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Lamb Cuisine

Lamb Cuisine
  • The Lamb Cuisine page publishes your recipes and culinary anecdotes much like the following from Larousse Gastronomique which shows us that a recipe can be an idea to cook with as well as a procedure to cook from.  Please email me your recipes.
Agnelet à la Kurde

"This recipe for milk-fed lamb was given to us by Roland Dorgelès, the author of Les Croix de Bois and it is rather an original one.

'On the banks of Euphrates, where I lived among camel drivers and Bedouin, I discovered a dish which I did not know…Take a small milk-fed lamb, one of those little lambs which the nomad shepherds carry about like babies. You clean it out, season the inside and stuff with a forcemeat made from its liver, heart and lungs. You mix this forcemeat generously with rice half-cooked with fat, in which you have incorporated dry, not sweet, apricots which have been cooked in the gravy. Then you serve it with the gravy from which the fat has been skimmed off.'

No doubt the addition of apricots to this dish may appear a little eccentric to certain gastronomical purists (and you may count me as one) but let us not forget that many people relish venison with red currant jelly."

Prosper Montagné, editor Larousse Gastronomique, 1938

Lamb Recipes

Kourma from Azerbaijan
Blade Chops with Saffron

This recipe comes from Yuri Raginov and a book he loaned me, Azerbaijan Cookery, with each recipe published in English, Russian and Azerbaijani.

"Salt, pepper and fry mutton (or lamb) blade chops (the topmost part of the shoulder that includes the rib) in butter with shredded onion.  Add mutton broth & saffron* infusion and stew until ready.  Cut tomatoes into halves and brown in butter.  Serve kourma garnished with the tomatoes."
*Yuri insists that only Persian saffron be used; fortunately this is available from Kalustyan’s. 


Lamb Sweetbreads with a Honey and Sherry Vinegar Glaze

 Ingredients :

2 1/2 lb  Lamb sweetbreads
1 tbl  Lemon juice
2 tbl  Unsalted butter
2 tbl  Olive oil
1 tsp  Salt
1/2 tsp  Freshly-ground black pepper
Sauce :
1/2 cup  Finely-chopped onion
4 x  Shallots finely chopped
2 1/2 tbl   Sherry vinegar or to taste
1/4 cup  Fino or amontillado sherry
1 1/2 cup  Beef broth or veal stock reduced by half
1 tbl  Honey
1 tbl  Unsalted butter
Method :
  • Soak the sweetbreads in cold water to cover for 2 hours, changing the water 3 times.
  • Drain and place the sweetbreads in a saucepan. Cover with cold water and add the lemon juice. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes. Drain the sweetbreads and immediately plunge them into a bowl of cold water. After 3 or 4 minutes, remove and drain the sweetbreads on paper towels. Separate into lobes, with the natural partitions, and remove the tubes and connective tissues. The pieces will be approximately 2 by 2 inches.
  • In a large skillet that will hold all the sweetbreads in a single layer, heat the butter and olive oil over medium heat. Add the sweetbreads, sprinkle them with salt and pepper, and increase the heat to medium-high. Cook, without stirring for about 3 minutes, then turn the sweetbreads to the other side. Continue cooking until golden, about 5 minutes more. Transfer them with a slotted spoon to a plate and set aside.
  • Add the onion and shallot to the pan and saute for about 5 minutes, until golden. Add the vinegar and sherry, increase the heat to high, and deglaze the pan, stirring and scraping until the liquid has reduced by half. Add the beef broth or veal stock and simmer until again reduced by half, to just under 1 cup. Whisk in the honey and the butter and return the sweetbreads to the pan. Turn them in the sauce until heated through and nicely glazed, and serve immediately.

This recipe yields 6 servings.

From Food Down Under



Pemmican from Lamb Suet

Two weeks ago Kyle Stick came by the stand and asked for lamb suet.  “What’s that,” I asked.  Suet is the hard fat found around the kidneys & loins of beef or sheep, he told me,

I use suet for cooking in place of other fats. I prefer the taste of lamb fat and find that it compliments most vegetables well. The other thing I use suet for is to make Pemmican, a food of Native Americans. Pemmican was used during times of famine and during migration. It keeps for long periods and provides protein/fat/energy. I like to make it and take it when I go camping and hiking.”

Mr. Darling said he would collect suet from the lambs he slaughtered that week. Kyle was delighted when he picked up the suet last Saturday and later emailed me his recipe.

"Traditionally Pemmican is made with beef, however I prefer the taste of lamb.   
  • First you want to start with fresh ground lamb. You will need a food dehydrator to dry it in. Make sure your dehydrator is equipped to handle meat and dry it according to the instructions for the dehydrator.
  • Once the meat is fully dry you want to grind it into a powder. It is important to make sure it is completely dry or it will not grind well. You can use either a blender or food processor for this.
  • Once ground, store in an airtight container.
  • Now you want to render your suet
  • To render the suet you want to place it in a stock pot and cover it with water(it is best to either grind the suet or chop it in small pieces) to the water you want to add 1T of salt per pound of suet. Bring the water to a boil and then simmer 10 minutes per pound of suet. Then you want to strain the liquid from the gristle. Let the liquid sit in a dish. As it cools the fat will solidify on top of the water. When it is firm enough you can remove it and rinse it off with water.
  • Allow the rendered fat to dry.
  • The idea is to have a 50/50 mix of fat and dried meat
  • Once the fat has dried you want to warm it up again so it will mix well with the dried meat
  • When you are mixing it up you may add seasonings. Traditionally dried wild berries were added. You can add anything as long as it is dry(herbs, dried fruit, salt, pepper) the only exception is honey. I personally enjoy adding honey. The idea of keeping it dry is to ensure a good shelf life. 
  • Once you have it mixed up spread it on a cookie sheet to be sliced up or roll it into balls.
  • I find it stores best in the freezer, but given the nature of it you really just need to keep it sealed in an airtight container.
Nothing really has to be exact with the measurements some people like 40/60% fat/meat others like more fat.  I hope to make some for this fall when I go camping."
Kyle Stick 



A Boneless Leg of Lamb marinated in Guinness

JoEllen, my good customer in Montana, ordered boneless legs to make for her Australian guests; here's how she prepared and served the lamb:

“Marinated it with Guinness, garlic and fresh mint for 24 hours.  Cooked it with Guinness, garlic, fresh mint, rosemary, thyme, and shallots.  Served it with a mint sauce -- not a scrap left on the platter.”  

Mint sauce:

“I found a delicious homemade apple mint jam at Farmers Market two weeks ago to serve with your lamb. Cooked up about 1/4 cup of fresh mint (minced) with the juice of a small lime and a hint of ginger and cardamom.  Let it cool for about a minute then mixed the apple mint jam into it.  ‘G'day mate,’ as Geoff would say."

Slaughter on 10th Avenue: a leg steak with garlic & potato    

Jeremy Ellison-Gladstone writes:

Hey there,

I just took home my first lamb leg steak* from your Greenmarket stand in USQ. I can't wait to enjoy it!
Like lots of foodies, I have lately become even more concerned with the ethical and environmental tolls that factory farming has taken on all parties involved (except for big business). The literature that is out now talks about how many animals are humanely raised but then sent to large scale slaughterhouses where horrific abuse often occurs. I spoke to your rep today at the Greenmarket who was well aware of how your animals are raised but really was only able to tell me that "They get sent off somewhere for slaughter." Have you been happy with the level of care demonstrated by the facility in the slaughtering process?

I thank you again for your help and your responsible farming.

Be well.
Jeremy Ellison-Gladstone

*a lamb leg steak is a center cut of a leg of lamb, about 1.5 inches thick.


Hi Jeremy,

As bluesman Albert King sings on a CD of mine, "Everybody wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die." Most people don't want to know about the last moments of a lamb's life, including my reps at market; so I go lightly there.
I use a small slaughterhouse that is owned by a 76 year old man. Howard Darling has an employee, Willy, who remembers when they started killing in La Plume in 1946. They are as humane as killers of animals can be; they care for the lamb before and they care for the lamb after. Death is small & personal in La Plume, not large & anonymous as agribusiness death is.
I wonder where I will take my sheep when Howard & Willy die.
I hope the lamb leg steak pleases you; I'm collecting lamb recipes and cooking anecdotes to post on the website; please tell me how you cooked it and give me permission to reprint your letter there too, as death is an important aspect of eating lamb raised on a small farm. And it is a subject that is best brought up by a patron of small farm food from a farmers' market.

Eugene Wyatt


Hi Eugene,

Sorry it's taken a while for me to get back to you. I actually ended up freezing the lamb leg steak and making it tonight. First of all: Wow. I haven't had had lamb of this quality in a long time. It is deliciously rich and I will absolutely recommend you to my fellow friends/cooks. Here is the recipe I made up for tonight. Please feel free to post either the recipe or my original letter. I'll speak to you soon.
Preheat oven to 250
Heat a tsp of Olive Oil in a cast iron pan on high
Salt and pepper the lamb steak liberally
Sear the steak on high for 4 minutes per side
While lamb is searing, cut up a large potato
Remove lamb from pan and toss potato in juices left in the pan and then salt them
Toss in 3 cloves of whole garlic
Place seared lamb steak on top of potatoes and place in oven for about 20 minutes or until lamb reads 130 on an instant read thermometer
Remove lamb, turn potatoes, turn oven up to 500 and roast potatoes for 15 minutes more while lamb rests
Dice a red onion and toss with a small piece of feta cheese and whatever fresh herbs you have around and maybe some lemon juice
To plate, spoon roasted potatoes in center of plate. Place lamb (whole or sliced) on top and then top with feta/onion salad

Enjoy. This is really, really good.  : )

Serve with a light bodied red wine (Rioja from Spain or Pinot Noir from France or Oregon)

Thanks again Eugene.
Jeremy Ellison-Gladstone

The Celebration of Syttende Mai in the Land of the Big Sky
JoEllen Estenson writes:
"The lamb from the “land of Goshen” was a definite hit with the 30 Sons of Norway members in the land of “the Big Sky” (better known as “the last best place”) at their “Syttende Mai” celebration in our home (Rollins, Montana) May 17. By all accounts, the two boneless legs of lamb were the most succulent – the best we have served over the past three years.  Not a scrap remained on the serving platter.  I decided to share the sauce recipe that I concocted for the lamb because it was well received.  (Norskes don’t care for a mint sauce served with this meat.)"

Sauce for Boneless Leg of Lamb
In a sauce pan, heat the following:
  • 1 C   Madeira
  • 1 C   Water
  • 3 tsps   Worcestershire sauce
  • Porcini mushrooms (finely chopped)
  • Shallots (finely chopped)
Add :
  • fresh rosemary, thyme, basil and garlic (minced),
  • A pinch of ginger
  • 1 tsp  Alpine Touch (a Montana product)
  • 1 tsp  Coarse black pepper
  • Use herbs/spices you might prefer (I use herbs very generously!)
Whisk the mixture and bring to a boil.

Place the leg of lamb in a roasting pan coated with extra virgin olive oil. Pour the Madiera herb mixture over the leg of lamb.  Roast at 375 degrees until the leg of lamb is medium rare (use a meat thermometer)

After the lamb is cooked pour the drippings from the roast into a sauce pan. Add a roux to thicken and…voila…you have a sauce that complements the meat.

"Playing around with spices, wines, etc., is a hobby.  (Would you believe that before I cooked the lamb on Saturday I marinated it for 24 hrs in Sambuca and plain yogurt with dried herbs and spices tossed in???  Washed it all off and then cooked it in the sauce.)  

Several traditional dishes were brought by the members – among them, a cabbage dish called “farikal” which Norwegians often eat with lamb."

A Lamb Shoulder Recipe from Catalonia
Thanks to Tom Scheerer for this recipe using garlic, rosemary and sherry.
Catalan Lamb  (serves 4-6)
6 shoulder or blade lamb chops
Coarse salt
Ground pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 bulbs garlic
3 sprigs rosemary
3/4 cup fino sherry
Small bunch washed flat leaf parsley, stemmed

  • Pre heat oven to 500
  • Heat oil in a dutch oven . Salt and pepper chops then  brown well, two or three at a time.
  • Remove browned chops to a plate
  • Cut garlic bulbs in half horizontally. Peel the clove tips, keeping bulb base intact
  • Brown bulbs cut side down and clove tips in remaining oil and fat
  • Remove garlic to the plate, pour off fat, deglaze pan with a few tablespoons of water or stock. Pour over chops
  • Pinwheel chops in the dutch oven. Nestle garlic bulbs cut side up and distribute garlic cloves,  rosemary sprigs, and accumulated juices (Recipe can be prepared in advance to this point)
  • Place dutch oven in 500 oven uncovered for 15 minutes
  • Pour in sherry, then tightly seal  dutch oven with foil and a tightly fitting lid
  • Reduce heat to 375 and cook  1 hour
  • Remove lid ,baste with pan juices, scatter the parsley, then serve to heated dinner plates with mashed or roasted root vegetable(s).

I actually use a whole bulb of garlic per person so everyone can squeeze out the roasted garlic. The stemmed parsley is essential. I put a dish of it on the table too to pass and  munch on as a “salad”.

This recipe is a recollection and adaptation of one from a book called Catalan Cuisine  (As I remember...but  I can’t find it)

Tom Scheerer
New York, NY

Braised Shoulder of Lamb 
The most misunderstood cut of lamb is the shoulder.  I've heard comments that lamb from the shoulder is tough & sinewy; these are from folk who roasted* the shoulder like a leg of lamb, rather than braising it like a lamb shank, as they could have.
“Braising is a moist heat cooking method where lamb cuts are browned and cooked in a small amount of liquid. The liquid produces steam which helps tenderize the meat. Thus, this method of cooking is perfect for both small and large less tender cuts of lamb such as neck slices, shoulder cuts, riblets, breasts and shanks. A wide variety of lamb dishes may be braised.
To braise, heat a small amount of oil, fat or butter in a heavy frying pan and brown lamb on all sides. (The lamb may be first dusted with seasoned flour.) Pour off drippings and season as desired. Add a small amount of liquid such as water, vegetable juice or soup and vegetables. Cover pan tightly and cook at low temperature until tender. A sauce or gravy can be made from the cooking liquid.”

Timetable for Braising Lamb

Lamb Cut

Weight or Size

Approximate Cooking Time

Neck Slices

1-3/4 pounds ¾ inch thick

1 to 1-1/2hour

Shoulder Chops, Round Bone or Blade

1-3/4 pounds 1 inch thick

1 to 1-1/4 hour

Breast, Stuffed (Bone-in)

2 to 3 pounds

1-1/2 to 2 hours


3 pounds

1-1/2 to 2 hours


3 pounds

1_to 1-1/2 hours

Stew Cubes

1-1/4 pounds 1 inch pieces

1-1/4 to 1-1/2 hours

Breast, Rolled

1-1/2 to 2 pounds

1-1/2 to 2 hours

Courtesy of the American Lamb Board

See the Cooking Lamb timetables for broiling, grilling or roasting cuts of lamb.

*The shoulder can be roasted, but it should be marinated first and basted to help tenderize it