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Lamb lovers survey


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... However, I recently discoverd that the local Food 4 Less carries lamb shoulder neck slices on a regular basis, and at excellent prices, and that this cut really lends itself to braised/pressure-cooked stews, so I expect to be indulging in the stuff on a more regular basis...

I'm in the same boat. Most of the lamb we get lately has been the sliced shoulder cuts when on sale. Even the shanks that I was getting with regularity just 5 or so years ago seem to have gone up in price. No matter- those shoulder slices work just fine when I'm in the mood to cook Indian. I trim off the fattiest parts, but not too much, and put the rest into my versions of rogan josh, lamb with spinach, etc., bones and all. I love the results I get and they really are easy to use.

Every now and then we do get a sale on those boneless leg of lamb jobbies with the netting and all that. The meat is fine but personally I don't think they work too well as a roast (they leave all that connective tissue on the inside after boning it)and I always threaten to cut it into chunks for grilling but my wife won't hear of it. So I usually make do by shmearing the outside with garlic, herbs, lemon zest and all that, and grilling the whole thing to medium rare. The slices aren't perfect but not too bad for eating on a budget.

I do eat a lot of lamb now, but it took me a while. I seem to recall a breakthrough moment at a restaurant when I was 17 or 18 where it was served medium rare. The stuff I grew up with was absolutely nothing like that and I could never understand what everybody was always making such a fuss over. They really did cook the living daylights out of it in those days and all the marinating and stuffing of garlic cloves in the world could not help at all. My mom has since changed her ways but still- at family functions like Easter it has to be done the way everybody else likes it. Oh well...

aka Michael

Chi mangia bene, vive bene!

"...And bring us the finest food you've got, stuffed with the second finest."

"Excellent, sir. Lobster stuffed with tacos."

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I love lamb! It's my favourite red meat. I particularly fond of slow-braised cubed shoulder or shanks, but I'm up for any kind of cut. I'm lucky that my wife and son share my love for lamb.

We have really good domestic lamb here in Sweden, but despite this, it's hard to find a good selection of cuts in the supermarket. You'll have to go to a good butcher to find cuts such as shoulder or shanks. Now and then I also get really good frozen lamb from NZ in middle eastern or indian stores.

Christofer Kanljung

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I am another lamb lover--in fact, one of my early childhood foodie memories revolves around lamb. When I was about seven, my parents took me to a fancy restaurant called "The Rabbit Hill Inn," which is in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont. The only thing I remember about that meal was that I had lamb and absolutely loved it.

Also, every Easter we have a roasted leg of lamb for dinner. We prepare it by poking holes all over the leg, and stuffing each hole with a sliver of garlic and a shard of lemon zest (I believe this technique is called "lardooning.") We then slather the whole thing with olive oil and fresh herbs, and roast until rare. We pour the pan drippings over pasta (recently I've been doing homemade lemon pepper linguine) and feast! We often serve some type of asparagus dish on the side, and always, always finish off the meal with a lemon cheesecake.

I am lucky enough to reside in Burlington, Vermont, where "eating local" is a way of life for many. This year I was able to purchase a share of organic lamb (30 lbs.) from a local farm--very exciting. Unlike others in this survey, I actually think that the fat of the lamb is the best part--lamb fat is sexy food!

Owner of Salt in Montpelier, VT

www.saltcafevt.com

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With my dad in the sheepskin business, I ate a lot of lamb growing up.  I never realized how little most people ate until I was in college.  I read that annual per capita lamb consumption in the US is only 2 pounds, meaning that I'm eating 20 or 30 people's share each year.  :laugh:

Lamb ribs are the most underappreciated cut of meat in the world, when prepared well, there is nothing I'd rather eat.

I grew up eating it because my mother's from here:    Lambtown USA

Funny, my dad was part owner of Superior Farms in Dixon. I spent a fair amount of time there even though we lived in Seattle.

I bought some lamb riblets from Supior Farms today. I parboiled them and then we grilled them - absolutely delicious!

The package said Davis instead of Dixon, though. I wonder why?

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Dear Hungry for Knowledge,

Never spent much time in the NE Kingdom of VT, but I grew up in the SE Kingdom (Putney, Brattleboro) and spent most of '78 to '85 happily in Burlington (party shack on Pine Street).

Would love to eat chez you for Easter--your lamb lardooning sounds like it would get me swooning. I miss Vermont and I agree with you that "lamb fat is sexy food!"

I see you have only 2 posts on eGullet so far. I enjoyed this one and look forward to seeing more...

Jennifer Brizzi

Author of "Ravenous," a food column for Ulster Publishing (Woodstock Times, Kingston Times, Dutchess Beat etc.) and the food blog "Tripe Soup"

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Love it! But then, that's practically a requirement round these parts.

Lamb is my favourite of all red meats, and even hogget (older) and mutton (oldest) aren't to be sniffed at, though definitely stronger in taste.

The unfortunate thing is, NZ exports so much lamb to everywhere else, it's disproportionately expensive here. You'd think in a country with 1 gazillion sheep, it'd be the cheapest meat around. Alas.

So we compromise and force dad to BBQ a leg when we go to visit. Juicy meat with sticky, crispy skin and unctuous melted fatty goodness - and bones to gnaw on. Win!

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Lamb was not served in my family growing up. I tried to make it once, but did NOT like the results - IIRC, it was the "gaminess" factor.

But I do want to give it another try... can someone suggest a cut and prep/cooking method for a lamb newbie? I definitely like my beef rare, so I imagine I would like lamb rare or medium rare.

Thanks for your help!

Edited by eJulia (log)

"Anybody can make you enjoy the first bite of a dish, but only a real chef can make you enjoy the last.”

Francois Minot

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I'd think lamb would be one of the better suited meat animals to raise in Israel - better than beef, for instance.  Is beef even more expensive?  If not, why is lamb so expensive? 

Sorry for all the question marks.  You'd think I'd just bought a bunch on sale, wouldn't you?    :biggrin:

I am happy to answer.

The lamb industry is a monopoly here. The Sharon family (a.k.a. our Prime Minister) controls the industry. They have a very large sheep farm in the Negev. So, imports our controlled and that makes lamb very expensive. The other problem is that only certain cuts are considered Kosher. For example, it is very hard to find Kosher leg of lamb because a nerve (forgot the name in English) has to be removed in order for a leg of lamb to be Kosher. It is possible to do, but it is quite labor intensive and, therefore, leg of lamb is very expensive.

Most of the beef here in Israel is imported from Argentina and Uruguay. Beef costs less here than in the States. At least according to the prices I saw for Kosher beef in Atlanta.

It is possible to buy non-Kosher beef here, but I do not know the prices.

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I love Lamb and this week my local market took pity on us and have shanks for $5.99 instead of $6.99 a lb. I need a new recipe for them. Any ideas?

Bruce Frigard

Quality control Taster, Château D'Eau Winery

"Free time is the engine of ingenuity, creativity and innovation"

111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321

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It's great to see how many people love lamb here at egullet. In one fairly recent thread for D.C., Del, VA & MD residents, a number of members were posting praise of the Icelandic lamb which I also see received mention here.

The Icelandic leg of lamb (sirloin half; amazing prepared as way above sans lemon) was the first I ever prepared and I intend to do it again since the leftovers were wonderful simply sliced in a sandwich, mixed in with lots of other complementary things flavored with sumac, or used down to the bone in Scotch broth with leeks stewed first in butter and white wine.

While I do not have a recommendation for shanks, since it's fall, I urge you to pick up Paula Wolfert's The Cooking of the Eastern Mediterranean, probably my favorite of the author's cookbooks. The Macedonian Lamb Stew Smothered in Spinach Leaves uses lamb shoulder. Glorious. Very next page: Autumn lamb stew with winter squash, lemon and mint which I also recommend.

Edited by Pontormo (log)

"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

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:wub: lamb

Not something my mother ever made. I didn't eat lamb until I was in my 20s, at a Middle Eastern shish kabob kind of place. This post reminds me we haven't had lamb for a while.

There's one Chinese place that we go to that serves lamb, I get the one with hoisin sauce. But it's only one Chinese place out of many in Boston that has lamb on the menu. It's sliced thin and stir fried, similiar to beef.

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I love Lamb and this week my local market took pity on us and have shanks for $5.99 instead of $6.99 a lb. I need a new recipe for them. Any ideas?

One of my favorite ways to prepare shanks by browning them and cooking in a Bolognese Sauce a la Osso Bucco which is properly made with veal but I prefer the lamb. Serve with Polenta seasoned with fresh herbs and good Parmesan.

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I love Lamb and this week my local market took pity on us and have shanks for $5.99 instead of $6.99 a lb. I need a new recipe for them. Any ideas?

What would be new to you?

One of my favorite lamb stews calls for shanks browned with onions and garlic, then stewed in broth with diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, potatoes, herbs I can't remember offhand (probably rosemary and thyme), Worcestershire sauce, and probably a few other things I've missed. The recipe title is Wyoming lamb stew, a fave from the only Taste of Home publication I've kept. The shanks go to fall-off-the-bone tender, and while this seems like pretty classic hearty American fare to me (instead of new interesting Moroccan treatment, for instance) it's very very good. If this doesn't sound too old-hat to you, and you want more info, PM me. Even the lamb-dislikers in my family have liked this.

What about a lamb carbonnade treatment, with a nice rich stout and some good blackstrap and vinegar to balance it? I haven't tried this with lamb, but it's a fine treatment of beef. Might lend itself well to the shanks.

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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Leftover slices of grilled leg of lamb, if not devoured hastily by refrigerator light, can be deep-fried to make homemade shwarma kebabs. Yum.

For those who don't like lamb, a gentle introduction might be something like the roast my friend Kelly made a couple of weeks ago. Her secret is long cooking in one of those oven bags, resulting in something like a lamb pot roast. She seemed a bit shameful in admitting to use of oven bags, but then I told her about sous vide. :)

Obviously we have a lot of lamb here in Australia. Sunday dinner roasts accompanied by pumpkin, potatoes, etc. roasted in the lamb pan are a big thing here. Roast lamb or chops are excellent when served with Fergus Henderson's 'green sauce', a melange of finely-minced herbs (parsley, mint, dill, hint of tarragon), capers, anchovies, and garlic. We also use a Chez Panisse recipe which involves marinating a leg of lamb in onions, evoo, and white wine overnight. One can also get bony 'chump chops' here quite cheaply. I tend to use these in stews and braises, as I think they are too bony for plating up as a chop, though they can certainly be grilled and gnawed at.

Oddly, most people have no problems with lamb here, but a few of my lady friends will not eat pork (strictly for reasons of flavour, etc., and not due to any religious practice). I think the pork here is less mild and more 'porky' in flavour than in the US.

As a semi-related side note, Australians tend to have smaller fridges than Americans do, for a variety of reasons...I think (and kind of hope) one is that people tend to shop more often because they use more fresh ingredients. If you have a small fridge and need to marinate or brine something large like a roast, do what we do and clean well one of your crisper drawers, then use it as the brining vessel.

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OK, I'll confess, I only scanned this topic as I'm in a hurry,

so forgive me if it's been discussed. It's a stupid question,

actually. What's a good way to use lamb sausages? I'm

planning to put them in a pasta with diced tomates, garlic,

onions and 'shrooms. Any other way I should consider?

Thanks!

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Sounds good, especially the mushrooms. Use lots of garlic.

Sliced and mixed with rice (or orzo, Carrot Top would say) and same vegetables would be nice, too, especially if you broiled or oven-roasted the tomatoes and mushrooms. Couscous. Pilaf.

Also consult recipes for lamb stew. The complementary ingredients would work equally well with lamb sausage.

Lamb sausage on a bed of red cabbage with mashed potatoes on the side...or vice versa.

Cooked plainly with sides such as:

Roasted potatoes with garlic and rosemary.

Saute'ed [how do you format accent marks, folks?] broccoli rabe with plenty of lemon juice or saute'ed spinach.

Spinach loves lamb. Lamb loves spinach.

"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

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i too love lamb. but the significant other says it makes the house smell "wooly" (?!)

:blink:

so i wait for him to go on vacation or something, and then eat lamb every night--with garlic, lemon juice, a nice olive oil, or as souvlaki, or as rare chops :wub: with rosemary, feta, fennel seed, black olives... (drifts off into lamb reverie :smile: )

"The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears, or the ocean."

--Isak Dinesen

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Lamb was not served in my family growing up.  I tried to make it once, but did NOT like the results - IIRC, it was the "gaminess" factor.

But I do want to give it another try... can someone suggest a cut and prep/cooking method for a lamb newbie?  I definitely like my beef rare, so I imagine I would like lamb rare or medium rare.[...]

Yes, I agree that you'd want your lamb to be a little pink as well.

What makes lamb "gamy" is the fat. When my father cooks lamb, he cuts off all visible fat. The meat tastes great but has no gaminess whatsoever and could almost be mistaken for really good beef. My father usually makes uses the lamb in Indian dishes, where the masala (spices) gives it even more flavor.

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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Lamb was not served in my family growing up.  I tried to make it once, but did NOT like the results - IIRC, it was the "gaminess" factor.

But I do want to give it another try... can someone suggest a cut and prep/cooking method for a lamb newbie?  I definitely like my beef rare, so I imagine I would like lamb rare or medium rare.[...]

For medium or rare, I go for the rib chops (as Swisskaese mentioned, it's hard to get a varierty of kosher lamb cuts, so somebody may be able to provide another good cut for you). Always go for '1st cut' chops - less 'gaminess' by far. My favorite (and easy) way to do them is grill them. I usually have a homemade salad dressing in my fridge that I use to marinate the chops. Fresh garlic, salt and black pepper, olive oil, fresh lemon juice, splash of red wine vinegar and some oregano. Toss them around in the morning before work and grill them briefly when I get home.

Second prep. of lamb in my house is shanks (this is not a rare dish). Salt and pepper and browned in olive oil. Add red wine, tomato paste, fresh garlic, fresh sprigs of thyme, salt, pepper. Simmer on very low for a couple of hours until the meat falls off the bone. Add a beurre manie (flour/butter or margarine paste) to thicken slightly. I usually make this a complete dinner by adding some mushrooms, carrots and pearl onions about halfway through the cooking.

Lamb is also good with sweet/fruit. Last week I slow cooked lamb with sweet potatoes, squash, onions, apricots and raisins, cinnamon and ginger.

You can do so much with it!

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Have you tried marinades?  I don't mean the kind that mask the flavor ("It's great! You can't taste the meat at all!  :laugh: ) but the kind that can draw out the gaminess.  My favorite is a nearly all-purpose marinade of oil, lemon juice, chopped onions, parsley, garlic, salt, pepper, thyme, probably a few other things I'm forgetting. Meat marinaded in that and then grilled as in kabobs, or skillet-fried and worked into a pilaf, never tastes gamey to me.  (I can post the recipe if it sounds appealing to you.)  It seems a shame to cook something you won't eat yourself, if there might be treatments you'd like.

I would really love it if you'd post the recipe. If I can get my paws on some pretty chops I'd definitely be open to trying it.

Here you go! I posted the recipe, with more narrative than it probably deserves, here on RecipeGullet. This treatment really did change my mind about a lot of meats. I hope you try it - and more, that you like the result!

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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OK, I'll confess, I only scanned this topic as I'm in a hurry,

so forgive me if it's been discussed. It's a stupid question,

actually. What's a good way to use lamb sausages? I'm

planning to put them in a pasta with diced tomates, garlic,

onions and 'shrooms. Any other way I should consider?

Thanks!

Cassoulet -- clickety click.

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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I love lamb. However, for some strange reason, I have never tried to cook it myself.

Well, what ails you? :biggrin: C'mon in, the water's fine, and you've a lot of lamb lovers here to help you swim, so to speak. Any particular cuts or dishes you like better than others?

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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