Friday, April 13, 2012

Lamb. Love it or loathe it?

Seasonal, flavorful, and melt in your mouth tender--this Seven Hour Lamb was a hit at our holiday table!

Few people are on the fence when it comes to lamb.

Some find the taste too gamy--if that's a complaint you may want to try domestic lamb, which experts say is milder in flavor than the imported stuff.  My son, a devout beef eater, says lamb tastes like it isn't cooked enough because it's too 'meaty'.  Of course, he would happily eat a burger 365 days a year, so I largely disregard his opinion.  Others object to its un-greenness.  Lamb is considered one of the least eco-friendly foods because of the small amount of meat the animals provide relative to the environmental impact of raising them. 

Others adore it, claiming its distinctive flavor stands up best to robust cuisines like Indian and Mediterranean.

I find myself in the small minority that falls somewhere in the middle.  I like it; I occasionally order it out, and would be pleased to find it served at a dinner party, but I tend not to buy and cook it.  Maybe it hearkens back to overcooked legs of lamb served on the Sundays of my youth, proffered with a revolting glob of bright green mint jelly.   I also find it less useful left over.  Beef can easily become a cheesesteak or a quesadilla tomorrow; lamb, to me is less versatile.

Seven Hour Lamb at about Hour Five

But in honor of spring, I purchased a leg of lamb in anticipation of serving it for Passover or Easter (we do both in our house.)  Imagine my joy when my husband volunteered to take on the responsibility of cooking it for our Seder.  He surfed some food sites and came across this lovely braise:  Gigot a la Sept Heures.    It was relatively easy--just required some oversight and occasional turning and basting.  We actually skipped the final step of adding the tomatoes and potatoes, having planned other sides with the meal, and it was just grand. 

Where do you fall on lamb:  love it or loathe it?  If you love it, send us your fave recipe; after this weekend, I'm moving more into the love zone, so I'm seeking new and different ways to enjoy lamb.  Keep 'em coming, Phoodie Phriends!

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