5@5 - Shepherd Craig Rogers
February 11th, 2011
05:00 PM ET
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5@5 is a daily, food-related list from chefs, writers, political pundits, musicians, actors, and all manner of opinionated people from around the globe.

Craig Rogers wants to know: are ewe a fan of lamb?

Rogers is the shepherd and owner of Border Spring Farms in Patrick Springs, Virginia, where he raises and sells “Certified Naturally Grown" and "Animal Welfare Approved" lamb and sheep to local chefs like Josh Smith and Bryan Voltaggio.

Chew the cud with him, ya herd?

Five Reasons to Eat American Lamb: Craig Rogers

1. February is Lamb Lovers Month
"It’s a time when romance brings many to indulge in a Valentine’s Day dinner and nothing says 'I love ewe' like the rosy red, succulent, and über-tender rack of lamb or a rib chop with the long, graceful and sexy bones that no other meat can claim.

It’s also a time in which shepherds across the America could use a 'thank ewe' or some sign of appreciation for the humble work they do to bring food to your table. Shepherds from the high desert of the Northwest to the Great Plains and all the way to the pastures of the Blue Ridge are now in the throes of the annual ritual of 'lambing,' meaning spring lambs are being born. Shepherds are hard at work to bring to you the freshest, tastiest and best cared for meat. It’s simply lambtastic!"

2. It is 10,000 miles fresher than imported lamb
"American lamb farmers are in every state of our United States. Fresh lamb is often available from family farmers close to home but even if you buy American lamb at a grocery store you know that it never had to be packed and shipped over an ocean. American farmers take pride in providing families with the highest quality and freshest meat possible.

When searching for the freshest and finest quality meats, you can go to a local farm and see the pastures the animals graze, and see how they are cared for. Farmers take pride in their craft and enjoying sharing the experience with others. So if possible, honor the farmer down the road by buying their lamb, or support your county by looking for lamb from the farms you know nearby, or take pride in your state by looking for lamb that is grown on the grasses you know right at home. But, in the very least, no matter where you are, show some love for American shepherds by buying lamb that says 'American.' This simple gesture will say 'Thank Ewe' to your American shepherd.

No one produces better lamb that the grasses of America, just ask the most decorated chefs in American like Eric Ripert, Sean Brock, Donald Link, John Currence, Linton Hopkins, Nick Stefanelli and many more. They know that American lamb is 'baaaad to the bone.'"

3. Lean on lamb
"An average portion of lamb is approximately 175 calories. Lamb is also low in cholesterol and is a great foundation to a heart healthy diet. Case in point, as part of a deluxe spa package at Primland Resort in Meadows of Dan, Virginia, you can enjoy a lamb burger as a part of their lean and healthy lunch offering. That’s the kind of spa food I’m talking about. So whether you desire a lamb chop fresh from the grill or a leg roast for a family dinner, you know your family is getting lean, heart healthy meat grown right here in the 'lamb of the free.'"

4. Love meat tender
"As Elvis would say, 'Love meat tender, love meat sweet.' Lamb is exceptionally tender no matter what cut you pick. There is no such thing as a 'tough cut.' A beautiful rack or loin chop should melt in your mouth. You can keep the steak knives in the drawer for beef night."

5. American lamb is elegant yet easy to prepare
"Lamb has flavor that has been lost in so many American meats. Because lamb has such flavor, all you really need to do is sprinkle salt and pepper on it and throw it on the backyard grill for a few minutes until medium rare. Just try ground lamb next time you make a burger and you will go from backyard grill master to serious culinary chef. Or better yet, smoke some lamb ribs, just as you would beef or pork ribs, for a special treat. Put a lamb chop (shoulder, rib, loin, sirloin or leg) on the grill and strut your stuff as BBQ master.

During these winter months, it’s nice to make shepherds pie or meatloaf with American lamb and you’ll find it’s that easy to make something satisfying and special. Or, you can toss some lamb shanks into a crock pot before heading off to work with some stock, potatoes and vegetables and you will be greeted upon your return home by amazing aromas and a fantastic, ready-made meal.

For the more adventuresome, add some harissa and common spices to make your own merguez sausage and be transported to northern Africa. Or, perhaps take a boneless shoulder or leg, cut into chunks, and make a stunning curry."

Do you or would you eat lamb? Why or why not? Flock to the comment section.

Is there someone you'd like to see in the hot seat? Let us know in the comments below and if we agree, we'll do our best to chase 'em down.

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Filed under: 5@5 • Environment • Food Politics • Local Food • News • Sustainability • Think


soundoff (87 Responses)
  1. Former Flocker

    When mom made it I would eat it without a second thought. Loved the flavor & love the texture the whole 9 yards. Never learned to like mint jelly tho'. She made it with whole cloved of garlic and never enough rosemary – but it was deeee-lish!!.

    However, the last time I had it in a restaurant, it was gamey and nasty and it turned me off. Haven't had it since.

    February 14, 2011 at 9:29 am | Reply
  2. simonc

    There seems to be some confusion about the age at which lambs are slaughtered. A sheep's meat is called lamb until the sheep is a year old then it becomes mutton (or hogget if from a male). Lambs are rarely, if ever, slaughtered before they are weaned and are typically six to nine months old when killed.

    Over here in the UK (I live in the English Lake District), the comments here seem a bit odd. I don't know of anyone who doesn't like the taste of lamb, though some only eat the leaner leg meat. Mutton is being rediscovered because some actually prefer the stronger flavour being decried here. One local farmer used to hang his carcasses for 21 days to make it taste even stronger.

    I think in the US, most people have forgotten about lamb because beef is so ubiquitous. I really urge the doubters to try lamb – its flavour can be wonderful (particularly if the sheep have eaten mountain herbs or grazed on salt marshes).

    February 13, 2011 at 4:52 am | Reply
  3. victor

    Where do you buy American lamb in Sacramento, CA?

    February 13, 2011 at 2:36 am | Reply
    • CuriousJames

      Here's a few links I found. Didn't test them but I hope they help.

      http://www.eatwild.com/products/california.html

      http://local.yahoo.com/CA/Sacramento/Food+Dining/Natural+Organic+Foods

      http://www.taylorsmarket.com

      February 13, 2011 at 4:35 am | Reply
  4. chucksheen

    Lamb is great. Its one of the only meats that doesn't need any marinades or special spices. Has a special flavor all its own. Not a peta fan in fact I despise them but have had heard many horror stories about how lamb is raised. Oh well, good eats I just hope that are raised in a humane way. And not all cuts are that tender. I've bought shoulder chops that have that great taste but alot of fat and grisle. Wish I had something better to do at 2:00 am in the morning than respond to this post.

    February 13, 2011 at 2:09 am | Reply
  5. CuriousJames

    Just found out my favorite local Asian market sells lamb and goat meat. Hallelujah! I've come to the realization that many 'ethnic' food stores – whether they be Asian, Hispanic, Indian, etc. – actually cater to many different ethnicities. The attraction being far less expensive items you wouldn't generally find down at the local SaveMart. It's too bad that lamb, mutton, goat, rabbit, turtle, game, offal, and other meats have nearly disappeared from many American dinner tables. Previous generations did not eat these things "because they didn't have anything else to eat". They did, however, eat EVERYTHING delicious available to them. Today's kids (and many adults too) have a frighteningly pathetic myopic view of food, nutrition, and culture.

    February 13, 2011 at 1:56 am | Reply
  6. lovin some lamb

    I love lamb. Especially in indian food! lamb saag is the best. I really don't know why people would not like lamb. I mean meat is meat if it is raised to be eaten then there is no problem eating it. It is very tender meat and healthy! yummy... wish it wasn't so expensive or I would cook it often at home

    February 13, 2011 at 12:45 am | Reply
  7. phil

    Lamb tastes like crap...you gotta mask that gross taste with something else.Its just something for the snooty rich wannabees to eat..

    February 13, 2011 at 12:43 am | Reply
    • Ruth

      No it's not. Lamb i's eaten by people in places so poor they could never afford the acreage or amount of grain to support larger livestock. You won't find cattle in Iraq, Afghanistan, India (hell it's against their religion to eat beef), Iran, etc. A little further east and people start eating water buffalo. And lamb is eaten by people who immigrated here from those places.

      February 13, 2011 at 7:01 pm | Reply
      • Shepherd

        Ruth, you are so correct. Lamb is one of the only meats that has no religious exclusions. It was raised by the most humble of professions in biblical times, shepherds, and continues to be a humble meat. The US is the only country that does not eat lamb (only 1 lb per person per year on average).

        February 13, 2011 at 8:10 pm | Reply
  8. gary levine

    On behalf of lambs worldwide: Eat vegetables and leave us alone. Thank you.

    February 13, 2011 at 12:34 am | Reply
    • Wzrd1

      No can do. Please ignore the knife, it doesn't concern you...

      February 13, 2011 at 12:39 am | Reply
      • phil

        You are the typical human...you think an animal enjoys being raised and then sent to have his throat slit and can do nothing about it.Have you ever been to a slaughterhouse?But its ok as long as some fat greasy humans can stuff thier fat faces...i can only imagine what your fat as$ looks like!

        February 13, 2011 at 12:49 am | Reply
    • Laaaaaaammmbb Luver

      Reply from Lamb Luvers Worldwide (LLW): No. We won't.
      (...at least, not until lamb-shanks grow on shrubberies.)

      February 13, 2011 at 1:09 am | Reply
  9. Three Dog Mama

    I love leg of lamb! Lamb chops are quite small, but the boneless leg is wonderful. I just cut up an onion, slice some holes in the lamb, and stuff the onion pieces in each hole and cook. Tastes great!

    February 13, 2011 at 12:22 am | Reply
    • Wzrd1

      NO! Not JUST onions!
      Onions, garlic and tomato (IF it's muttony). :)
      My wife loves to slaughter a good piece of meat with a buttload of lemon pepper...

      February 13, 2011 at 12:45 am | Reply
  10. sunshine

    As a person raised on a livestock farm, I can tell you that baby animals (including lambs and calves) bond very closely to their mothers, and vice versa. Mothers will bawl for days when their babies are taken away too soon, and vice versa; it is the most unnatural horror you will ever hear. Or if the babies are taken away right at birth then they never get one minute of knowing the lick and feel of their own mother, and it is traumatizing for both. This is nothing but extreme inhumane treatment. I have fewer problems with people eating meat when the animals are old enough to be naturally weaned from their mothers (usually about a year old for a calf), and then humanely killed. So think about this when you see veal or lamb offered, and request something else instead. I can tell you first hand that these animals are deeply sensitive and love life.

    February 13, 2011 at 12:21 am | Reply
    • Tia

      Please stop applying human emotions to animals. If you feel that way, feel free to eat the fruits and vegetables. Surely you don't care that they were alive and thriving before being plucked so you could stuff them in your face. And is it only the baby animals that you don't like? It's ok to raise a cow up and then slaughter it once it's an adult and no longer cute in your opinion?

      February 13, 2011 at 1:05 am | Reply
      • Ruth

        I lived right next door to a farmer with a flock of sheep among his other livestock. I raised a couple myself one year for 4H. I can reassure you that "lamb" is usually sold and eaten at a year old. I don't know why it's called lamb and not mutton. But they are usually weaned before they are eaten so don't sweat it.

        February 13, 2011 at 6:58 pm | Reply
    • Shepherd

      I suggest everyone look for the Animal Welfare Approved label on all of their meats. It is an independent third party label that audits each farm and slaughter house every year with the highest standards in the business.

      February 13, 2011 at 8:07 pm | Reply
  11. trixen

    Lamb's awesome. He's right that it doesn't need anything more than a little salt and pepper. I would go as far as to say it doesn't even need that.

    February 13, 2011 at 12:15 am | Reply
    • Laaaaaaammmbb Luver

      I must disagree...mint sause is mandatory!

      February 13, 2011 at 12:28 am | Reply
    • Wzrd1

      Now, now. Rosemary is good on the lamb too.
      And if ANYONE tries to smear mint jelly around my leg of lamb, they might get hit with that leg!

      February 13, 2011 at 12:40 am | Reply
      • Laaaaaaammmbb Luver

        An appropriate response to mint jelly! English mint sauce only, otherwise, something else for dinner!

        February 13, 2011 at 12:59 am | Reply
  12. BillK

    When I was a young boy I would visit my grandmother who lived outside San Francisco. She had been 6 years old when the Great Quake struck that city. Anyway, she always roasted a leg of lamb and it was amazing. She would roast carrots and potatoes along with the lamb and we would sit down to an amazingly excellent meal. She also cooked red Cabbage German Style and served celery root salad. Every once in awhile I stroll by the grocery stores meat section and cringe at the price of a leg of lamb.

    February 13, 2011 at 12:04 am | Reply
    • Laaaaaaammmbb Luver

      In the good olde days in England, lamb was cheaper than beef! S'truth, mate!
      (...still, the taste is worth it!)

      February 13, 2011 at 12:09 am | Reply
  13. notforme

    Having lived for a time in both Australia and New Zealand, I had ample opportunity to eat lamb. I tried numerous times, but have never liked it, it has a rangy flavor (my opinion only!) that just screams LAMB!! I can't get past the flavor, no matter how tender it is. Something about the flavor makes me shudder, and not in a good way :/ Granted, born and raised in the US, where lamb is nowhere near as commonly eaten as in the UK, OZ or NZ. I never once ate nor was exposed to lamb until my late 20s, and not in my own country. However, it is not just people from the states. I know a number of Russians who feel the same way.

    February 12, 2011 at 11:52 pm | Reply
    • Laaaaaaammmbb Luver

      Lucky that you lived Downunder for at time! Pity that lamb doesn't do it for ya!
      ...there's always the T-bone fallback tho..(but that's off-topic!) ;)

      February 13, 2011 at 12:07 am | Reply
  14. Lawrence E

    If you eat baby animals you're a piece of .... .

    February 12, 2011 at 11:48 pm | Reply
    • Laaaaaaammmbb Luver

      Oh now, Lawrence E,
      >> "If you eat baby animals you're a piece of .... ." << ...what? ...pork?!
      Since the Age of the Dinosaurs, ***CARNIVORES RULE***
      Feel free to indulge in tofu if you like, but spare the petty (non)-insults.

      February 13, 2011 at 12:02 am | Reply
  15. Laaaaaaammmbb Luver

    When I was a young lad in England, Sunday lamb roast was the traditional feast and
    I can assure you, there's NOTHING like freshly-frozen New Zealand Lamb! That green
    wrap guarantees a succulent meal–sorry local farmers, fresh lamb just doesn't taste right!
    (..and I won't even mention that Australian variety!) Must have something to do with those
    lush NZ pastures!

    February 12, 2011 at 11:34 pm | Reply
  16. inyourhead00

    We have many traditional meals with lamb, but I personally hate the taste of it.

    February 12, 2011 at 11:16 pm | Reply
  17. Veda

    I love lamb. I just can't find it in my grocery stores, and only find the imported kinds @ big box stores, and that's more $/per lb than I'd care to spend.

    February 12, 2011 at 11:10 pm | Reply
    • Jim

      Our town has a Middle Eastern grocery with a meat counter. They have the best, freshest lamb I have ever seen. The prices are a little higher than at the big box stores, but the quality is much better. Also, for those of you who are looking for different ways to cook lamb, I suggest "The New Book of Middle Eastern Food" by Claudia Roden. I got my copy from Amazon in about a week. Cheers!

      February 13, 2011 at 2:22 am | Reply
  18. jmlivingston

    Our family loves lamb, doesn't matter how it's prepared. Rack, chop, leg (either with mint or a dry Moroccan style rub), or ground lamb with middle eastern seasonings stuffed into pita bread with tatziki and rice pilaf. Yum!!!!!

    February 12, 2011 at 10:59 pm | Reply
    • jmlivingston

      Almost forgot one! I don't prepare this one myself, only eating it at restaurants.... but Baghali Pollo which is a shank on a bed of rice with lots of dill.

      February 12, 2011 at 11:02 pm | Reply
  19. Alfuso

    I grew up in Boston eating lamb and very much enjoy it. Especially in a Gyro. But I didn't read here of lamb steak. Had one at a Pub in London and it was the best lamb I have ever eaten. However, lamb seems to be a rare dish here in Florida (unless you are near the Greek community of Tarpon Springs.). My husband grew up in Florida and never ate lamb and he can't stand the flavour. Is it a regional acquired taste?

    February 12, 2011 at 10:56 pm | Reply
    • KIm

      I think a lot of it depends on availability and what meals your parents are familiar with preparing. Having never had lamb until recently, I've discovered that it's one of my all-time favorite meats. I order it whenever possible, and buy it when it's on sale at Publix.

      PS: I'm also in Florida, originally from Fort Myers. I don't remember my mom or dad cooking it when I was a kid.

      February 12, 2011 at 11:53 pm | Reply
  20. askantik

    While avoiding the ridiculous banter that is Ravi Upadhyay, I will say that one reason not to eat lamb is because the lamb you eat would preferred to have remained alive. There's really no reason to eat animal products. We don't need them to be healthy– in fact, in many cases, they are unhealthy. They are inefficient compared to eat legumes, grains, nuts, seeds, etc. By inefficient, I mean both generally in a trophic dynamics kind of way, and specifically as far as greenhouse gas emissions, desertification, soil erosion, and fecal coliform in our waterways.... and considering that we feed almost half of the plants we grow to livestock.

    February 12, 2011 at 10:51 pm | Reply
    • Tia

      I'm sure the fruits and vegetables you eat would have preferred to remain alive in the ground or on the tree they were growing on but that didn't stop you, now did it? If you don't like meat, don't eat it - it's not like that lamb, or cow, or pig had plans for the future.

      February 13, 2011 at 1:02 am | Reply
      • Ruth

        There are healthier things to eat than meat. But I only eat it 3 or 4 meals a week, with fish for an additional meal. Most of my protein comes from yoghurt, lentils, and beans. I'm hardly starved or shorted. My brother married a Nepali girl and I never KNEW vegetables could be cooked with such flavor. I don't miss eating meat every day.

        February 13, 2011 at 6:54 pm | Reply
  21. Ravi Upadhyay

    I can't stand the smell nor the sight of any meat, especially lamb. How you people can indulge in the barbaric act of eating animal flesh is beyond me. I'm glad that I won't have to worry about the elevated risk of heart disease and diabetes that comes with eating meat.

    February 12, 2011 at 10:23 pm | Reply
    • CE Lathrop

      Now, Ravi, don't you go disrespectin' my culture. I'm not calling your tofu and bean sprouts disgusting. Besides, it's in our Scripture: "kill and eat."

      February 12, 2011 at 10:40 pm | Reply
      • Laaaaaaammmbb Luver

        Don't pay no heed to CE Lathrop, Ravi....he's probably a Klingon! ;)
        As for 'barbaric acts', humans excel at that, usually against other humans.
        Consider this: Lamb transcends ethnicity. Middle Eastern and Indian cuisine makes
        miracles with lamb! :)

        February 13, 2011 at 12:49 am | Reply
  22. Rod Venger

    Shish Kebab! There's no kebab worth eating unless it's made with lamb, and that's just a fact.

    February 12, 2011 at 9:53 pm | Reply
    • Wzrd1

      People make kabobs with other meats than lamb?! Perish the thought!

      OK, I KNOW better, nearly 5 years in the Persian Gulf region taught me better, but NOBODY ate the beef kabobs, other than a few Americans and the chicken wasn't eaten as much as the lamb kabobs.
      Hmmmmm, maybe I'll try some goat kabobs...

      February 13, 2011 at 12:37 am | Reply
      • Ruth

        Lamb and goat both make excellent kebab. :D

        February 13, 2011 at 6:52 pm | Reply
  23. Raul

    Cut a leg of lamb into cubes then marinate for hours in the fridge. Put the cubes of lamb on skewers with onions, green peppers, tomatoes. Shish kabob! uuummmmmmmmmmmmm......

    February 12, 2011 at 9:51 pm | Reply
  24. T3chsupport

    I raised some for auction when I was a kid. What horribly stupid creatures! When trying to chase them down to get them in a trailer (dogs? Yeah right, not when there are kids to do the work!), one would jump, and then the entire herd would jump, which would land several of them in stupid places like ditches, or low branches of trees, or face first in the trunk of a tree. Just dumb. They were fun to raise, but goats are way cooler. I only tried the lamb meat once. I thought it was nasty, which was disappointing. Maybe I'll try it again someday.

    February 12, 2011 at 9:49 pm | Reply
  25. lamb chop

    We raise grass fed lamb here in Mn and it is the baaaaaaast. You don't miss beef if you have lamb.

    February 12, 2011 at 9:35 pm | Reply
  26. Luposian

    I buy my lamb from Safeway, when it's cheap. It's imported from Australia. What do I care? It tastes great! I bought some veal once and don't like it anywhere near as much as lamb. BTW, goat tastes kinda like lamb, too.

    February 12, 2011 at 9:32 pm | Reply
  27. Meat - it's what's for supper

    Best that those young babes don't grow up to be corrupted by the world. They should be harvested for our benefit.

    Don't tell me you're one of those vegan monsters who rips helpless plants from the womb of Gaia. At least animals have a chance to move around and fight back, unlike those poor plants.

    February 12, 2011 at 8:57 pm | Reply
    • Laaaaaaammmbb Luver

      PETA hates you, but I understand! (pity the poor shrubberies...!)

      February 13, 2011 at 12:39 am | Reply
  28. Jennifer

    There's nothing as awesome as a lamb gyro. I used to live across the street from a little greek place that had the absolute best.

    February 12, 2011 at 8:48 pm | Reply
    • Shepherd

      Jennifer, it is quite easy to make a Gyro loaf with ground lamb and a few common spices and a food processor. Easy to make right at home and it makes for a great dinner party.

      February 12, 2011 at 10:21 pm | Reply
  29. Jake

    I love lamb grew up with it as a 4-h project and we ate it often. I do have to say that the lamb in the stores is rather pathetic. The chops are small the legs carry no fat. We still raise some for meat every year and i have friends over that say they don't like lamb and i say well try mine and most do and they have all filled there bellies many times of off my lamb dinners. The breed of lamb makes for a better cut also, the wool breed rambuliete's that are crossed for our american lamb is no where near the excellent flavor of Southdown, textile, dorsett, and other meat breeds. Try your local farmer ask what breed they have and go from there. American lamb is the way to go. Buy local everything it is better than what our government can do for this economy.

    February 12, 2011 at 8:40 pm | Reply
    • Wzrd1

      The reason the lamb in the stores is the way it is is purely due to commercial interest.
      Most Americans are not used to the slightly gamy taste of mutton. So, they slaughter the lamb a lot younger. Hence, small and low fat.

      February 13, 2011 at 12:34 am | Reply
  30. Mari

    To see these young babes on the farm and know they'll never have a chance to grow up, makes it very unappealing to see them on a menu. I'm in the restaurant business and I have no interest in indulging in their tenderness~

    February 12, 2011 at 8:22 pm | Reply
    • UCFKnightman

      Got to get your protein somehow. Rabbits are cute too...and they're good in stew.

      February 12, 2011 at 9:13 pm | Reply
    • Linney

      Grow up and do what? Become a doctor? I am more concerned that they are raised on farms that allow them to roam and be grass fed instead of boxed in a too-small pen and hormone injected. That should be the concern whatever the age or type of animal.

      February 12, 2011 at 9:36 pm | Reply
    • Wzrd1

      Well, good for you, Mari. I'll avoid your restaurant, as your narrow spectrum of view will most certainly be reflected in the food.
      Oh, those poor babies. They're livestock. That means they become food.
      My wife and I HATE beef. It's essentially flavorless.
      Chicken can get boring, so other meats have to be gotten.
      She's not too fond of goat, I personally love it. So, I still get some from time to time and sneak it into a meal. :)
      And lamb. And more lamb. And a bit more...
      And to not put too fine a point on it, I'd have no problem cutting its throat, bleeding it down, cleaning the carcass, skinning it and butchering it, then cooking and eating it.

      February 13, 2011 at 12:31 am | Reply
  31. Audrey

    I have to admit that lamb is the one meat I can't stand to be in the same room with. I don't know what it is, but the smell is just nauseating to me...immediately and emphatically. No other meat affects me that way...not even seafood. It's a bit of a bummer, because even though I don't eat meat myself, I'd love to be able to sit with family and friends at our church's annual Easter vigil dinner (a lamb-centered meal, but one which also usually includes several vegetarian dishes, and usually some really excellent wine as well!), but within seconds of entering the room, I'm outside again throwing up.

    This is definitely not a psychological "Oh, the poor little lamby" thing. I ate meat for most of my life, and regularly eat out with meat-eating friends, and am not bothered at all by it. It's just an immediate reaction to the smell.

    February 12, 2011 at 8:21 pm | Reply
    • Audrey

      I have to say that I don't know if I'd have the same reaction to mutton, as to the best of my knowledge, I've never been exposed to it. But put me next to any other kind of meat...beef, veal, chicken, pork, seafood...and I'm fine, even though I have no inclination to eat it myself. Put me next to lamb and within minutes I'm worshiping the porcelain idol.

      February 12, 2011 at 8:30 pm | Reply
    • Tia

      I'm the same way, Audrey. Grew up on a farm with poultry, cattle, pigs and lamb so it has nothing to do with not wanting to eat the cute little lamb. The smell of the meat is so disgusting that I hate to think what the meat tastes like. I guess there's a reason people have to smother it in sauce or jelly to eat it.

      February 13, 2011 at 12:58 am | Reply
      • Laaaaaaammmbb Luver

        Try this then: Cold meat and crispies. (Slices of yesterdays's roast, side of yesterday's roast potatoes, sliced and fried in the pan...no mint sauce required unless desired! and gravy is optional!) ps..exit the kitchen while the lamb roasst is cooking on the previous day!

        February 13, 2011 at 2:58 am | Reply
  32. Thomas A Leigh-Kendall

    love LAMB, YOUNG SPRING LAMB not muttom, leg of, chops, shanks, kneck BBQ, with a fresh mint sause, wedged baked spuds, babby sweet peas and a water gravey

    February 12, 2011 at 8:20 pm | Reply
    • LEB

      I've never understood why lamb and mint is always paired. I prefer other sauces with lamb, like something peppery.

      February 12, 2011 at 9:10 pm | Reply
      • Shepherd

        Mint jelly was paired with "lamb" in the days before "lamb", meaning when older sheep called mutton was served. Much like jerk seasonings or curry with goat. It was to mask the flavor. Lamb does not require mint jelly and some really enjoy yearling lambs rather than the now customary lamb. I like your style, just salt and pepper. I often use Montreal steak seasoning on my lamb chops when grilling shoulder chops in the summer.

        February 12, 2011 at 10:08 pm | Reply
      • mrspellcheck

        I have to agree. I understand the reasoning of using mint to mask the slightly gamey flavor of lamb turning to mutton, but I myself agree with your assessment of lamb needing something bold and peppery, and even better Shepherds suggestion of coarse and chunky Montreal steak seasoning. We prefer lamb chops grilled, but with snow piled feet high on the back deck, we will be broiling meat inside for the time being. But, the lamb needs oven roasted baby red potatoes and a nice al dente green veggie such as asparagus or seared kale. Now that to me is better than good.

        February 12, 2011 at 11:10 pm | Reply
      • Wzrd1

        For mutton, one can be rid of the gamy flavor by any decent acid marinade.
        Personally, I've used a simple tomato covering and for the larger mutton parts (such as a leg), even cutting the leg and placing spices and tomato pieces inside of the cut.
        We miss having a whole leg of lamb, but with only two of us in the house now, it'd be wasted. :(

        February 13, 2011 at 12:26 am | Reply
  33. David Clark

    I crave a rack of French-cut chops. Four or five is about right. Or osso buco ..
    People tell me all the time. "I don't like lamb..." About 26 years ago, while my wife and I were dating I used to cook dinner for her every Sunday. She came over and I had some nice chops out in the kitched and she comment that those wre 'awefully small porrk chops." I told her they were lamb chops. "Oh I don't like lamb." So I asked her wat was wrong with lamb. "Oh I've never had it before."
    It was either McDonalds or the chops and she had the chops. I fix chops for her every week or so now.

    February 12, 2011 at 8:17 pm | Reply
  34. Ruth

    John, that sounds like an amazing plan. Have you thought about contacting a sheep farmer you could apprentice with to learn the ropes? I'm not sure your family would be on board with the idea but it seems like it'd be the best way to learn.

    I have also thought about getting some land and a very small flock of miniature sheep (for wool as well as meat since I knit), some chickens, and a dozen rows of vegetables. I doubt I could make a profit from it, and I have never been very serious about it, but the idea still temps me from time to time.

    February 12, 2011 at 8:06 pm | Reply
    • John

      @Ruth – That is my dream. I doubt too that I would be able to make much money, that is why I work now. One day I will hopefully get there, the point where I can do what I want... Be self-sustaining, grow and raise my own food... Live off of my own sweat. Wanna join me?

      February 13, 2011 at 7:37 pm | Reply
  35. John

    Carol, I had never heard that before about being a certain age before eating. I absolutely love lamb and would love to have a farm when I retire from the Marine Corps in 2 years.

    February 12, 2011 at 8:02 pm | Reply
  36. Kent Bowen

    Who did he know to get a free ad like this?

    February 12, 2011 at 7:59 pm | Reply
  37. Anon_e_mouse

    Lamb... my favorite critter, be it grilled, roasted or ground into lamburger. My uncle raised it for a hobby, and one of my cousins raised them for their meat and wool for a long time; although he no longer makes his living from it (the work is hard, the financial rewards are low) he still has a couple of flocks of sheep that his wife uses for training border collies, so there's often lamb on the table when we go for a visit. With a ready source of mutton as well, his burgers are usually 60% lamb, 40% mutton, which makes them plenty juicy when grilled.

    February 12, 2011 at 7:58 pm | Reply
  38. Ruth

    I had REALLY good lamb when I was serving in Iraq. The breed was a different kind from what I've had here in the U.S. It had an intact tail, and the tail was really broad. The Iraqis told me this animal has more fat in its tail and rump than the other breeds. Have you heard of it?

    No doubt, one reason the lamb I had there was so good was because Iraqis have small farms and small flocks. I'm sure many American farmers also pay a lot of attention to their flocks. I'll be doing some research to see if I can't find a small farm to order some meat from.

    I'm also fond of goat, especially cooked with curry spices and onions and potatoes. Mixed with sticky rice, this is absolutely delectable.

    February 12, 2011 at 7:58 pm | Reply
    • Shepherd

      Ruth, the breed of sheep you are referring to is a "fat tailed sheep" which to most of with sheep in the US does not even look like a sheep. The tail is a prized cut in the Middle East. You can obviously Google "fat tailed sheep" and see pictures of them. They even put the tail in carriages to make it easier for the sheep to carry around the rather od looking appendage. But apparently it's very tasty.

      February 12, 2011 at 10:13 pm | Reply
      • Ruth

        I did look them up. I don't think the locals HAD enough to feed their sheep to make them that fat! There's not much quality pasture in Iraq, and I imagine there's not much grain to spare from the people's tables either. Their tales were broad, and a plump, but nothing like the extreme length I saw in some of the photos online. It was VERY good though. Thanks!

        February 13, 2011 at 6:49 pm | Reply
  39. Carol

    We buy our lamb from a local producer in Maine who raises a milking herd and culls it for those who don't qualify (eg. males and females who aren't "good mothers". I would never buy New Zealand or Australian lamb. I also prefer "lamb" that's a little larger and more mature – under 8 months, the meat just hasn't developed any taste.

    February 12, 2011 at 7:54 pm | Reply
    • johnharry

      they all wind up on the table, they can only last so long before they grind away the teeth, and are either on your table or in your dogs bowl.
      an American whom loves kiwi lamb and deer.

      February 12, 2011 at 11:13 pm | Reply
  40. Cole

    Had some last weekend. I'm fine with it, but it's difficult to find a good cut, so my main source is from restaurants, in Middle Eastern or carpaccio form. At home, it's usually in kofte or stew form. Been far too long since I've had a rack or leg.

    February 11, 2011 at 7:05 pm | Reply
    • Shepherd

      Cole, Unlike many other meat animals that have prime cuts and off cuts, all lamb cuts are wonderful and tender. In addition to fine grocers with good meat departments, you can also find great lamb from many farmers now selling online. If you would like assistance in finding a lamb source near you, I would be delighted to help. Sounds like we need to find a way for you to enjoy a rack of lamb or a leg of lamb soon.

      February 12, 2011 at 1:22 pm | Reply
      • Cole

        It isn't the tenderness that's the issue, but the (lack of) fat. I like aggressive flavors, but also prefer limited portion sizes. Veal has a rather simple solution in adding beef fat, but I can't help but chuckle at the prospect of finding mutton fat, even in a kosher or halal store.

        Dare I ask how well veal keeps frozen?

        February 12, 2011 at 3:55 pm | Reply
      • Dux

        Shepherd, I would love some tips on buying good American lamb. I live on an island in Alaska and some things are hard to come by over here. Meat, any kind, is one of them. The quality usually is poor, as everything gets barged in and meat is most always frozen. I found a rancher co-op from Washington state that carries lamb, but have not tried them yet (they would be using the barge line). There is no next day UPS or even 2 day UPS where I live; everything takes at least 3 days as UPS routes everything through Anchorage, where packages will sit at least an extra day, but usually more. If you have any suggestions for me that would be greatly appreciated.

        February 12, 2011 at 8:25 pm | Reply
      • Wzrd1

        Every cut of lamb I've bought has some fat on it.
        I've not found fat from a lamb separate in a store in the US, only when I was in the middle east did I see that. BUT, you SHOULD be able to go to a local butcher and get the trimmed fat from them.
        For lunch today, I had a lamb and lentil soup that I whipped up. Later, I had a ground lamb burger on rye bread.

        February 13, 2011 at 12:21 am | Reply

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