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Spring Into Easter with Fresh American Lamb

Rack of Lamb
Lamb cooking times:

7 lb. Leg of Lamb, Bone In
Roast at 325F
20-25 min/lb. for medium-rare
25-30 min/lb for medium
30-35 min/lb for well-done

7 lb. Leg of Lamb - Boneless,
Roast at 325F
25-30 min/lb for medium rare
30-35 min/lb for medium
35-40 min/lb for well-done

Lamb is a classic for Easter, Passover and other spring celebrations -- a tradition rooted in generations past when fresh lamb was only available during this season.

Since lamb is deemed a sophisticated meat, it can be easily misconstrued as a difficult dish to prepare. However, spring can be a time of discovery for simple lamb preparation techniques, according to Greek-American chef, Pano Karatassos of the famed Kyma restaurant in Atlanta.

"Spring lamb dishes are a huge part of the Greek culture. Just like in Greece, springtime lamb is enjoyable roasted and simply marinated with lemon, garlic, oregano, olive oil and salt," says Karatassos, who like other Orthodox Christians will be celebrating Greek Easter this year. "It's easy to mimic the fresh lamb enjoyed in Greece here in the U.S. by using fresh cuts of American lamb produced close to home."

Fresh American Lamb

Domestically raised lamb provides a clean, mild flavor with a high meat-to-bone ratio. "With American-produced lamb you have a fresher taste that you sometimes don't encounter with imported lamb," says Karatassos.

"When confronted with lamb options at the meat market, look for bright pinkish to red meat with a smooth texture, which is characteristic of freshly produced American lamb."

While Easter leg of lamb is the most popular cut found on holiday tables, many other springtime cuts earn respect in the categories of flavor, presentation and affordability. As outdoor dining begins to take hold, lamb is just as much at home on the grill as in the oven roasting pan. Fresh American Lamb cuts that are ideal for alfresco dining include tender rib or loin chops, racks, leg steaks, or ground lamb for gourmet "lamb-burgers" grilled to juicy perfection.

When shopping for American Lamb, if you do not find it displayed in the meat case, that doesn't mean it's not available. "Just ask the butcher, and pre-order whenever possible," says Spence Rule, chairman of the American Lamb Board, which administers the national lamb promotion program.

Spring Flavors of American Lamb

American lamb, in particular, is fresh, sweet and mildly flavored, with a great affinity for many seasonal herbs and spices, including classics such as rosemary, oregano and mustard.

"American Lamb also pairs well with freshly cut spring herbs such as flat leaf parsley, thyme and rosemary sprigs," says Karatassos. "Lamb is incredibly versatile, pairing well with any fresh market produce or brushed with warm in-season fruit glazes."

Source: The American Lamb Board

also see in the Chiff Chef Recipe File -> Rack of Lamb Recipe

Irish Lamb Stew | Lamb Kebabs


More lamb recipe ideas around the Web:

For fresh American Lamb ideas visit American Lamb where you can find wonderful spring American Lamb recipes for Easter or any occasion.


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