I was one of those teenage vegetarians. Like many teenage girls, when I reached 13, I could no longer stomach the idea of eating an animal. Of course that didn’t last long, as my mom was a meat and potatoes kind of lady, so if I wanted to eat, I had to eat what she cooked. But, as I grew up and was able to make my own decisions on the food I ate, I was able to make more conscience decisions on the humanity of my meat choices. I try very hard to make humane decisions. Historically, I’ve avoided lamb because I just couldn’t stomach what I was eating. But as I did more research I discovered that as long as you make conscientious purchases, lamb is one of the most humanely treated animals in our food system, and its got a ton of health benefits to boot. So, along with this recipe, I thought I’d share with you some information I found on lamb. This information is particular to grass fed, pasture raised lamb;
- Omega3 & 6 – Grass-fed lamb is super high in omega-3 & 6 which we all know helps promote heart health and brain development.
- Lower in Fat – Grass Fed lambs are out to pasture more, which makes them leaner. So you get the added benefit of the tasty-ness of the grass diet, but also a leaner cut of meat.
- High in Vitamin B – Grass fed lamb is incredibly high in vitamin B, B12 in particular.
- Protein – As with most meat, lamb is also high in protein.
All About the Lamb
A lamb, a baby sheep less than 1 year old, is usually sold in 5 different cuts; shoulder, rack, shank, loin and leg. Lamb is a staple food across the Middle East and Europe, especially countries like Turkey and Greece. When considering how to prepare lamb, here is a quick list of what cut is best for what preparation;
- Shoulder: Best for stews, and can be cut into stew meat.
- Shank: Best when braised.
- Lamb Chops: Best broiled or pan seared, then finished under the broiler.
- Rack of Lamb: Best when roasted but can also be pan seared then roasted.
- Ground Lamb: Ground lamb can be treated like ground beef or turkey, such as foods like burgers and meatballs.
As with any meat you buy at the market, it has been raised to be eaten. We always recommend trying to buy local, it’s part of our clean eating philosophy, and it’s no different with lamb. Try to find a local source for your lamb, this could be a local farm, small local grocery store, or even the farmers market. I found that a simple Google search of “local lamb Virginia” gave me a ton of options. Border Springs Farm is nearby to me and even has an online store. The specialize in grass fed lamb.
As I mentioned earlier, grass fed lamb has a plethora of health benefits, and its also delicious. Adding lamb to my diet has opened up so many recipe options for me. I love the Mediterranean and curry flavors that go well with lamb, but also the herb and minty flavors too. It’s very versatile and pretty simple to prepare. I’m considering serving this for the holiday’s this year. It would be so beautiful on a holiday table, perhaps on a bed of bright red cranberries. Oh, the possibilities!
I have always been intimidated by Rack of Lamb. It just looks so pretty and always seemed so difficult. But, I’m here to tell you, it is not! I did some research and testing with this book “Lamb Cooking 101” before tackling and perfecting this recipe. It’s pretty simple. The herbs are so flavorful and go great with the taste of the lamb. This recipe is prepared to medium rare, as that is the recommended temperature for lamb. You can adjust the oven cooking time as needed though if you want your lamb cooked to a different temperature. Enjoy!
Local Ingredient: Lamb from a local farm, rosemary from my garden.