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Old 12-19-2011, 09:07 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by Caslon View Post
I'd like to say something about how US lamb now is being raised that is disappointing to me. Because of economics or whatever, US lamb is being fed grain TOO much during the raising schedule. What results is US lamb not having very much lamb flavor, it's tastes more like beef now. It makes it easy to trim for lamb stew as there is little fat, but the flavor is now mostly gone.
I agree with you 100%. Like some of the other posters here, I also remember lamb from my youth having a distinct flavor. I wouldn't call it gamey. I would just call it "lamb" flavor.

My dad, who was a butcher by trade (or as he would say, a "meat engineer"), used to make a leg of lamb roast every Easter. He was meticulous about cutting away all the silverskin and most of the fat. I say "most" because he always left a little, saying it was that fat that gave the roast it's rich flavor. As sheep get older, the flavor becomes more pronounced.

Then he would use a sharp paring knife to cut slits in the remaining fat and insert slivers of garlic. As the meat cooked, the fat would render and carry all of that succulent, garlicky goodness into the meat. Dad's lamb roast was one of those things I always looked forward to.

Like you say, lamb today is fed a grain diet up until slaughter. This changes the flavor, or rather, it seems to strip away the flavor. Animals raised this way taste like generic "meat" to me. Kind of bland. Lambs are also typically slaughtered younger these days, so there is not as much fat or flavor. This is unfortunate if you like the old style lamb - which I do.

I prefer grass fed lamb and beef and will go out of my way to find it. Not only does it have more flavor, but it's healthier and has a significantly better fat profile than the corn-fed equivalent. It can often be hard to find, though. Where I live, you either have to go straight to the farmer, or buy from a butcher or co-op that specializes in this type of product. Sadly, it also comes with a much higher price tag, and for that reason I don't eat as much meat as I used to. But that's okay. I truly believe that quality is preferable to quantity.
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Old 03-04-2012, 12:54 PM   #32
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Mediterreans, normally make an herb marinade with wine and a spice rub for their lambs and rub either olive oil or pork lard ( manteca de cerdo on the meat for crisp exterior ) -- normally the animal is less than 45 days of age. We do not employ mutton in Spain nor Italia for meat. *** For cheese only, yes. MC.

**good to see u Dan Gone Fishin. Thanx for all information. Interesting.
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Old 03-04-2012, 01:54 PM   #33
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I agree with the sentiments that others have expressed: you like lamb or you don't. If you like lamb it's because of its unique aroma and taste. If you hate lamb it's because of its stink, its odor, its gaminess. There isn't any to make lamb that will please people who don't like lamb. If somehow you were to be able to remove lamb's uniqueness then it wouldn't be lamb anymore, and people who like lamb wouldn't like it. What's the point anyway? Giving lamb haters the opportunity to eat it and not hate it? It would be a better choice to just use a different meat, perhaps pork, which doesn't have the "odor/gamyness" of lamb.

Many sources indicate that lamb gets more gamey with age. The least gamey lamb is the youngest lamb. Those who like lamb but want to avoid extremeness of lamb's unique aroma and taste should use the youngest lamb they can acquire.

My grandfather used to cut up lamb into large cubes and marinate it in chopped onion and lemon juice, then he threaded them onto metal shishkabob skewers and grilled them over a charcoal fire. It was delicious!
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Old 03-04-2012, 01:58 PM   #34
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I see no point in trying to make lamb taste different so people will like it. If you like it, great, eat it. If you don't like it, eat beef.

Since this thread is five years old, I suspect our responses are a tad late.
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Old 03-04-2012, 02:03 PM   #35
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I too had noticed the OP was long past, but somebody revived the topic and I figured I was "game" to continue the newly revived discussion.

I think people who don't like lamb shouldn't eat it. I love leg of lamb roast with mint jelly!
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Old 03-04-2012, 02:29 PM   #36
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I wonder if the special taste of lamb "gets old" if you eat a lot, a lot of lamb. I'm thinking of eating snowshoe hare. I loved it and its special flavour for a long time, but I ate it too often (we were broke and had a snare line). I haven't eaten hare or rabbit since 1983.

We, and friends, used to try to come up with ways to disguise the taste. East Indian food was one of the best ways, really hot East Indian food.
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Old 03-04-2012, 02:43 PM   #37
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I too had noticed the OP was long past, but somebody revived the topic and I figured I was "game" to continue the newly revived discussion.

I think people who don't like lamb shouldn't eat it. I love leg of lamb roast with mint jelly!
Absolutely a valid topic for discussion.
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Old 03-04-2012, 03:35 PM   #38
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I found a place to cut me leg center cut chops, but I have to buy the whole leg at about $55.
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Old 03-04-2012, 07:26 PM   #39
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IMHO, lamb always has a distinctive flavor (sometimes stronger and other times less pronounced). To my taste it is well complimented by some rosemary and garlic. One of my favorite dishes is a soup made from leftover lamb, lamb bones and barley.
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Old 03-04-2012, 07:55 PM   #40
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IMHO, lamb always has a distinctive flavor (sometimes stronger and other times less pronounced). To my taste it is well complimented by some rosemary and garlic.
+1

I often wonder why people don't like lamb.

Could it be they've only had beef and pork, and lamb is not beef or pork? Beef is "beefy." (There's no other way to describe it. You like it or you don't, or maybe you crave it.) And pork is ... "the other white meat" (probably national pork council trying to convince people pork is just as healthy as chicken). I think most folks would agree that pork has less porky taste than beef has beefy taste, unless cured pork.

Could it be they suffer from the "cutie pie" syndrome that lambs are viewed as sympathetic "cute" animals in literature, television and film? "Oh my gosh! We don't want to eat Bambi or Mary's little lamb!"

I think the most common reason is that people weren't fed lamb when they were children and that lamb did not get included in their concept of what is ordinary and reasonable food to eat.

Myself? I say let's kill Mary's little lamb and eat it before it gets old and gamey!
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