in the pink: Grilled lamb ribeye with a cauliflower purée.
in the pink: Grilled lamb ribeye with a cauliflower purée.
IN A STEW: Penne pasta  with lamb ragu.
IN A STEW: Penne pasta with lamb ragu.
WHAT A CHOP: Fried Karoo Dorper lamb  chop with a broccoli sauce.
WHAT A CHOP: Fried Karoo Dorper lamb chop with a broccoli sauce.
MEATY TREAT: Lamb rump and green peas come to Carne SA in July.
MEATY TREAT: Lamb rump and green peas come to Carne SA in July.
COMBO: The crumbed Karoo Dorper lamb chop pairs well with a Steenberg Merlot.
COMBO: The crumbed Karoo Dorper lamb chop pairs well with a Steenberg Merlot.
People who love their meat will know there’s very little you need to do to a great cut of lamb if you want to get the best out of it.

This might seem a simplistic approach but it’s the best, and a cooking skill Chef Nava has perfected.

Karoo lamb takes centre stage at Carne eateries in July and it’s a special worth booking for and enjoying.

Carne SA and Carne on Kloof have a fine menu of meat dishes throughout the year but with the dedication to Karoo lamb this month, they are serving up a treat.

The special July menu comprises a choice of six prime cuts and a hearty lamb ragu pasta alongside his regular à la carte menu.

At a preview dinner, guests were served a few of the dishes and Chef Nava didn’t disappoint.

The highlight on the menu is without doubt the grilled lamb neck served with brussel sprouts. Never has lamb neck been the star of a dish in quite the way is when grilled at Carne.

It would have been almost expected that the lamb necks would be diced and thrown into a stew, boiled and then plated - but not here. The meat is so flavourful when grilled, and the perfect pairing of Brussels sprouts makes it a treat for any meat eater.

It’s also inspiring what Chef Nava has done with the humble lamb chop. The fried Karoo Dorper lchop served with broccoli sauce is a triumph. Once you roll a chop in batter and fry it, the expectation would be an oily piece of meat - but not on this menu. The lamb is tender and juicy, and crumbed it makes it a great starter dish if you’re going to have a three-course lamb meal.

Ribeye is a special cut of meat and during July, it will be served with cauliflower purée and grilled to perfection. Of course diners can choose how they prefer the meat served, but in the expert hands at Carne, I suggest you place your ribeye order and leave it up to the chef to decide.

An indulgence at Carne that is happily avoided is to overuse garlic. It’s an easy mistake to make when creating meat dishes. Chef Nava actually pointed out to guests that he avoids using too much garlic (or any seasoning for that matter) because he wants you to enjoy your meat, taste it and remember it.

The lamb rump with green peas is a classic and a guaranteed crowd pleaser, especially if there is an undecided meat lover at the table.

The meat portions are between 250-300g and with each cut there is a unique preparation.

The penne pasta with lamb ragu and vegetables is one such dish. The ragu is cooked for 10 hours and a good bottle of Chardonnay keeps the meat moist.

The vegetables are cooked with the meat for about four hours. It’s this attention to detail that makes the ragu wonderfully flavourful.

Emerging from the kitchen, Chef Nava chatted about his own cattle and livestock, sharing experiences and jokes about farm life.

It’s clear he is a chef who has been doing farm to table before it became trendy. Chef Nava doesn’t disappoint with his Karoo lamb menu: Try it in July.