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Teach me about Lamb

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  • Teach me about Lamb

    I'm in the upper midwest. If we see sheep it's on TV. I love love love ordering it at restaurants but have no idea how to buy or prepare it. I need some tips. Please, throw some knowledge on my ignorant self. Help me help myself.

  • #2
    I get tiny lamb chops at the meat counter and rub it with salt, garlic, rosemary and olive oil all ground together. Then I broil it, only a few minutes on each side. Crack the door to your oven open, otherwise it will catch on fire (experience speaking, here.) Google some Chef Ramsey YouTube videos on making lamb. It's not that difficult!

    For what it's worth, "lamb" does not mean "baby sheep" at the meat counter. "Lamb" and "mutton" are designations of the animal's size. That usually corresponds with age, but not necessarily. Mutton tends to be tougher and needs to be slow cooked in a crock pot or in the oven. Use wine or something to cut the gamey taste.
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    • #3
      Shoulder of lamb. Order a decent sized whole shoulder. With a fine knife cut a clove of garlic into thin matchsticks. Get a sprig of rosemary.

      Use the knife to make holes in the lamb quite deep. Each time you make a hole, put a matchstick of garlic and a few "needles" of the rosemary into the hoe pushing right in so they don't really show. Do this to both the top side and underside.

      Next, put the lamb in a roasting tin which fits it quite snugly - i.e. without a great big gap all round. (If you have more rosemary, put 2 more sprigs under the lamb. It will help the flavour). Put the roasting tin into an oven heated to full heat.

      Give the lamb 30 minutes at full heat, then open the oven and pour about 2 cups of boiling water into the roasting tin (carefully - it will steam up a lot) then close the door and turn the heat down to 160C, 320F. Leave the lamb for another 2 - 2.5 hours. Keep checking every 45 minutes and if it is getting dry, add another cup of boiling water.

      By this stage, the smell should be totally delectable and the lamb should be fork tender. Serve, using the juices to make a gravy - I use arrowroot mixed in a little water to add to the juice which I then stir around until it has thickened.

      I don't carve in thin slices - it is too tender, but will cut into lovely chunks OK with a good sharp knife!

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      • #4
        I love lamb. My grandparents would get half a lamb every year and fix leg of lamb on Easter and one other holiday when I was growing up. My grandfather would put garlic in it as was mentioned above. I've never prepared it as he did but it always came out juicy and nice.
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        • #5
          Huge lamb lover, we would have leg of lamb at Easter too. For me, you can't have lamb without mint jelly, anyone have a good idea how to get that mint flavor without the sugar?
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          • #6
            My grandmother would use fresh mint from her garden to make a mint sauce that was awesome. I've never liked mint jelly.
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            • #7
              I need to brush up on some recipes and such.. decided to get some to raise next year. I do not care for traditional lamb with the mint jelly but am interested in the middle east spices and ways to prepare it. We have a Lebanese restaurant in town thats lamb IS TO DIE FOR!
              Karin


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              • #8
                i know a little mexican restaurant that serves lamb barbacoa fairly frequently. OH DAMN is it tasty. They serve it with chickpeas & this awesome green sauce that i just can't figure out - i think it's a mixture of avocado and tomatillo. Anyway, i didn't realize until i'd eaten it a few times that it is actually the lamb's HEAD meat. Man. You just can't imagine how tasty it is. If you have any not too gringo mexican restaurants in your town, you oughtta look for it on the menu.

                sorry i don't know how to cook any lamb other than the little chops. My husband is not a huge fan & it always seems expensive anyway. will watch thiis thread for more recipes.

                i like middle east spices too.

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                • #9
                  yum.. barbacoa is so tasty!!!
                  Karin


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                  • #10
                    I made this last weekend, it was beyond delicious, and incredibly easy:
                    Date Night Recipe: Slow-Roasted Turkish Lamb Stew | Apartment Therapy The Kitchn
                    I added a little water with the green beans because I was worried about it being too dry. Don't let the lack of spices deter you, it was really flavorful!
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                    • #11
                      I love the idea of a huge chunk of leg or something but realistically - I'm making it just for me. MAYBE one other person. In that case - maybe lamb chops are a better option. Or ground lamb?

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Kenzington View Post
                        I love the idea of a huge chunk of leg or something but realistically - I'm making it just for me. MAYBE one other person. In that case - maybe lamb chops are a better option. Or ground lamb?
                        A joint of lamb - quite a small joint - will make 2 good servings when first roasted, then with the leftovers, you should get a moussaka (google recipes and use chopped cooked lamb instead of lamb mince) and also a shepherds pie . Then you have the bones to make a stock, so you can make a vegetable soup and put any last remaining bits of the lamb in that.

                        Which makes a joint way more economical than chops - which are just about the most expensive way of buying lamb that there is! (I do love chops - but only get them when I buy a whole lamb portioned up for the freezer).

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                        • #13
                          ground lamb isn't as expensive as chops, IIRC. I got some on my last us wellness meats order & just made patties from them. Boring i know. But it was just for me, i get to keep it REAL simple when husband is out of town traveling.

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                          • #14
                            Are you supposed to buy organic lamb or something, like you would buy 100% grass fed beef, or are regular cuts okay?
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                            • #15
                              I don't know about other places, but here in the UK lambs just live in fields and eats grass. If your lucky, they have access to roaming on moorland and so eat heather and wild thyme etc giving an amazing flavour.

                              I believe New Zealand lamb is also naturally grown and eats grass. Certainly that is what we are told about the frozen NZ lamb that shows up her so often! I don't think they are suitable for intensive raising (is any animal, really?)

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