I first had it in some fancy restaurant a few years ago and wondered why I hadn't been eating it my whole life! Then I went to buy it at the store and realized.... "oh, that's why." Lamb can be pricey, especially for those fancy racks and chops.
After our move to Southern Idaho, I tried to find some of the more economical cuts for curries and stews and had the hardest time finding any in our local grocery stores. I asked a few of the ladies at work if they knew where I could buy lamb and was quickly reminded that we now live in a pretty serious "Ag" community. After giggling at my city-ness, several of them said, "Chelsea, you take your truck, you go to a farmer and you buy a lamb. Then you take it to the butcher and fill up your freezer with delicious lamb meat."
I went home and told sweet hubby how to buy lamb in Idaho. He laughed and said, "No, Chelsea. That's how you buy a pet lamb in Idaho."
He's probably right (as usual). I don't know if I could load up my outback with a sweet little lamb and come home with freezer-papered bundles of meat. I could however buy it a pretty pink bow and name it "lamby."
So, fortunately, I found Blue Sage Farm. They are a local farmer who raises lamb and sheep on grass pastures. We got in contact and bought our lamb last winter which was processed and delivered to us in May. No pet lambs involved. Just a wonderful local farm family raising unbelievably delicious lamb! If you live in the area and love lamb as much as I do, you should get in touch with them. I know you'll love the experience as much as we have. Their website also lists local stores where their meat is sold, if you're not ready to commit to a whole lamb.
So, now that my freezer is stocked. I've been hoarding lamb recipes. This is the one I decided to try first and it was uh-mazing.
Thank you so much to Blue Sage Farm for solving my lamb dilemma!
Slow-Cooker Braised Lamb ShanksWhat you'll need:
2 lamb shanks (about 2 pounds)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 or 2 beef bouillon cubes
1/4 cup boiling water
1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped carrots
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon Penzey's lamb seasoning (optional, but so worth it!)
What to do:
1. In a large skillet, sear all sides of lamb in oil; remove and place in slow cooker.
2. In the same pan, saute onion and garlic until tender. Remove to slow cooker.
3. Add bouillon to water; stir to dissolve, pour over lamb.
4. Add all remaining ingredients to slow cooker. Cook on low for 6-8 hours.
5. Meat should be fall of the bone tender. Serve over pasta, boiled potatoes, or rice.Yield: 2 servings.