Every year, I buy a whole lamb so I can have it on hand any time I want it. Buying a whole lamb is cheaper than buying the occasional high-end parts, even after I pay for the whole lamb plus the processing free. Even better, I get all the parts, so I've got a good selection of tender bits and stew-worthy meat. And I get some odd cuts that never show up in grocery stores.
So when lamb was on the menu recently, and I decided to make it two different ways: racks and meatballs.
No exact recipes for either version, but here's how it went.
The racks (4 bones each) were seasoned, then seared in a hot pan. Then I brushed them with mixture of dijon mustard and honey, then covered that with some fresh bread crumbs.
The racks went into a 425 degree oven until they reached about 130 degrees.
I pulled them out and let them rest for a bit more than 20 minutes, then cut each rack into two 2-bone pieces. They were perfectly cooked, juicy, and wonderful.
The meatballs started out as lamb stew meat, which I ground, then seasoned with Greek seasoning from Penzeys, and a generous amount of cracked rosemary.
After the lamb made its way through the grinder, I also ground some onion and some bread, which I added to the mixture. I also added an egg, and mixed it all up gently before I let it rest overnight in the fridge.
Before I stashed them in the fridge, I cooked a couple test meatballs. They needed a little more flavor, so I added a bit more salt and more rosemary. Seasoning is to taste, and I wanted more.
The next day, I formed the meatballs and browned them on all sides, then finished them in the oven. For presentation, I put the meatballs on skewers, and I served the meatballs with some homemade tziatziki sauce for anyone who wanted it.
I've got to say that I liked both dishes. Hard to pick a favorite. But next time I make lamb, the sure bet is that it will be something else. I've got plenty to choose from.
Cookbook author and food writer for Serious Eats, Whisk Magazine, and the Left Hand Valley Courier, among others. Columnist at American Recycler. Blogger at www.cookistry.com and reviews.cookistry.com.