Spring lamb comes from animals that are only about 6 to 7 months old, so the meat is more tender and less assertive than older lamb. It's a traditional spring food, especially with Easter just around the corner.
So what defines lamb versus sheep or mutton? We found that it's not only age - it's also the state of their teeth. Seriously. In New Zealand, a lamb is defined as a young sheep no older than a year, with no permanent incisors.
We love lamb, choosing to stew and braise it much more frequently than beef or chicken. It's also produced in much smaller quantities here in the United States, so it's prone to less of the issues with hormones and antibiotics that trouble so much of the meat industry. We still try to buy grass-fed lamb, however, like this package of 20-25 pounds of lamb available through LocalHarvest.
So, what to do with it?
The classic flavors to pair with lamb are mint and rosemary. We love a simple lamb chop roasted with rosemary, salt and pepper. Try this Mustard Rosemary Paste for Lamb, too.
If you're looking for Easter recipes, check out this Mini-Crusted Roast Leg of Lamb with Tart Plum Sauce and this Sirloin of New Season's Lamb with Lentils.
What's your favorite lamb recipe?