AUBURN, Ind. — If you’re looking for dinner ideas, lamb and goat dishes may be just what the doctor ordered.
A 3-ounce serving of American lamb contains 23 grams of protein, 160 calories and an array of essential nutrients such as niacin and vitamin B12.
“I would encourage anybody to be a little adventurous,” said Elysia Rodgers, Purdue Extension educator in DeKalb County. “If you’ve never tried these foods before, find a restaurant that carries it, a good Jamaican or Indian restaurant that serves a goat curry, or a higher end restaurant that serves lamb chops or lamb racks.”
If you feel like cooking yourself, Rodgers encouraged customers to buy from local farmers. She shared four tips for cooking lamb and goat.
1. Before cooking, bring the meat to room temperature.
2. After cooking, let the meat rest for a few minutes.
3. Always cut the meat against the grain.
4. Don’t overcook the meat. Use a meat thermometer.
Because the internal temperature of cooked meat will rise, remove it from the oven or grill when the meat is 10 degrees lower than your desired doneness. Common cooking methods include grilling, braising or roasting.
Season Pairing Ideas
Lamb and goat meat can be paired with several seasonings for delicious dishes.
• Cumin — Use seeds, ground or whole, to form a crust. Cumin infuses flavor into the fat of the lamb as it is grilled, pairing well with the light char.
• Rosemary — Rosemary is a classic seasoning for lamb. It pairs well with other herbs and spices, including garlic and black pepper. Chop the leaves and apply as a rub for roasting or grilling. You can also add whole sprigs or chopped leaves if braising the meat.
• Black pepper — It’s versatile and works well with the other seasonings on this list by adding a mild heat and a light piney flavor.
• Curry powder — Ingredients in curry can vary from blend to blend. It can be used as a dry rub or in stews and other wet dishes.
• Garlic — Its strong, savory notes work well with the meat. The more garlic you use, the better it will compete with the intense flavor of the meat.
• Oregano — This strong herb pairs well garlic and black pepper. It is well suited for Mediterranean-style dishes.
• Baharat — This spice is a Middle Eastern blend that typically includes cardamom, black pepper and cloves.
For recipes and more information, visit www.americanlamb.com.