Good lamb should be cooked in a manner similar to good beef.
Many cookbooks (especially older ones) recommend cooking
lamb to at least “medium” or even “well-done” – wrong,
wrong, wrong! If you like rare or medium rare beef, cook
your lamb the same way.
Lamb is higher in satiety than beef (that is, it creates a
pleasant sense of fullness more quickly). For this reason,
serving sizes for lamb can be 20% to 40% smaller than for
beef – a nice advantage for those counting calories.
Following are some “family favorite” recipes:
Leg of Lamb
1 French-style (showy!) or American-style lamb roast, 5-6
4 cloves garlic
Cut garlic into slivers. With a sharp knife, piece leg of
lamb and insert garlic slivers. Rub all over with butter.
Roast uncovered in a 325º oven or (better!) on a covered gas
grill (we use a Holland) until a meat thermometer inserted
close to the bone reads 140º, about 1½ – 2 hours. This will
result in a platter of carved roast ranging from medium well
With first-rate lamb, simplicity is often best. This
recipe is hard to beat.
8 loin or rib chops
¼ c. extra-virgin olive oil
¼ c. lemon juice
1 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary
Mix oil, juice, and rosemary. Baste both sides of chops.
Grill about 9 minutes per side for medium-rare. Baste again
when the chops are turned.
Another exercise in simplicity, and equally tasty.
Creamy Brie Lamb Chops
8 lamb rib or loin chops
2 tsp. salad oil
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
1 cup dry white wine
2 Tbsp. minced shallots
9 oz. plain Brie cheese, w/ rind removed
Sear lamb chops in oil until well-browned on all sides.
Reduce heat and continue cooking until medium rare, about 10
minutes. Season with salt & pepper. Remove chops from pan
and keep warm.
In the same pan, add white wine and shallots. Simmer until
reduced to ¼ cup. Cut Brie into cubes, add to the wine and
shallot mixture. Stir over medium heat until melted and
Serve over spinach seasoned with butter and salt and pepper.
Spoon Brie sauce over tops of the lamb chops.
This recipe, prepared with our own Suffolk lamb, was
Reserve Champion at the 2007 Oregon State Fair. Adapted from
a recipe that originally appeared in the May 2001 issue of
Juniper Lamb Chops
8 lamb rib or loin chops
8 juniper berries
½ c. lemon juice
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
½ tsp. ground dried rosemary
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
Mix all ingredients and bag in zip-locks, squeezing out air
before sealing. Place in refrigerator for 1-3 hours, turning
bag occasionally. Grill about 9 minutes per side for
This recipe works well with a “mixed grill” of lamb and
beef. Adapted from a recipe that originally appeared in the
April 2001 issue of The Shepherd.
Lamb Shanks in Foil
4 lamb shanks
1 Tbsp. herbs (thyme, basil, rosemary, and/or marjoram,
according to preference)
1 tsp. fine-ground pepper
1 tsp. salt
1 can tomato sauce (preferably unsalted)
½ bottle dry red wine
Lay each lamb shank in the center of a rectangle of
heavy-duty aluminum foil. Form a “pan” of each piece of foil
around the shank. Season the shanks, and then pour the
tomato sauce and wine over them. Seal the foil tightly.
Place the foil-wrapped shanks into a shallow baking pan and
bake at 325º until tender, 2 hours or longer
Lamb shanks are served like individual legs of lamb, and
are a very nice “special occasion” meal. One of the beauties
of this recipe is that it is not very time-sensitive – good
for a dinner party where guests might be late!
Sate Kambing (Indonesian Lamb Kebabs)
2 lb. boned lamb
2-4 Tbsp. Sate seasoning – available from Penzeys
2 Tbsp. water
2 Tbsp. rice vinegar
3 Tbsp. soy sauce
3 Tbsp. peanut oil
12 10" bamboo skewers
Place bamboo skewers into water to soak. Combine Sate
seasoning and liquid ingredients in a bowl. Cut meat into ¾
inch cubes (if starting with frozen lamb, it is easier to
cut in a partially-thawed state). Mix thoroughly with the
seasoning blend and cover; if partially-thawed, can be left
on the countertop, if fully thawed, place in the
refrigerator. Let stand for 2 hours. Fire grill to very high
heat; place meat on skewers and grill both sides until
This is a recipe to serve to people who “don’t like lamb.”
(Just don’t tell them what it is until they’ve been raving
about it for a while.) Adapted from a recipe developed by
the Penzey Company.