Meat & Seafood - 08/22/2012
Enjoy Local Lamb
From 2 Local Farms!
The Merc Meat & Seafood department is very happy to once again be carrying local lamb. There was a short spell where, due to involuntary circumstances we were unable to receive local lamb. That spell has finally been broken and we are happy to be stocking our shelves with local lamb from both East Stonehouse Creek Farm as well as Vesecky Family Farm.
Local lamb is wonderful for the farm and for the table. In these days of hot weather, sheep are particularly great to have as livestock. They are a fairly gentle and easygoing animal that naturally flock together, which helps to reduce the amount of equipment and energy used for maintenance. Their small size is less damaging to the surrounding ground which is especially helpful with the recovery of drought stricken pastures. They are right at home feeding on the pasture grasses and hardly need any extra feed, which helps to keep costs low as well as emissions. Sheep are quick to multiply and fast to grow which also helps keep care cost of the animals low and herd rejuvenation high. Their smaller bodies can yield great ratios and healthy meats.
Most of us who have not had lamb on a regular basis may remember it as a bit earthy tasting while others have always revered the true flavor of the pasture raised livestock.
Lamb, in general, is prepared very similarly to beef. The lamb chops should be eaten rare to medium rare for optimal flavor and texture. Chops are typically seasoned very simply with salt, pepper, fresh rosemary and finely minced garlic. Cuts like the leg and shank should be cooked on a low setting either roasting or braising. Leg of lamb, in particular, is wonderful with onions, carrot, celery, and potatoes in any type of liquid, braised all day in your favorite crockpot. You could use any liquid from water or stock to beer or red wine to create a sensational Sunday dinner. If you are new to lamb, you might want to try a classic like shepherd’s pie. With the simple addition of frozen or fresh peas, carrots and onions along with mashed potatoes, you will notice any gamey or earthy flavor transform into something almost sweet and incredibly balanced. For any particular cut or question the Merc Meat & Seafood department is here for you.