25 January 2010

wham! bam! thank you lamb!

didn't know the specifics of sheep meat until now, and being the awesome person i am, i want to share this tidbit:

- lamb is sheep meat that is less than 12 months old.
- baby lamb is meat from a 6-8 weeks old sheep raised on milk (a redundant term, cause lambs are baby sheep).
- hogget is sheep meat that no more than two permanent incisors.
- mutton is sheep meat that has two or more permanent incisors grown in.

anyways, all of them come from our adorably delectable ovine friends [insert corny lamb joke here] and they are all tasty in their own way, be it the variety of sheep or cut of meat.

i've found that quebec lamb is generally less gamey than most lamb from new zealand (where per capita, lamb is consumed more than anywhere else in the world). gamey flavour comes from what the animal eats (grass vs. seaweed vs. grain, for instance)... i wonder if the animal feeds on worchestershire sauce, if it means it'll be pre-seasoned by the time it becomes food... hmmm...

anyways... basic preparation is pretty simple (remove excess visible fat and any visible sinewy crap), then season and cook.

here's a quick wet rub — marinade, for you perverts — for a leg of lamb (good for a 3 or 4 lb leg):

- a spoonful of honey
- a spoonful of dijon mustard
- a teaspoon of worchestershire sauce
- salt*
- pepper (as you wish)
- a handful of crushed herbs (try sage, rosemary, and thyme; simon and garfunkel blundered when they included parsley in that song because culinarily, parsley is pretty much useless)

* you should salt the meat in advance in addition to adding salt to the rub. salting the meat is like brining it — helps keep moisture in and enhances the flavour and texture of the meat. it sounds counter-intuitive but it happens because of magic... the magic of science! (more on science later...)

let the rub sit for a good hour or two, if not four or overnight. roast as you would any other piece of meat, until the internal temperature reads what you want it to (145F for rare, 160F for medium).

try spicing it up with chipotle or cayenne, or substituting the honey with brown sugar or maple syrup (or omitting the sweet stuff all together), or you can even dress it up to look like harpo marx!

the world is your lamb!

1 comment:

  1. that eat the seasons website is neat. thanks chow with chow!