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
Ground lamb gets an Indian spin in this easy one-pot meal. It’s great when served with a few pieces of warmed naan.
Anyone can have a simple hamburger, but with a recipe like this one, the question is why? Grilled bread and a pea and mint relish enhance the juicy lamb.
Quick-to-cook lamb chops served with a fresh summer salsa are all that’s needed for a simple weeknight dinner. We serve it with a salad loaded with good-quality feta for a complete meal.
Recipe: Lamb Chops with Roasted Salsa
Bite-sized and full of flavor, these meatballs are an easy way to get out of the meatloaf rut.
Recipe: Moroccan Spiced Lamb Meatballs
Coffee and lamb? You’ll be amazed at how well they compliment each other. The result is a luxurious meal that’s fairly easy to start and then ignore until ready with fall-off-the-bone results.
Recipe: Coffee-Braised Spoon Lamb
We love how the sweet and tangy flavor from the apricots compliments the rich and tender leg of lamb.
The lamb is great, but it’s the toasty garlic sauce that gets drizzled over the top that makes this dish a winner. If you like lamb, but you love garlic, then this is the recipe for you.
Super quick, and plenty flavorful, the harissa marinade does double duty as a spicy sauce once the lamb is cooked.
It may look simple, but these spiced-rubbed lamp chops are so flavorful; the first bite will be a shockingly delicious surprise.
The lamb cubes are the perfect size for eating with bites of the warm and salty halloumi cheese and juicy tomatoes.
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
The salad is so good, we recommend making a bit extra to have the next day on a sandwich or over grilled chicken.
This soup is a fun play on avgolemono, the classic Greek lemon and rice soup. Ours is better, of course, because of the mini-meatballs that swim in the creamy broth.
These truly are amazingly, amazingly delicious and easy to make for crowd. Serve with a bunch of Mediterranean sides, such as hummus and couscous, for a fun spread that will please the group.
Recipe: So Amazing Armenian Lula Kebabs
Using leftover kebabs, or any other spiced ground lamb, as a part of a morning-on-the-go item, is a smart way to get two meals from one.
Recipe: Bulgur Kebab Burritos
Rich, warm, and spicy, this lamb stew is one of our favorites. We love to serve it as the main course to a spread of hearty red wines and warm crusty bread.
An aromatic, unusual salsa makes these kebabs—and their accompanying white-bean salad—extraordinary.
Recipe: Honey-Rosemary Lamb Sandwich
First baking the lamb shanks then adding them to the slow cooker with the caponata ensures both a golden exterior and juicy, flavorful center.
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).