A Treat for Your British Friends
Lamb is craved by gourmets around the world. It is a favorite in the Middle East and also with Britons.
By definition, lamb is any sheep less than a year old. A typical lamb weighs less than 150 pounds and renders about 70 pounds of meat. Lamb is tender and juicy. In general it is fattier than all other kinds of domestic meat.
Lamb is sold in five prime cuts. These are:
- loin or rib chops: very tender cut of lamb.
- shank/breast: small roast, nice for families and company.
- rack of lamb: six or seven of the ribs with soft succulent meat in between.
- shoulder: either blade or arm, these have a small bone in the center.
- leg of lamb: this also makes an excellent roast. The front section is the sirloin.
Lamb can be purchased frozen or fresh. If you buy it fresh, use it within 2 to 3 days. If you want to store lamb in your freezer, it is best to buy it vacuum-sealed, as this will protect it against freezer burn and keep it safe for up to 6 months.
Look for generous marbling (fat lines in the meat), when purchasing good lamb. Of course, the meat should not be too fatty, and USFDA guidelines that apply to other meats also apply to lamb. Look for Prime, or at least Choice.
You can purchase lamb locally, but there are a number of internet gourmet food companies who sell exclusive lamb, raised naturally and chemical free. Having it shipped directly can ensure product quality. Aged lamb is a favorite of lamb gourmets.
Use a meat thermometer to measure the internal temperature of the lamb. For rare, cook to 145 degrees, all the way to 170 degrees for well done.