Growing up in a typical American household, I never ate lamb. Most Americans don’t even eat a single bite. Lamb consumption is very minimal in the U.S. compared to beef, chicken, and pork…Why???
I think people are afraid of it. Many don’t know what to do with it. Some just don’t know how to ask for it, where to buy it, or how to prepare it.
My wife of thirty years is a first generation Greek-American. It was at her family dinners that I had my first taste of lamb. Lamb is a staple on the Greek dinner table, whether it’s a Sunday dinner or holiday celebration. Thus, my love affair with my wife and lamb began all those years ago.
American lamb is fed a variety of luscious greens. About a month before slaughter they are fed grain for a milder and richer flavor. American lamb tends to be larger and fatter than lamb imported from New Zealand or Australia.
We sell a lot of Lamb at my Meat Market. We buy whole domestic lamb carcasses and break them down into retail cuts.
Some parts of the lamb are not sold as retail cuts. Unlike with beef, the lamb brisket, flank, and skirt are boned out and used to grind for ground lamb.
I like to grind my lamb at a ratio of about 80% lean. I feel this brings out the most flavor.
The best places to buy fresh ground lamb is your local butcher shop, ethnic market, or grocery store that you know sells a lot of fresh lamb. Ask your butcher if they bring in whole lamb carcasses, or grind the lamb in-house, (which is what you want) and how lean it is. You don’t want to buy ground lamb that’s been sitting on a meat department display case for a week. You won’t be happy with it!