Lamb

The Lamb Project

Our effort to introduce seasonal lamb to our members is off to a wonderful start. Lamb packages sold out between 9:45 pm and 7:06 a.m. the following morning. Twenty-four of our households will be receiving lamb as the major portion of their coolers this month. However, we badly underestimated the demand with nearly as many not making the cut as did. We covered 24 but were unable to supply 21. Sorry about that but we had no idea based upon our test surveys that so many would be interested. We are working with our lamb farmer to see if he can supply more lamb for the coming Easter season and, if so, we and he will do our combined best to double the lamb we have for Easter. No promises yet, but we are working on it.

Along the same line, we are in discussions with quail and rabbit farmers to see if it makes sense to offer these meats as occasional extras in your coolers. Variety is the spice of life, yes?

Lamb

We have gotten our experimental lamb back - it was delicious and we think our lamb customers will be very pleased with the packages we will be offering. BUT, we have run into an unexpected obstacle . Our processing house and all of the processing houses are extremely busy this time of year. There is a bottleneck caused by the confluence of county fairs increasing the livestock coming in from the 4H auctions, deer season is in swing, and Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year celebrations increasing demand for the processors’ facility. We think we will work through this, but it may require us to push our lamb offering to Easter rather than the end of year holidays. We will keep you up to date as we work through the issue.

That caution being expressed, In the belief that we will have lamb packages to offer for our coming December/January holy days, I have begun trying some approaches to the cooking of lamb. I started with lamb chops and found this recipe at the allrecipes.com site. It is called brown sugar chops. The brown sugar label attracted me, knowing that it would put a nice and delicious crust on the meat whether grilled or in a skillet.

First make your dry rub marinade, consisting of:

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon each of ground ginger, cinnamon, black pepper, and garlic
  • 2 teaspoons dried tarragon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

(a confession: I cut ginger down from 2 t. to 1 because I have had bad experiences with ginger being so dominant it tastes like soap. Add it back if that is not your concern.)

Mix the ingredients together. Place all sides of each chop in the rub so that it is covered. It helps if the chops have been brought near to room temperature so that moisture has started to form, allowing the seasonings to attach to the meat.

When all chops are dredged in the seasonings, place in refrigerator and cover for an hour, allowing the seasonings to penetrate. 

Ready to cook? Warm your grill or skillet up to medium-high heat. Brush the grill or skillet with oil to avoid sticking, give the chops 5 minutes on each side for medium rare, more if you prefer them medium or well. But it must be a hot grill or skillet in order to get the crustiness you need for the brown sugar.

Enjoy! Really delicious.

A note to those who prefer less of the gamey taste of lamb: the more done the meat is, the less gamey it is. Medium-well chops are still tasty, but with less and less gaminess as they cook further. I like gamey, Honi doesn’t so much. But I’ve been eating wild duck and venison all my life so my palate developed a receptiveness to it. So, experiment to suit your taste.