Lamb is amazing. And if you can’t pinpoint the last time you enjoyed a plate of this tender, versatile, and healthy meat…well, then it’s been way too long.
Lucky for you, it’s lamb season! And we’re taking orders now to set you up with a supply of delicious meat that will last…well, probably not all the way until next year because it’s way too delicious for that, but with our locally-raised half and whole lamb options, you’ll be able to stock up on a selection of cuts (butchered to your specifications!), as well as ground lamb. (Lamb burgers, anyone?)
But first, let’s review some lamb Fast Facts:
- You’re probably not eating enough of it. Americans eat less than one pound of lamb per person per year (0.7 pounds, to be exact). This is a travesty! New Zealanders, on the other hand, eat 57 pounds per person each year—they know that lamb is where it’s at!
- One three ounce serving of lamb contains just under half of your daily vitamin B12 requirement. Oh, and that same serving will also provide you with vitamins B6, B3, B2, and B5. That’s a lot of essential vitamins in one serving, so “B” healthy and eat some lamb! (I’m sorry. I couldn’t resist. That was a terrible pun.)
- Lamb is also a great source for Omega-3 fatty acids. These are the fats found in fish that may reduce inflammation and fight cancer and heart disease, among other awesome benefits. If you aren’t a huge fish fan, lamb is a great alternative: it has 50% of the omega-3s found in a serving of tuna.
- Lamb is a red meat so it’s full of iron, protein, and can be served medium rare. It’s also one of the best sources available for conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which has been shown to influence things like immune function, blood sugar regulation, and weight loss.
- Lamb’s distinctive taste is courtesy of its fat and branched-chain fatty acids, a type of fatty acid that beef, for example, doesn’t possess. Lamb can also taste different depending on where it’s sourced from. Lambs from New Zealand, for example, eat grass for their whole life, which results in increased levels of branched chain fatty acids and a gamier taste. American lambs, on the other hand, eat grass but are often grain-finished, meaning they eat grain for the last 30 days of their life, which gives the meat a much milder flavor.
Wondering what, exactly, a whole lamb includes? We’ve got you covered with this list of possible cuts:
- Lamb Shanks: Perfect for slow cooking, this cut comes from both the foreshanks and handshanks.
- Shoulder Chop: Also known as arm and blade chops, shoulder chops require less cooking time than other cuts, making them a great weeknight meal option.
- Rack of Lamb: Want to impressive someone? A platter adorned with a juicy, mouthwatering rack of lamb will have your guests asking where you went to culinary school. (But shhh, it’s actually really easy to prepare at home! Check out this video to learn how.)
- Boneless Leg of Lamb: Typically weighing 7-8 pounds and one of the leanest lamb cuts, leg of lamb is extremely versatile. Roast it whole, trim it into smaller roasts, make kabobs…this cut has a LOT of possibilities.
- Bone-In Leg of Lamb: The bone-in aspect gives this cut a little added flair that makes it perfect for a special occasion.
- Sirloin Chop: These come from the leg, making them one of the larger chops. You can tell them apart from shoulder and loin chops due to their size and the small crosscut section of leg bone within the meat.
- Loin Chop: Typically 3-4 ounces, these chops are lean, tender, and distinguished by the “T” shaped bone within the meat.
- Ground Lamb: While ground lamb can replace ground beef in many recipes, you’ll also find many recipes that highlight the distinctive flavor of ground lamb.
- Ribs: Lamb spareribs are a delicious alternative to pork in your favorite BBQ recipe.
Still not sure what you’ll do with either a half or whole lamb? We’ve got suggestions!
These Lamb Chops Sizzled with Garlic from Food & Wine are a go-to favorite of ours.
Lamb is a staple in Mediterranean diets and pairs well with herbs like mint, basil, oregano, thyme, and rosemary, as well as spices like cumin, coriander, turmeric, and curry. Get creative with your flavor pairings!
While Easter lamb with mint jelly is a classic holiday dish, lamb is so delicious, healthy, and versatile that you will want to make it a staple on your table all year long. Reserve your lamb here and then start googling recipes!