TE MANA LAMB™ is the premium range of the New Zealand group, Alliance, one of the world’s largest lamb producers and owned by more than 4000 family-farms.
TE MANA means prestige and authority in Maori and it is regarded as ‘food from heaven’. TE MANA LAMB™ is the combination of the finest breed, New Zealand’s unique and diverse landscape, state-of-the-art farming practices and a secret feed – chicory! TE MANA LAMB™ allows rules to be broken so as to be ready to experience lamb like you have never tasted before.
Uncovering a unique fat profile
TE MANA LAMB™ is the result of a happy incident and the culmination of a decade’s research and development. A small group of likeminded farmers were trying to develop a breed of sheep that was better adapted to the rigours of high country farming. Fat was being stripped out by the industry but fat was required for the animal’s welfare. They needed a super sheep, so over 500 genetic lines were tested and one ram stood out from the rest– Ram 211. He was the patriarch of the programme and the product of more than 10 years of natural selection. This splendid beast had the propensity to accumulate a different type of fat, an intramuscular fat, significantly higher in omega-3 with Wagyu beef‐style marbling. TE MANA LAMB™ was initially designed to cope with the demanding climatic conditions of the high country of New Zealand’s South Island, characterised as it is by extremes of heat and cold.
Only 16 founding farmers raising the lambs
TE MANA LAMB™ is raised in New Zealand’s iconic hill and high country and only 16 committed founding farmers were carefully chosen to raise these animals on their remote South Island.
Thirty days finishing on chicory pastures
TE MANA LAMB™ is born and raised at high altitude on the pastoral land of the South Island on a mixture of pastures. Stock is then moved down to lower, gently rolling pastures where the sheep graze on delicious chicory. It’s during these last thirty days feasting on the specifically grown chicory herb crops that the higher levels of Omega-3 and polyunsaturated fats are produced. Whilst the elevated omega fat trait is genetically inherited in this new breed of sheep, the finishing of the lambs on chicory is what allows the livestock to supercharge its accumulation.
The good fat is back…altering the texture, taste and cooking techniques
The combination of the finest breed, New Zealand’s unique and diverse landscape, the finishing on chicory and a 21-day aging process results in an entirely new lamb taste experience with outstanding succulence, tenderness and flavour.
TE MANA LAMB™ stands out from ordinary lamb for its succulent and delicate lamb flavour, but with an underlying richness conveyed by its flavoursome fat marbling. Its colour is deep pink through to light red, whilst its fresh, lighter-bodied texture is conveyed by its unique higher, but lighter micro-marbled omega fats. The finish is remarkably delicate and clean on the palate.
Because of its unique composition, TE MANA LAMB™ doesn’t behave like regular lamb during preparation and cooking. It is more versatile, allowing you to create like never before. You will find TE MANA LAMB™ retains its shape and texture better, is less prone to cooking shrinkage and more forgiving of over‑enthusiastic cooking! The benefit to you is the delivery of consistently high quality, original dishes.
As TE MANA LAMB™ contains naturally-occurring healthy polyunsaturated omega 3 fats it is a very healthy option to put on your menus. Omega fats have been shown to have a beneficial effect on cardiac health and also play an important role in brain development and function. We now know that the right combination of genetics, management and feeding can alter the fat profile of lamb and that this produces not only healthy animals but animals that provide a healthier product for the end consumer.
Already the winner of major food awards
After winning the Innovation in Food and Beverage category at the New Zealand Innovation Awards in 2017, TE MANA LAMB™ was back on the podium in October 2018 for the New Zealand Food Safety Primary Sector Products and Frozen categories at the New Zealand Food Awards, which showcases the best of New Zealand’s food and beverage industry.
Peter Russell, General Manager Marketing, Alliance said: “TE MANA LAMB™ is now commanding a premium in key markets and the feedback from chefs has been outstanding. The development of this innovative product is the result of a collective effort between the co-operative and dedicated and visionary farmers, supported by the government. TE MANA LAMB™ has also reinforced New Zealand’s position as the home of the world’s best lamb. This lamb has been a major draw card for a new generation of foodies and entirely new consumer segments and markets that previously weren’t interested in or had lapsed consumption of lamb.”
What the chefs think about TE MANA LAMB™
TE MANA LAMB™ open completely new culinary territories and enable chefs to create mouth-watering and surprising dishes. Adam Rickett, Head Chef at Euro Restaurant & Bar in Auckand has created a lamb tartare with sheep yoghurt, rye bread & maillard powder. He says: “I never dreamed you could make a dish like this with lamb – the flavour is incredibly subtle”.
Corbus Klopper, Group Executive Chef at Ostro Brasserie & Bar is also amazed by the unique characteristics of TE MANA LAMB™. “It’s an exciting challenge to have something new to create with.” His creativity led to the creation of a succulent dish: Slow braised oyster cut lamb shoulder with mint & Greek yoghurt.
Three lucky chefs from the UK were part of the first edition of the Antipocurean Series. The Antipocurean Movement was established by Alliance Group to expose New Zealand produce and its provenance to the world. The first edition of the Antipocurean Series took place in the South island of New Zealand from the 9th - 15th April 2018. Alliance invited UK chefs, Simon Hulstone (The Elephant restaurant), Renee Miller (Mere restaurant) and Michael Wignall (Chef Patron at Angel Inn in Hetton) to discover TE MANA LAMB™. The UK chefs experienced first-hand the passion of their farmers, the provenance and terroir of the country and the unique flavours and textures all this creates in TE MANA LAMB™. This is what Michael concludes about TE MANA LAMB™: “We have gone for 30 years outbreeding the fatty things and all of a sudden you have something super lean that doesn’t taste of anything and is hard to cook with. So it makes sense to put that fat back into it”.