32 delicious ways with lamb
It’s the West’s local meat—and tastier than ever. These show-stopper recipes show how deliciously far it’s come
Recipe: Lamb Chops with Roasted Salsa
Recipe: Moroccan Spiced Lamb Meatballs
Recipe: Coffee-Braised Spoon Lamb
Recipe: Grilled Lamb and Halloumi Kebabs
From Harrison Ford’s son, L.A. chef Ben Ford, comes a fabulous leg of wood-fired lamb, marinated in a heady mix of herbs and spices for a full day before it’s cooked over fire. What’s not to like?
Recipe: Rosemary Grilled Leg of Lamb
Recipe: So Amazing Armenian Lula Kebabs
Recipe: Bulgur Kebab Burritos
An aromatic, unusual salsa makes these kebabs—and their accompanying white-bean salad—extraordinary.
Recipe: Honey-Rosemary Lamb Sandwich
Recipe: Lamb Shanks Adobo
Recipe: Lamb Shawarma with Couscous
But American lamb is a whole different animal now. Sheep in this country used to be raised mainly for wool, their meat an afterthought. Then synthetic fibers came along, wool production waned, and the industry started to breed for flavor and tenderness. No matter how you feel about polyester, it sure has given us better lamb.
There’s another reason to celebrate American lamb here in the West: It’s our local meat. Most comes from small Western family ranches (more than 75,000 of them) rather than factory farms. Some ranchers custom-sell lamb directly to consumers, right off the pasture, at any age desired, bypassing the usual six weeks or so of “finishing” the animals on grain in a feedlot. And though a well-raised lamb can taste fine finished on grain, lamb fed entirely from the range can be incredible.
With grain prices climbing, we’ll probably be seeing more 100 percent grass-fed lamb, particularly at farmers’ markets. Delicate, mild, and seasoned with the flavors of the pasture, it’s Easter worthy.
Go for grass-fed when you can. Find 100 percent grass-fed lamb at eatwild.com and well-stocked grocery stores. Three of our favorite ranches that sell online: GrassRoots Meats (grassrootsmeats.com), Lava Lake Lamb (lavalakelamb.com) and Willow Spring Ranch Montana (montanaorganiclamb.com).