What do you mean he don't eat no meat? Oh, that's okay. I make lamb.
—Aunt Voula in My Big Fat Greek Wedding
A popular meat around the globe, lamb is raised and consumed on nearly every continent. Many cultures have iconic dishes based on this delicious meat. Lamb is roasted and stuffed into pitas with yogurt sauce to make the iconic gyros of Greece, it’s the meat of choice in Mongolian barbecue, and it’s charcoal-roasted whole in Chile.
Lamb is a great source of protein, iron and zinc and it also delivers a healthy dose of vitamin B12 and niacin. As with most other red meats, lamb is relatively high in fat—particularly saturated fat; to lower the fat content, trim all visible fat and drain fat drippings from cooked ground lamb.
Lamb is divided into five basic cuts for cooking: shoulder (arm), rack, foreshank or breast, loin and leg. The leanest cuts of lamb come from the shoulder, loin and leg. The shoulder, foreshank or breast, and leg are tougher, more suitable for longer, moist-heat cooking methods, such as braising and stewing. The rack and loin are more tender; use quicker, dry-heat cooking, such as roasting or sautéing. Ground lamb is also readily available and can be used in the same ways as ground beef.
Lamb should be refrigerated immediately after purchase. Lamb meat can also be frozen—just be sure to wrap the original package in airtight freezer wrap or store in an airtight freezer bag to prevent freezer burn. Use frozen lamb within 3-4 months for the best quality.