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LAAAMB!

At the Edge of the Woods farm we would like to announce the birth of our third lamb. A lamb is a young sheep under the age of 12 months old. The fate of our lambs has not yet been decided, as we would like to increase the size of our flock. Still, I can’t help but think of all the delicious ways I could potentially be cooking them.

At the Edge of the Woods farm we would like to announce the birth of our third lamb. A lamb is a young sheep under the age of 12 months old. The fate of our lambs has not yet been decided, as we would like to increase the size of our flock. Still, I can’t help but think of all the delicious ways I could potentially be cooking them. 

To some, lamb is an acquired taste. It’s distinct, game like flavour profile does not necessarily agree with everyone’s palate.

Lamb is a great way to learn about marinating meat. The principles of marinating stay true for any meat you choose to use.

The act of marinating infuses food with a flavour profile of your choosing and can be used to tenderize meats. The liquid used to carry the flavour in the marinade is typically an acid or oil, or combination of the two.

There are also tropical fruits that contain enzymes that tenderize meat.

When something acidic is used like lemon juice or wine, proteins will be denatured resulting in tenderized meat. You need to be mindful of the time the meat spends in an acidic marinade or you will end up with mushy meat that has the appearance of being cooked.

Oils act as great flavour carrier when you do not want to tenderize the meat.

When using salted water as your flavour carrier the technique is called brining. Brining is done before cooking lean meats (like turkey or chicken) in a dry heat method like grilling to keep them moist and full of flavour.

Marinating is a fun way to explore new flavour combinations and get to know new or unfamiliar cuts of meat. In this example I am using a rack of lamb but feel free to try it with a chop or loin.

Roasted Rack of Lamb

Ingredients:

  • Rack of lamb (preferably local, so much lamb in the grocery stores travels all the way from New Zealand!)
  • Rosemary
  • Thyme
  • Mint
  • Garlic
  • Onion
  • Salt
  • Coarse ground Pepper
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Method:

  1. If you choose you can “French” the rack, which makes for a nicer presentation but will not affect the flavour of the end product.
  2. Finely chop herbs, garlic, onion and mix in bowl with olive oil.
  3. Massage ingredients into meat and ensure all are evenly distributed and covered in oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit in fridge at least overnight.
  4. When ready to cook. Bring the meat out to room temperature and season generously with salt and pepper.
  5. Preheat oven to 500F
  6. Preheat a cast iron skillet or sautée pan on medium-high heat. Add cooking oil of your choice. Place meat in skillet meat, fat side down first (bone curving up) and sear meat until you get a nice golden brown crust.
  7. Turn over and place skillet in preheated oven. Cook until desired doneness. I prefer mine cooked to medium-rare.
  8. Let rest before slicing, preferably on a rack with a piece of foil tented over. A general rule of thumb is to let it rest about half the cooking time. If you slice the meat too soon all the juices will run out.
  9. Enjoy with a side dish of your choice.

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