There are many things I love about Australia, lamb is not one of them. Or at least it wasn't when I first visited. My parents raised me that when you are in the company of others you always have your best manners on, even when it requires you to eat lamb. My first few years in Australia required me to do just that, eat lamb and smile, begrudgingly. For the record, to me lamb chops taste the same as leg of lamb, lamb cutlets, lamb kebobs, and so on. I was, for a lack of a better phrase, blinded by the lamb. I could not get past the smell or the chewy texture. However, there came a point when I realized that this was not going to change and I wasn't going to get new in-laws anytime soon. So the challenge became how to enjoy lamb, and I’m happy to say, I’m kinda coming around.
First, I needed to understand the Australian culture. Australia is a one of the world’s leaders in commercial livestock with lamb exports. There are just as many, if not more, sheep farms on the countryside as cattle. For most Aussies it’s the meat of choice and it’s definitely the meat of choice for summer. It’s perfect for summer time BBQ, baked holiday dinners, and lunch dates with friends. As the National Lamb association slogan goes “Never lamb alone”!
Secondly, I needed to know how to eat it properly. Lamb, when cooked right, is juicy and full of flavor. It’s not gamey and not as firm as chicken. It’s a unique meat that’s all on it’s own. It has a strong smell and savory flavor that dances on the tongue for a while. It is most often paired with rosemary and garlic, which is my preferred way of eating it.The woodsy taste of rosemary takes a good roasted lamb to the next level. The added aroma and flavor will have you asking for seconds. For the Aussies they almost always prefer a side of mint jelly with their lamb. Not a big fan. But they love it.
My relationship with lamb has most certainly been a love-hate kinda of thing for the past 10 years. I can honestly say that it’s starting to lean towards the love side of things. If you’re still not sure how you feel about it try out this lamb chop recipe below. It’s simple and easy and sure to bring you around to the love of lamb!