You know how I told you the other day that I didn’t grow up drinking wine? I should’ve said “I didn’t grow up drinking wine with my lamb. Or eating lamb.”
I promise I wasn’t a sheltered eater as a child. I ate (okay sometimes just “tried”) all the usual suspects flaunted out there among adventurous kid eaters — broccoli, beets, asparagus. (But not English peas. Never, ever English peas.)
I can even claim to have eaten, on more than one occasion, poke salat (how many of you can say that?) and straight-out-of-the-woods-deer prepared a number of different ways (yeah, we called it deer… not venison… that was way too fancy for where I grew up). I’ve eaten fried catfish I caught myself just a few hours earlier in my grandad’s pond.
But it wasn’t until I started working in the test kitchen testing recipes for The Ultimate Southern Living Cookbook that I had my first experience with lamb.
Sidebar: Those were fun times, seriously. New tastes. New cooking experiences. Cooking all morning long. Eating for hours in the middle of the day. Getting paid virtually nothing...
...I didn’t say they were perfect times.
Anyway, back to the lamb. I had a number of wonderful dishes back then, but in the years following, I’ve struggled to find “good lamb.” You know… the kind that hints of the unique savory quality of a good cut of meat, without an overpowering flavor. So when Mountain States Rosen signed on to support the first annual Blog Brûlée, my first thought was “I hope this is ‘good’ lamb!”
And boy is it. But you know as with anything farming-related there’s a distinct reason why. MSR approaches things differently. Here's how:
- They are the only national U.S. producer owned and operated, vertically integrated lamb company.
- They are a co-op of family ranchers (I'm such a fan of the co-op... small family farmers joining together to do more as one than they can on their own, while still maintaining the integrity of their individual farms.)
- They were the first company to offer an "All Natural, Never Ever" lamb program – Shepherd’s Pride Lamb – ensuring animals never receive antibiotics or added hormones.
- Their herds are source-verified and through their brand Shepherd’s Pride, shoppers can learn more about the family who raised the lamb they've purchased with just a swipe of the on-package QR code.
How can you find these quality products in your area? Check their website for a current listing of retail partners.
The recipe I chose to make first with the lamb MSR sent me is a hearty, rich, warm and inviting bowl of deep flavors. I hope you’ll seek out their “good” lamb to prepare this dish soon.
ad: Step out of your kitchen comfort zone and make this Curry Braised Lamb with Chickpeas for dinner! Tweet this
Curry Braised Lamb with Chickpeas
- 1 (2 1/2 to 3 pound) leg of lamb (I used Cedar Springs)
- 2 tablespoons curry powder, divided
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 cups less-salt beef broth
- 1 (6-ounce) can of tomato paste
- 1 (15-ounce) can of no-salt-added chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
Unroll lamb; trim fat. Sprinkle evenly with 1 tablespoon curry powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Refrigerate overnight.
Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add lamb to pan; cook 6 minutes, turning to brown on all sides; remove from pan.
Pour broth into pan, scraping to loosen browned bits. Add remaining 1 tablespoon of curry powder, 1 teaspoon Kosher salt and tomato paste; stir thoroughly to combine. Add in chickpeas and return lamb to pan. Cover and simmer over low heat for 2 hours or until tender, stirring occasionally. (Depending on size of Dutch oven and how "hot" your stove simmers, you may want to add more broth [or water] halfway through cooking time.)