30 delicious ways with lamb
Recipe: Lamb Chops with Roasted Salsa
Recipe: Coffee-Braised Spoon Lamb
Recipe: So Amazing Armenian Lula Kebabs
Recipe: Lamb Shanks Adobo
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).