; including a variety of lamb dishes, using Laingsburg Lamb.
We caught up with Tronette to ask her what makes Laingsburg Lamb so unique.
"In the normal rainy season almost 100 per cent of all lambs are being marketed at the same time as the ewes. This means the lambs are between 3 and 5 months."
Why is this good?
The lambs don't experience stress while still with the ewes. The lambs are healthy, with a strong immune systems and are in peak condition; with the result of the meat being more tender.
The meat has the renowned “Karooveld” taste, because the lambs are kept directly in their natural grazing environment.
Tell us a little bit about the farming community?
Laingsburg town and region lies in a low rainfall area that only gets 75 to 100mm per year. The Karooveld is sweet and reacts quickly to any rainfall. The town lies between the summer and winter rainfall boundary. For this reason the sheep do not have to travel from farm to farm, which results in less stress and sufficient grazing fields.
The source of Laingsburg lamb, the “Karooveld” has successfully being managed for many generations and delivers the tastiest lamb.
What dishes do you create with it?
I do a selection of Laingsburg Lamb dishes. To name a few:
Grilled Laingsburg lamb chops, served with a pea and mint purée, ratatouille vegetables, creamed potatoes, lamb jus; Slow-braised rolled lamb shoulder, Parmesan white polenta, roasted vegetables; Traditional roasted leg of lamb, roast potatoes, seasonal vegetables; Braised Laingsburg lamb shank, mashed potatoes, roast vegetables; Karoo lamb curry, steamed rice, sambals; Laingsburg lamb pie, beetroot salad and curried carrot salad.
The possibilities with this amazing product are endless…
What other great local ingredients do you use?
We started a vegetable and herb garden in the community where I go and fetch fresh vegetables and herbs weekly. We guide them in planting the vegetables that are in season and whatever I buy from them, the money gets put back into the garden for new seeds and equipment.
Also a big part of the Karoo is the prickly pear. When in season I make the most of this wonderful fruit. From jam, syrups, marmalade and chutney which I use on the menu, but also sell in the farm stall.
All sounds delicious, thank you Tronette!
Join us in The Dining Room to experience one-of-a-kind produce—true to the Karoo.
What’s your favourite lamb dish? Let us know in the comments.