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Lamb


stefanyb
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I just returned from Strip House (NYC) where I had ordered rack of lamb and received, to share, six lamb riblets that were crusted in breadcrumbs and mustard but were otherwise essentially raw and cold.  Now, I like my meat rare, when I eat it (which is rarely, ha ha).  My question is at what point in rareness is lamb too rare?   I'm not referring to personal preference.  I'm referring to Escoffieresque correctness.

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I think if you are serving meat to the general public, it has to reach a certain temperature in the centre to be safe.

I will have a scout around to see if I can find the exact temperature.

Without a doubt, you want the heat to have penertrated all the way through the meat in order that it doesn't taste cold and flabby.

Did you send it back?

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I know of no reason why lamb shouldn't be as safe to eat as raw as beef in carpaccio and tartar. I've had beef sashimi in Japan. It may be possible for some avant-garde chef to decide to offer a raw lamb dish. I've been told by French chefs that I prefer my steaks and lamb chops too rare and that the flavor develops when the meat is cooked just a little bit more. Beef tartar is a favorite of one of these chefs. Raw and rare are two separate things.

Were these lamb riblets meant to be raw or rare? The problem with "Escoffieresque correctness" is that much of it has gone out the window. A millefeuille need no longer contain puff pastry and any layered dish will claim the name. Three leaves will suffice.

The idea of safe temperatures for restaurants and those serving the public is interesting and rather abstract. In parts of the US, it's illegal to serve rare or medium rare hamburgers and soft boiled or sunnyside up eggs. It's a capitulation to the acceptance that the food supply is contaminated.

The current Gourmet magazine, criticized in other threads, has a recipes for poached foie gras. Laurent Manrique, the chef, stops his cooking at an internal temperature of 125° allowing the foe gras to reach 140° in the poaching liquid. Gourmet notes that the USDA guidelines call for a higher temperature.

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This rack of lamb was not meant to be anything but roasted to a particular doneness.  When I ordered it rare I certainly didn't want it cold.  This restaurant, though very good, is a steakhouse with a  predominantly conservative menu.  They definitely didn't intend for this lamb to be  raw but I was doubting myself because I ordered it rare and wondered if thats what I got, at least in someone's mind.  BTW, I returned 4 of the six chops and had them cooked more and believe it or not they didn't get ruined.

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I think you're probably looking at a kitchen error here. Unless they tell you in advance that meat is to be served raw, it should be hot and obviously cooked on the outside.

A chef would have to be remarkedly misguided as to the tastes of American diners to serve them raw lamb unannounced.

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  • 1 year later...

if your going to cook meat to the temperature of rare, it's always a good idea to let it sit out on the counter for a bit. just until the chill has come off it.

- your meat will be rare without being cold in the middle

- it will cook more evenly.

- going from extreme cold to extreme heat can make a piece of meat tough

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I've always thought that the temperature standards for lamb are a teeny bit higher than for beef -- something about the structure of the meat, maybe? That is, roast beef is rare at 120º, but lamb should be at 125º for the same degree of doneness. Maybe the kitchen just applied the same standards to the lamb as they would for beef.

In any case, I could eat a black-and-blue steak, but I like my lamb done somewhere slightly redder than medium rare. Tastes better to me that way, and has a better texture.

USDA guidelines? Feh! They'd have us all eating shoe leather. Don't they trust their farmers to raise animals safely? ... Umm, maybe it's right that they don't. :rolleyes:

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I wonder ifit was an error. When I ordered my steak black and blue at The Strip House, it was properly charred on the outside, and cold and raw right in the center. Some steakhouses, at least, do this deliberately. I have ordered steak blue, and been told by waiters, "You realise, sir, it will be cold and raw in the center."

Now, I am not saying this is appropiate for lamb. I don't much fancy it. But there is a chance that the Strip House will intentionally serve lamb that way if the request is "rare".

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if your going to cook meat to the temperature of rare, it's always a good idea to let it sit out on the counter for a bit.  just until the chill has come off it.

- your meat will be rare without being cold in the middle

- it will cook more evenly.  

- going from extreme cold to extreme heat can make a piece of meat tough

Resting is what its all about for rareness in Lamb

Edit..i read that wrong....rest before sounds good anyway, but i ment resting afterwards

Edited by Basildog (log)
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Speaking of lamb has anyone tried the icelandic lamb that was in NYC recently.?

I bought my racks of lamb at Whole Foods, not a store known for the quality

of it"s meat. However I wanted to try the icelandic lamb after an article in the

times was so rhapsodic. It was great, didn't look great, very lean, it should

have been tough , it wasn't it was tender, great flavor, delicate and not gamy.

I spoke to the meat manager and he told me that the season for it is over and

he won't get any more till next fall.

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Speaking of lamb has anyone tried the icelandic lamb that was in NYC recently.?

I bought my racks of lamb at Whole Foods, not a store known for the quality

of it"s meat.  However I wanted to try the icelandic lamb after an article in the

times  was so rhapsodic.  It was great, didn't look great, very  lean, it should

have been tough , it wasn't it was tender, great flavor, delicate and not gamy.

I spoke to the meat manager and  he told me that the season for it is over and

he won't get any more till next fall.

You know, Laura, I saw that Icelandic lamb at Whole Foods and made the erroneous assumption that since New Zealand lamb is tasteless, it would be too. Why I thought that would be logical is anyone's guess. Also, subliminally I kept hearing this strong male voice saying American Lamb is the best. I guess advertising does work.

Well, I ended up buying a boned leg of lamb and making my own lamburgers by dicing the meat very finely and lightly forming it into patties adding salt and spices and pan grilling. Not bad at all. Its amazing how good high quality, simply prepared food at home can be; its so often better than restaurants.

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