With the new year approaching more rapidly then I can wrap my head around I am surrounded by articles wearing the title of ‘best of’ and lists that point out the trends of 2009 and predict the future trends of 2010.

It was on such a list that I noticed pork was on its way out making room for lamb. While I can and will debate against them saying pork is becoming a lesser meat (bacon will always be near and dear to my heart) I will say I agree that lamb will be making a delicious rise in popularity.


Fortunately for me, during this  ‘year of the lamb”, I found myself with a selection of lamb thanks to Lava Lake Lamb. I received a nice email – with an actual person behind it, not someone just insterting my name – asking if I would like to recieve a sample of their product. It was mere seconds before I responded with an enthusiastic YES.

*Full disclaimer* so I don’t get hauled off to jail. I received the lamb for free but was not paid to write about it. I recieve many PR emails  – some I ignore, some I respond to and others ( few) I get so excited about I feel the need to blog.

Oh goodness am I excited about this.


First there was ground lamb. I added toasted cumin, mint, feta, salt and pepper. I formed that into little sausage patties which I then fried and served with olive pasta (pasta with finely chopped kalamata olives, mint, garlic, chili flakes and olive oil).

Secondly I braised lamb shanks. This wasn’t just any ol’ braise. This was like a spa treatment for the meaty shanks. They relaxed on a bed of carrots, onions, garlic and tomato. Then they enjoyed a drink of red wine, followed by an energizing bath of coffee. After all that they rested while the vegetables and juices reduced, were blended then strained. By the taste of things the shanks had quite a lovely day at the spa.

And Thirdly we ate French lamb chops. The simplest of all preparations but quite possibly my favorite. You remember the fennel pollen? Well, pull that out again. Dust your chops with it along with salt and pepper. Grab a skillet and cover the bottom with olive oil. Get it hot. No, hotter. Now you are talking. Gently place a chop in and watch the fireworks. Let that hang out for a few minutes then flip. Sizzle. Another few minutes on that side then let it rest. At this point they should be medium rare. If you want them cooked a bit more just pop the skillet in a hot oven for a couple minutes.


Serve with a raw carrot salad. Shaved carrot tossed with a lemon vinagrette (3 parts oil, one part lemon juice, touch of honey, french mustard, salt and pepper) and chopped Italian parsely.


If Rachel Ray were to prepare this she could take a 20 minute cocktail break and still be able to call it a 30 minute meal.

So there you have it. Three great ways to enjoy lamb in 2010.

Happy New Year to you all. May it be filled with joy, love, passion and food.


18 Responses to “year of the lamb”

  1. Misty

    Great pictures, especially the last one with the serious steak knife. And lucky you for getting to sample the lamb! I haven’t made lamb in ages, and it was always done in a pan and served with mint jelly. 🙂

  2. Tina Francis

    Oh my…. That looks delicious! I want lamb pronto…..Time to visit my refrigerator for a post-midnight snack.

  3. Kelly

    Oh, that looks DELICIOUS. I am absolutely salivating.

    Wonder if there’s a dish that would have bacon AND lamb? 😉

  4. Megan

    They all sound so delicious. I love lamb, and I actually made it for New Year’s Eve last year — I guess I should have waited for this year since lamb is now the “in” meat. Ha ha. I’m hoping to make some braised lamb shanks soon. Happy New Year!

  5. Wizzythestick

    I don’t know if lamb is ‘in’ or not. It’s always in with me. This was our Christmas dinner – except my photos aren’t pretty like yours. No worries though cause the lamb was perfect and everyone said it was a nice change from the pork and turkey fest that is Christmas.

  6. Fran

    I love lamb. As a matter of fact, in the last century, when I went to summer sleep-away camp we had lamb chops each week. No one in my bunk liked lamb so I ate the bulk of the chops — ended up in the infirmary every Thursday night for some Pepto to cure the too much lamb blues, but I went back for more each week. Lamb is my red meat go-to and rarely a week goes by without some form of the meat.

    Love the shot of the chops with carrots. It’s making my mouth water and that’s not a good thing as I just came in from a tough dentist appointment. LOL

    Happy New Year — I hope it’s a Lambtastic one for all of us! 🙂

  7. Julia

    Lamb is on our menu for New Year’s Day. Leg of lamb, Greek style. Can I also mention what a lovely and simple salad that is??

  8. Lauren K.

    I love lamb, and I can’t wait to see all of the new recipes that result from this new fad.
    However, as was recently discussed in the October 2009 issue of Bon Appetit, most super-market lamb comes all the way from New Zealand. And that’s not environmentally friendly. However, there are lots of great North American lamb farms that raise their animals healthfully, ethically, and pro-environmentally, like Lava Lake Ranch!

  9. Anticiplate

    “If Rachel Ray were to prepare this she could take a 20 minute cocktail break and still be able to call it a 30 minute meal.”- YOU ARE HYSTERICAL! hahaha. Happy New Year to you and your family:)

  10. Katherine @ NightOwlChef

    That’s very good news that 2010 is the Year of the Lamb! Finally … now perhaps my local NJ supermarkets will carry more and better quality cuts of lamb. It’s so hard to find around here. I like your lamb chop recipe – do you think crushed fennel seeds would do instead of the pollen?? I usually go for Middle Eastern or Moroccan flavorings with lamb, but I’m going to try your ideas – thanks!

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