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View Full Version : Is Lamb .....gamey???



Little
02-20-2002, 07:52 PM
I am planning on making the pistachio encrusted rack of lamb for DH's b-day this weekend. I have never really had lamb, but thought that it would be something new. One of my coworkers said that they thought it was gamey and they did not like it. I did a search and most people thought this was a repeater. What do you think?

katygirl
02-20-2002, 08:05 PM
I think Lamb is one of those things you either really like or just can't stand. I am on the can't stand side. It isn't because I haven't had it prepared right either. My Mom is told she makes great lamb. She marinates it in a greek marinade and everyone loves it. I just don't like the taste at all! Do you have a butcher near you where you could buy just a tiny bit of lamb kabobs? You could grill them up and see what you think with out spending a ton of money.

Little Bit
02-20-2002, 08:19 PM
I like lamb, quite a lot. When I was a child, lamb was one of those things our parents learned that my sister and I would eat when we were out for dinner. Yum! (well, okay, I think I've eaten enough moussaka for one lifetime, but other than that ... )

I prefer New Zealand lamb, when I can get it, not sure why, but it seems tastiest. Haven't had any in a long time, living where I do now.

I think I even like mutton, which I think I've been served a time or two labeled as lamb. :o

I think it can be easy to overwhelm the flavors of lamb, with too much garlic, greek seasoning, what have you.

Pistachio crusted? Mmmm ... . Sounds decadent, but not overwhelming. I say 'Go for it!' and have a good time.

oh, oops! edited to answer your question: No, I don't think LAMB tastes gamey. Mutton has a stronger flavor than lamb, which some folks might not prefer. I think lamb just tastes nicely meaty.

JHolcomb
02-20-2002, 08:24 PM
I like lamb, but then again, I like game-venison, quail, rabbit, whatever, I love it. Heck, I don't even mind goat. Lamb does have a distinct taste that beef does not have. DH actually prefers it to beef, and I love it as much as beef when it's in something like a shwarma or gyro or even a curry. On its own, though, I would rather have beef. Not that I don't like lamb, I just prefer the unadulterated flavor of beef (good, fresh, natural filet of beef flavored with just salt and pepper.mmmmm) over plain lamb. But you may like it-if you have any good ethnic restaurants around (esp Greek, Lebanese, or Indian), try it there and see what you think.

vbak
02-20-2002, 08:37 PM
I love lamb, and yes it has a distinct flavor. I love leg of lamb with garlic, oregano, and rosemary. Lamb shanks are good in the oven with a nice sauce of tomatoes, carrots, onions, garlic and seasonings. A rack of lamb is wonderful with a nice crusty topping as you are planning to make. Go for it. Vicky

Marsha
02-20-2002, 08:49 PM
I used to HATE lamb...my husband loves lamb so I had to try to like it. I found that if you remove as much fat as possible, the lamb doesn't have a strong taste. Just remember that the texture isn't the same as beef - I think that puts some people off. Lamb is "softer" - that's the best way I can think of to describe it. Now I really like lamb alot. Good luck!

HRJ
02-20-2002, 10:13 PM
A nicely prepared, tender piece of lamb is a wonderful thing. I grew up eating lamb, and I think it's just great -- actually prefer it to beef. My birthday is in March, and I usually insist we go out somewhere I can get spring lamb, asparagus and strawberry shortcake for dessert ... but I digress ...

Anyway, what you need to look out for is BAD LAMB. I've been to a handful of restaurants that either try to sell really tough, old, gamey lamb, or just have someone in the kitchen who isn't familiar enough with handling it. I ordered a lamb dish at a Thai restaurant around here once, and they brought out the most foul piece of meat I've ever tasted -- and when I sent it back, they insisted that "this is the way lamb is -- you just don't know."

So, if you go to a restaurant to sample lamb, try to get a recommendation first, or make sure it's a really well-regarded place -- I'd hate for you to run into BAD LAMB and get a bad first impression.

Helene

claire797
02-21-2002, 06:28 AM
I really, really tried to like lamb, but no matter how great a cut or how it's cooked, I always taste the "muskiness". If you are sensitive to gamey foods, you probably won't like it. But try it. You never know.

Varaile
02-21-2002, 07:40 AM
I am not entirely thrilled about lamb; I have tried several ways at home and at restaurants in a variety of dishes. I don't think I care for the flavor, which is interesting (at least to me) because I like venision (we have a freezer full of it!)

Katygirl is right, either you are going to like it or you won't and the only way to find out is to try it!

:)

hlao23
02-21-2002, 08:14 AM
I've had lamb in gyros and found it very greasy and strong tasting. A few years ago I had roasted lamb at a buffet and was surprised at how very good it was. To me it was like eating perfect and amazingly tender roast beef. This cut was from an entire roasted lamb though (I almost didn't try it because it was a bit off-putting to see the body there :() - don't know if that makes a difference in the flavor or not.

JenZen
02-21-2002, 08:25 AM
I grew up raising sheep, so lamb was always in the menu. It is my absolute favorite. When I get going on lamb, it's almost as good as eating chocolate. :)

However, I agree that it has a unique taste. Nothing I can think of is similar. It is not gamey, like some venison can be. I think it's sweet and a little herby. And, it is a lot greasier for some reason. You'll really notice this after the meat is cold.

My favorite way, aside from leg of lamb, is barbequed chops. Soooooooo yummy. I request it for my birthday meal every year. :)

Of course, the lamb I've always eaten comes from immature sheep - those that weight about 124 pounds on hoof and are about five to six months old. After a year old, we call it mutton. Spring lamb, I think, are the babies. I'm not sure how old those are when slaughtered.

Oh, and as for gyros, that's not a fair assessment of lamb. Lots of other stuff added to the meat, which detracts from the taste.

Gail
02-21-2002, 10:20 AM
Originally posted by hlao23
I've had lamb in gyros and found it very greasy and strong tasting. A few years ago I had roasted lamb at a buffet and was surprised at how very good it was. To me it was like eating perfect and amazingly tender roast beef. This cut was from an entire roasted lamb though (I almost didn't try it because it was a bit off-putting to see the body there :() - don't know if that makes a difference in the flavor or not.

Just a note on the gyros to elaborate a bit on what JenZen mentioned. My understanding is that this is actually not-- as a rule-- pure, fresh lamb-- rather actually a loaf of ground cooked lamb (and presumably other ingredients) which is sliced and cooked. I've also been to places which mixed beef and lamb. The ground, sliced lamb has a very different texture than fresh, in addition to a different flavor. This could conceivably be the reason for your dislike.

browneye
02-21-2002, 12:03 PM
I love the flavor of lamb- I'd say you should try it! One thing I would recommend is that you get really fresh, good meat from a reliable butcher or grocery that moves alot of lamb. I wouldn't recommend that you try kebob meat first- (sorry, don't mean to offend anyone) because it is by nature a lesser cut of lamb meat and is usually stronger tasting than the racks or chops. If you are going to try it- get some good stuff to give it a fair shake.

Also, lamb is usually served med-rare. If you over cook your lamb, it just doesn't taste as good. So, if you don't like med- rare or medium meat, you might re-consider.

I love to marinade chops in fresh lemon juice, olive oil, garlic and rosemary, then broil or grill them - absolutely divine!

pes
02-21-2002, 01:45 PM
I have also tried to like lamb, since it just seems like something I would like - it has a definite taste that i just don't like, no matter what way its prepared. I vote for the lamb chop option to try - I cook these for DH(who LOVES lamb) and cook either steak or salmon for myself. Try it though - it may be something you enjoy, and there's a lot of great sounding recipes that use lamb.

Curleytop
02-22-2002, 11:29 AM
We like lamb, but not the price! Don't know about the
rest of the country but here in So.Cal. it is exhorbitant!
I sometimes will buy to lamb shanks, the cost about #3.00 EACH!
Leg of lamb is waaaaayyyy out of my budget! Haven't had a good lamb chop in years!

Shirley Ekstein
02-22-2002, 03:45 PM
Have not the foggiest idea what 'gyros' is (are?) - but if you can get good lamb, cooked in any way whatsoever, you're onto a Good Thing.

Must admit am absoutely amazed that lamb is not (obviously, given these replies) a regular American thing - given some of your grasslands, would think there's an opportunity waiting here for a Real Yank Entrepreneur. . .

In the meantime, come to England - eat great lamb!

claire797
02-23-2002, 03:59 AM
Originally posted by Gail


Just a note on the gyros to elaborate a bit on what JenZen mentioned. My understanding is that this is actually not-- as a rule-- pure, fresh lamb-- rather actually a loaf of ground cooked lamb (and presumably other ingredients) which is sliced and cooked. I've also been to places which mixed beef and lamb. The ground, sliced lamb has a very different texture than fresh, in addition to a different flavor. This could conceivably be the reason for your dislike.



This must be true. This weekend, for the first time every, I tried a bit of a friend's gyro. I thought for sure it was beef, because as I've mentioned here, lamb tastes gamey to me and I've never liked it.

Later, we asked the waiter what the gyro meat was. He said it was lamb. So yes. Lamb in gyros tastes different. It's also very tender and spicy.