In the U.S, lamb tends to more often be a choice for holidays and special occasions than for weeknight dinners and casual affairs. That’s why we like to highlight the premium grass-fed lamb from Colorado we regularly carry at this time of year. Lamb is a classic choice for Easter, and quite simple to prepare and present as an elegant entree for your holiday meal, especially when you pair with the special Easter Sides we offering from Ted’s for the upcoming holiday.

Many people are unsure of what cuts of lamb are available, and about how to properly prepare lamb. Never fear. There’s no shortage of fabulous recipes that highlight a variety of  popular cuts, including:

  • Lamb Shoulder Roast – This cut is fattier than the leg, which gives it more flavor. Plan on about 10-12 oz per person.
  • Rack of Lamb – A highly prized cut for flavor and tenderness. There are 8 ribs per rack, and we recommend planning on 2-3 ribs per person.
  • Leg of Lamb – What you use for a classic lamb roast – available with bone in or out.  Count on 8-10 oz. per person for a bone-out leg, or 10-12 oz. per person for a bone-in leg.
  • Lamb Rib Chops – Individual chops that are cut from the rack. Plan on 2-3 chops per person.
  • Lamb Loin Chops – These are good choice for value – more affordable than lamb rib chops. Plan on 2 chops per person.

You can Google and Pinterest away, and you’ll be flooded with delicious recipes featuring this versatile protein. But here at Ted’s Butcherblock, we always lean towards a more minimalist approach to preparing most of our meats. That’s because the flavor truly stands alone when you’re using the best, most responsibly raised products. That said, that same amazing quality and flavor will take all of your favorite lamb recipes to the ultimate level of taste!

Below are three simple preparations for three different cuts of lamb. Any one would make a delicious Easter dinner, paired with one or more of Chef Nick’s Easter Sides. Be sure to place your orders by Thursday, April 1 by calling (843) 577-0094. Sides and butcher counter orders for Easter can be picked up on Saturday, April 3 from 11 am – 5 pm.

Rack of Lamb – Grilled or Roasted

Racks of Lamb are the ultimate choice for the holidays and for entertaining. They work well on the grill or can be roasted in the oven, and are surprisingly simple to prepare. They make for a lovely formal presentation, sliced and served with your favorite sides.

Ingredients:

  • 2 lb. Rack of Lamb
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed or minced
  • Chopped fresh herbs: rosemary, mint, basil and/or thyme 
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper

Prepare the Lamb:

Bring lamb to room temperature. Rub with the garlic and season liberally with herbs, salt and pepper. 

To Roast in Oven:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Prepare a cast-iron skillet or grill pan over high heat. 

Heat 2-3 Tbs. oil in pre-heated pan, then sear lamb for 3 minutes with the fat side down, flip the rack over and Rub with the garlic and season liberally with herbs, salt and pepper. 

Place pan in pre-heated oven for 25 minutes. 

To Grill:

Build your fire or adjust your flames so that you have two heat zones.

Place lamb on the hot side of the grill for 3 minutes with the fat side down, flip the rack over and Rub with the garlic and season liberally with herbs, salt and pepper. 

Move lamb to the cooler side of the grill for an additional 15-20 minutes, or until internal temperature has reached 140 degrees.

Allow lamb to sit at least 5 minutes before serving.

Butterflied Leg of Lamb

Butterflying a leg of lamb helps it cook faster and more evenly.

Ingredients:

  • 7 pound butterflied leg of lamb, well trimmed
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh herbs: mint, sage, thyme, basil and/or parsley
  • Grated zest and juice of 1 orange
  • 8 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preparation:

Combine oil, herbs, orange zest, orange juice, garlic, salt and pepper in a small bowl. 

Bring lamb to room temperature, then place on a rimmed baking sheet, and rub herb mixture into lamb. Cover with foil and let marinate at room temperature for 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Remove foil, transfer lamb to oven and roast for 15 minutes, then turn the oven down to 350 degrees and roast and additional 20 minutes or until an internal temperature of at least 120 (rare) degrees. 

Let cool to room temperature before slicing and serving.

Slow-Roasted Lamb Shoulder

The shoulder is one of the most flavorful cuts of lamb. It does take some time for the meat to get tender, so it’s a great choice for stewing and slow roasting.

Ingredients:

  • 8-pound bone-in lamb shoulder roast 
  • 3 tablespoons whole coriander seeds
  • Coarse sea salt or kosher salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • Olive oil
  • 2-4 tablespoons flour
  • 3 cups beef or chicken stock

Preparation:

Bring lamb to room temperature. Meanwhile, heat oven to 275 degrees. 

Toast coriander seeds in a dry skillet over medium heat until aromatic. 

With mortar and pestle or spice grinder, grind toasted coriander seeds until fine.

Use a sharp knife to score the fat cap on the roast, making shallow cuts in a crisscross pattern. Rub surface with cracked coriander seeds, salt and pepper. 

Place lamb in a roasting pan and drizzle liberally with olive oil.

Roast lamb for approximately 6 hours, until tender and browned all the way through. 

Once internal temperature reads about 155 degrees, remove lamb from oven, cover with foil, and let rest for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, you can make a sauce:

Tilt the roasting pan and spoon off the fat. Place the pan over low heat, and sprinkle in 2 Tbsp. flower. Whisk until browned bits from the pan start to dissolve. When flour is golden, add the stock and combine. Add ground coriander and simmer until thickened, then season with salt and pepper. 

Carve lamb into thick slices so that each piece includes crust. Serve with roasted potatoes and gravy.