Carnivore's Guide: Lamb

The slightly gamey piece of meat
Posted December 10, 2010

For those who prefer a slightly gamey piece of meat, there’s nothing better than locally raised lamb. And did you know the most commonly eaten meat in the world happens to be goat? Try it; we bet you’ll like it.

Try it out: Our favorite restaurant lamb dishes

Lamb burger (pictured): Oh, Lola, how we love your lamb. And though we’ve enjoyed your gyros and your kebabs, we like your burger best. A full, juicy, inch-thick Anderson Valley, Oregon, lamb patty is piled high with gorgeous heirloom tomatoes, red onions, grilled peppers and a spicy ketchup, all on a fresh Dahlia Bakery bun ($15).

Braised lamb shank: Though the accompaniments change with the season—in spring, it’s wild ramp jus and hummus; in fall, buttered parsnips and Brussels sprouts—the braised lamb shank ($24) at Nell’s in Green Lake is a signature item that’s always moist and tender to the bone.

Lamb chops: Chef Scott Carsberg can’t ever take the delicious lamb chops ($5 each) off of his menu at Bisato in Belltown—it would cause a riot. The gamey chops are served with sinfully smooth whipped potatoes so good that you just know it’s best if you don’t ask what’s in them.

Lamb tartare: This dish ($18) might be a novel enough concept at most places, but not at Belltown’s Spur. Here, the delicately flavored meat is dressed with heirloom tomato jam and a sous vide egg that stretches—literally—when you try to break the yolk. Tricky, for sure, but quite tasty, too.

Barbecued lamb: Greenwood’s La Conasupo becomes extra lively on Sundays, when this little convenience store/restaurant unveils its barbacoa, which is lamb meat that’s wrapped in maguey leaves and roasted low and slow until dripping ($15/pound eat-in, or $12/pound take-out).

For an  exotic taste

Mutton: It’s a decidedly acquired taste and it’s hard to find. But mutton fans can find limited amounts of their favorite meat at Vashon Island’s Sea Breeze Farm. Contact owner and farmer George Page at the Ballard, U District or West Seattle farmers’ markets, or at the farm (see references page) for prices and dates of availability.

Choice cuts: What to look for at your butcher/grocer

Leg of lamb: A gorgeous, bone-in Anderson Valley, Oregon, grass-fed leg of lamb can be purchased at Rain Shadow Meats. ($8.99/pound)

Rack of lamb: The Swinery sells racks of lamb from Anderson Farms in Ontario, Oregon. ($17.50/pound)

Ground lamb: Bill the Butcher’s freshly ground trim meat is delicious. $9.99/pound.

Lamb shanks: Vashon Island’s Sea Breeze Farm lamb shanks will cost you, but the taste of the meat is truly remarkable. $10/pound at the Ballard, U District and West Seattle farmers’ markets.

Ground goat: Like lamb burgers? You’ll love goat burgers. Drop by and buy a pound of freshly ground goat meat from Lynda Di Cicco, co-owner of Toboton Creek Ranch in Yelm, then mix with herbs and garlic, and cook over charcoal. Delish. $11/pound.

Leg of goat: Terry Whetham works the Marysville-based Quilceda Farms stall at the Ballard Farmers’ Market, where he sells goat shanks—perfect for cold-weather braising. He’ll even happily supply a recipe, too. $9/pound.

Published November 2010

More articles from our Meat issue
Carnivore's Guide: Bacon!
Carnivore's Guide: A Burger for every budget
Carnivore's Guide: Charcuterie
Carnivore's Guide: Chicken
Carnivore's Guide: Duck, Turkey, and Goose
Carnivore's Guide: Game: Venison, Elk, Wild Boar
Carnivore's Guide: Lamb
Carnivore's Guide: The Meatless Meats
Carnivore's Guide: Offal
Carnivore's Guide: Pork
Carnivore's Guide: Sausages
Carnivore's Guide: The Steakhouses
Carnivore's Guide: The Art of Butchering
Carnivore's Guide: Butcher Shops and Meat Markets
Carnivore's Guide: The Seattle Meat Directory