Quick question about lamb (buying)
As some of you may recall, I work as a waiter. My restaurant actually gets a lot of fresh produce and animal meats, we always feature fresh fish and base our specials around what we have. For Easter we had a lamb special, but not all of it sold so about 8lbs of lamb (looks like a mid sized backpack) is being kept in the freezer. I asked our chef if he had plans of making another special based around it and he said not really or not anytime soon and also he wasn't sure what he was going to do with it. Also, I think the lamb is from last year, it has just been kept frozen, it was probably allowed to thaw out and now it's being frozen again. He told me he'd sell it to me for $30. I have no idea what part of the lamb it is, but I can ask him.
a) is this a good deal? I've only bought lamb once at Whole (inmypocket) Foods and I think it was like $8 for two filets of about 6oz each or something like that. It would be $30 for exactly 7.8lbs
b) my mom has always said if you let meat thaw out it's not wise to freeze it again, it must be consumed or it will go bad, anybody know about this? I don't buy directly from a butcher but I know some of you do, maybe you can ask?
c) I've read you can freeze meat for a few years, but after a year should I still go for it?
I'm not sure how long it would take me to go through it, it's pretty massive so I would probably cut about half or a quarter of it for this week and keep the rest frozen. I can try to slice it up and buy freeze lock bags to avoid having to constantly thaw it out.
Lastly, preparation, the only time I made lamb I stir fried it quickly because I'm lazy and I haven't yet tried ANY slow cooking, my mom though is likely to do it, we have this Peruvian dish called "seco de (animal of choice)" and I think it would taste amazing with lamb, as it's usually prepared with goat. Search for "seco de cabrito" and you will find recipes to try for yourself. Is lamb a meat better done slow cooked? I found that it tasted fine in a quick stir fry but it might do better with slow cooking.
Is this a score or a bust?
This isn't a very high price for lamb, but I'm sure local and fresher (frozen immediately after slaughter and not thawed yet, and from this year instead of last) would be better.
I still have some lamb in my deep freeze from over a year ago, and it seems okay, but I plan to get everything more organized once it's gone, so nothing stays there that long.
You can look on this site (Local Harvest) to see if any small farms near you sell local grassfed lamb. Ideal is to find an individual or a family who have a few head of sheep and would sell you a whole lamb, cut and frozen, each year. Luckily enough, I've found two, and one of them also sells me some grassfed beef (they raise ONE CALF a year for their own family, and sell some of the extra.) She promised me some pastured pork next year, as well.
If you can find a few people like this, they will swiftly become some of your favorite friends, and you will wonder why you ever bought conventional CAFO meat at all.