Lamb meat is quickly becoming one of the more popular forms of poultry, on the same tier as beef, pork, and chicken. It has a much different taste and smell, though. Most lamb is grass fed, so upon eating lamb chops, you will likely be able to taste the grassiness.
It is the meat of a very young sheep, usually below a year old. Because of this, lamb chops are very tender. The texture of lamb is firmer than that of beef. It has a much more distinct flavor too, because lambs walk around more than cows do, promoting blood flow.
Lamb is one of the healthiest red meats. It is a firm meat with a tender texture. Its flavor has a hint of smokiness, and it is often described as “gamey” due to the grass fed lambs.
The Taste of Lamb Chops
If you were to compare the flavor of lamb chops to anything, it would be goat meat. It is light brown on the outside, pink on the inside, and very moist when cooked properly. The combination of lamb chops’ slightly crunchy exterior and very tender interior is craveable. They have a smoky taste, pungent scent, and juicy texture.
Factors That Affect the Flavor
The taste of your lamb chops is influenced by many things, even prior to cooking it. The main one depends on how the lambs were raised. For instance, in some places, lambs are fed grain instead of grass, which obviously affects the flavor.
American lamb will be fed strictly grains for the last thirty days of their life. This results in a much less pungent flavor. In comparison, lambs in New Zealand are raised strictly on pastures, which promotes more fatty acids, giving a more juicy flavor to the meat.
Besides this, how it is cooked majorly affects the flavor. For example, lamb that has been grilled will taste much different than lamb that has been cooked in an oven. Because lamb has only recently become popular, many restaurants are still working at perfecting the taste of their lamb chops.
Benefits of Eating Lamb
One 100 gram serving of lamb contains a considerable amount of fat (16.5 grams) but also over 25 grams of protein and just 258 calories. Lamb also is high in Vitamin B12, which helps to form red blood cells and promote circulation.
Because lamb is grass-fed, it is high in Omega-3 fatty acids, which are vital for curating and maintaining a healthy body. In addition to its high protein, zinc, and selenium, lamb is considered one of the healthier choices for meat.
Lamb also has a high zinc content, which helps your body heal external wounds faster. Because of this, it is also good for people that suffer from lightheadedness or anemia. Eating lamb daily, like many other foods, can cause problems. But in moderation, lamb is a very healthy red meat.
How to Cook Lamb
Lamb can be grilled or slow cooked. Perhaps the easiest way to cook lamb is to roast it. To do this, drizzle your preferred seasonings on it and let it cook for about an hour. Garlic lamb chops are another great crowd pleaser. Most lamb chops need to have the fat trimmed off of them, which is sometimes already done before it is sold.
To make garlic lamb chops, season with garlic powder and extra virgin olive oil. Cook in a pan on high heat until the simmering slows. Add your preferred herbs and spices, lemon juice, and garlic. Then remove from the pan and drizzle some pan sauce over it for added flavor.
How to Get Rid of the Gamey Flavor
Lamb is known for having a “gamey” flavor due to the way it was raised. Many people adore lamb because of this taste, but others are turned away from it. More than the taste, it has an extremely gamey smell that most people are not too fond of.
Letting the lamb marinate is the key to getting rid of the gamey flavor, or at least the scent. Let it marinate in milk for a few hours, or even overnight if you dislike that gamey element of lamb’s flavor. After the lamb has soaked, simply rinse it off thoroughly before cooking.
Masking it with seasonings is another effective method. Depending on your meal or personal preference, both savory and sweet seasonings will work. For a sweeter feel, cinnamon, allspice, clove, and ginger are popular options. For savory dishes, try other herbs like sage, black pepper, rosemary, or time.
What Cut of the Meat Makes the Best Lamb Chops?
Lamb chops that are derived from the rib, sirloin, and loin make for the best meat. This is because these parts are the most tender. Other cuts from lamb such as the leg or shoulder require more labor and often are lower quality.
In comparison to other red meats, lamb is one of the most healthy. Lamb chops have a very unique and strong taste, described as smoky and gamey. The grass-fed nature of lamb contributes to its taste, and this can be tweaked to personal preference through seasonings.