We currently source most of our lamb and mutton from Carolina Lamb which uses “solar grazing” to manage the vegetation under solar panel arrays throughout the Triangle. Learn more.
It helps to think about the size of a lamb in order to appreciate how precious Ground Lamb is. Unlike a beef steer which can yield over 100 lbs of Ground Beef, a lamb can yield very little, which is why the packages are about 2x as expensive. No doubt that it’s delicious in dishes like Shepherd’s Pie or even as burgers, but if you’re looking for a more economical way to enjoy lamb–look for the cuts with bones in them.
Leg of Lamb
Leg of Lamb is a great item to prepare for a large gathering or holiday meal. It comes from the upper part of the hind legs and is delicious when roasted slowly over low heat and served with other roasted veggies and gravy made from pan juices. You can also slice it into steaks and grill it, or, cut the roasted lamb off of the bone and serve it with rice or pasta.
Sausage, Merguez Links
Merguez Sausage is a spicy treat composed of cumin, fennel, and chili peppers that derives from Morocca. Merguez Sausage has also become a popular street food in France, where vendors serve it up in between buns, like a hot dog, or in a sandwich, or naked with “French” fries (aka frites).
Lamb Steaks, also known as Lamb Sirloin, are cut from Sirloin, the region of the animal where the mid-region meets the leg primal. The preferred way to prepare Lamb Steak is over dry heat, such as grilling. It makes a delicious centerpiece to a summer meal, surrounded by seasonal veggies and salad.
Lamb Stew Meat usually comes from the neck region of the animal where the meat is plentiful and flavorful albeit tougher. We enjoy preparing Lamb Stew with stew recipes that originate from places like Greece and Lebanon. Whichever stew you prepare, just gently braise and throw it into a Crockpot for several hours of low, slow cooking.
Loin Chops derive from the same region of the animal that Pork Loin Chops do, that mid-section just behind the rib cage known as the Loin Primal. Just like Pork Chops, give them a nice salt brine–at least one hour before, but ideally overnight–to unlock all of the flavor. We like to braise them on the stove top and then throw them in the over for a few minutes. You can pair them with marinated, grilled veggies, or if you want to be really cosmo, just serve with olives and salad (as pictured above) with a top shelf glass of wine.
Imagine cutting those Loin Chops and getting to the rib cage. Rib Chops are produced by cutting the same chops, just in the Rib Primal. You can tell from the picture above that there tends to be less meat on a Rib Chop than a Loin Chop, but some folks prefer them for their superior flavor. Prepare them by searing and roasting or grilling.
Lamb Shanks come from the region of the animal in between the ankle and either the breast (for foreshanks) or leg (for hindshanks). The patient cook is rewarded with Lamb Shanks. Braise them and cook them slowly in stew pot or the oven, smother them with your favorite homemade red sauce and herbs and eat them with mashed potatoes and a side of sauteed greens.
A lot of folks in the US consider intrels like Heart and Liver to be, well, unpalatable. The truth is that many delicious and healty dishes can be made with them, especially for those on a meat budget. Try braising Lamb Heart and stuffing with onions, celery, and a little bit of bacon and baking in a casserole dish. Better yet, how romantic would it be if you served this up for Valentine’s Day or an Anniversary? Honey, I give to you all of my…heart.
Go ahead, YOLO (You Only Live Once): Order some Lamb Liver and fry up with onions and serve with chives and fresh tomatoes. Yum. End of story.
Lamb Bones are a great treat for you or your favorite canine friend. Our suggestion: order a lot at one time, perhaps with bones from Chicken, Pork, or Beef, and make enough broth to freeze and pull out in a pinch for a delicious soup on a cold rainy day.