Seasonal Recipe Spotlight: Spring Lamb

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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.

Here's some other recipes we've featured in the past: Roasted Lamb Chops and Mushrooms, Liz's Lamb Tagine, and Lamb RagĂș.

We'd also like to try this Spring Lamb Stew recipe over at Staub's website. Also try Narangi Keema, a dish that uses ground lamb, or this Sri Lankan Lamb Curry.

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?

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Faith is the executive editor of The Kitchn and the author of three cookbooks. They include Bakeless Sweets (Spring 2013) as well as The Kitchn's first cookbook, which will be published in Fall 2014. She lives in Columbus, Ohio with her husband Mike.

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