Think You Don't Like Lamb? TRY AGAIN!

July 2, 2019

I’m a little embarrassed to admit this: I, like many of you, used to think that I didn’t like lamb. I was never a fan of the "lamb" that appeared on our holiday table lurking beneath an undulating glob of mint jelly (don’t tell my mom I said that).

Well, I have news for you. That wasn’t grass-fed, grass-finished lamb we were eating. It was tough, grumpy old sheep (otherwise known as hogget - which can actually be delicious as well, when prepared correctly). Lamb, mutton, and hogget are all the names for meat that comes from sheep at different ages. Lamb is under one year old, mutton is at least one year old, and hogget is between one and two years old. WE ONLY SELL LAMB.

True pasture-raised, grass-fed and grass-finished lamb is very mildly flavored, quite lean, and very high in protein. It's an incredible red meat option for those suffering from beef burnout, or for those with a health-related sensitivity or intolerance to beef.

According to Dr. Mark Hyman, Director of Functional Medicine at The Cleveland Clinic and author of "Food, What the Heck Should I Eat", lamb has 32.08 grams of protein (per 100-gram weight), compared to pork (28.86) and chicken (28.74). On top of that, lamb is a rich source of many different vitamins and minerals, including zinc, iron, and B12. Lamb also has more heart-healthy Omega-3 fatty acids per ounce than grass-fed beef.

Our lamb is being raised by my 16-year-old friend, Cloe Parker in the lush mountain valley of Gunnison, Colorado. Cloe runs her lamb in “flerds” or a combined flock (of sheep) and herd (of cattle). The flerds are rotated through Cloe’s family’s pastures daily to ensure full access to fresh lush grass all of the time, and to minimize over-grazing and over-impact on the Earth. The cattle also help protect the sheep from predation, along with Cloe’s watchful guard llama. The sheep are 100% pasture-raised and 100% grass-fed and grass-finished (only receiving a little hay from time to time in winter when the pastures are fully covered in snow).

Cloe is a recent homeschool high school graduate who is now running her lambing operation full-time. She’s providing lamb to us as well as several incredible mountain town restaurants. If you’re ever in Crested Butte, make a stop at The Sunflower for a taste of Cloe’s lamb prepared by an incredible chef.

The moral of the story is, DON’T BE AFRAID TO TRY LAMB. And if you’re a newbie to it,  lamb burgers are a perfect starting point to fall in love with lamb once and for all.

Kristin Varela-Schild

Recipe: Lamb Burgers

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