Very Likable Lamb
July 26, 2015
Went into The Meat Market in Great Barrington the other day, in search of inspiration, and spied a very lean-looking leg of lamb.
"It's a Romney," said the butcher. "We don't get them very often."
"What's different about that breed?" I wondered.
Sheep, he explained, are divided into two categories: wool sheep and meat sheep. Romney, apparently, are the exception. They have excellent wool – and tasty meat.
Not sure about the wool part, but I can attest that this was the most delicious lamb I've ever cooked. The meat is very mild, without a hint of that gaminess so many people find objectionable.
I love lamb. I especially love leg of lamb for dinner parties because it's the most forgiving cut of meat- delicious no matter how much (or little) you cook it. Unlike beef, which is, in my opinion, hardly worth eating unless it's rare, lamb is delicious in every state from rare to well done. You can put it in the oven with no worries. I always cook lamb with rosemary and garlic, so it makes the house fantastically fragrant as it cooks.
Now that I've discovered Romney lamb, I've got a problem; when am I ever going to find more?
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There are several breeds raised for both meat and fiber. Romney isn’t the softest of the wools, but it’s not carpet grade either. Think that slightly crunchy wool sweater that you pull on over a long sleeved shirt rather than the next to skin snuggly of a merino sweater. It’s also glossy and lustrous. Oregon farmers raise a fair number of Romney sheep.
You’ll have to visit Sawkill Farm in Red Hook. They raise Romney’s and sell the lamb in their farmstore. They are a small family farm selling grass-fed beef & lamb, pastured pork & poultry, fresh eggs, soap made from tallow and beautiful sheepskins!
Thanks Sarah. This is a farm I don’t know – but I’ll be checking it out soon.