Lamb is a common meat around the globe, and is eaten on nearly every continent. It can be prepared in a variety of ways, and in addition to providing numerous nutrients and health benefits, it also has a delicious flavor. Many cultures have iconic dishes that involve the use of lamb. Lamb is roasted and stuffed into pitas to create the iconic gyros of Greece. Lamb is a meat of choice in Mongolian barbecue, and is charcoal-roasted whole in Chile. The meat is obtained from a sheep younger than one year of age. If you are looking to add more lamb to your diet, chances are you understand that the way a lamb is fed and raised effects the quality of the meat. Buying your meat from a quality supplier is the first step to ensure that you have a lamb dish that you can be proud to serve.
The most difficult part of cooking lamb is knowing when it’s done. An overcooked lamb is an expensive mistake, but undercooked lamb can be an embarrassment at a dinner party. The USDA recommends cooking ground lamb to a minimum internal temperature of 160°F. Lamb roasts and lamb chops should be cooked to 145°F for medium-rare, 160°F for medium, and 170°F for well-done. Keep in mind that meat typically increases 5-10 degrees as it rests, so remove the lamb from the heat when the thermometer reads 5-10 degrees below your desired temperature.
Lamb should be refrigerated immediately after it is purchased. You can also freeze lamb meat, but be sure to wrap the original package in an airtight freezer wrap, or store in a freezer bag to prevent freezer burn. Frozen lamb is best if used within 3-4 months of purchase for the best quality. When buying lamb directly from a farm, customers usually purchase higher quantities that can last for months to come. If you are such a buyer, investing in a higher quality storage process like airlock packaging and a deep freezer can ensure that your lamb will taste its best after months of frozen storage.
Lamb is a wonderful source of protein, and provides the body with over 60% of the body’s daily requirement. The meat is also a great source of selenium, a nutrient whose deficiency can lead to asthma attacks. Selenium boosts the immune system and enhances thyroid functions. Iron is an integral component of hemoglobin, and aids in the formation of red blood cells in the body, which transfers oxygen throughout the body. Lamb is very rich in iron. Zinc is known to contribute to improved senses of taste and smell, healing wounds, increased brain activity, and improved male fertility. Lamb is also a good source of the B12 vitamin, niacin (B3 vitamin). Lamb also is a good source of “good fat”, which is necessary in the human body. It has less saturated fat than most other meats.
Lava Lake Ranch
Lava Lake Lamb is located in the beautiful state of Idaho. This family-owned Ranch sits just southeast of Sun-Valley where the Pioneer Mountains meet the Snake River Valley. Sitting on nearly one million acres of rangeland, owners Brian and Kathleen Bean have been strong advocates for producing healthy and delicious lamb cuts, as well as sustain and preserve the land that they use and promote conservation actions.
Because of their landscape conservation efforts, Lava Lake Ranch has received multiple regional and national awards. We have also established the Lava Lake Institute, which promotes conservation and wildlife awareness in the Pioneer Mountain and Craters of the Moon area. Being a non-profit organization, the Institute relies solely on charitable contributions, with which they conduct projects and research studies to improve the area’s landscaping and conservation.