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Tips from a Nutritionist: Recipes to Cook Delicious Lamb Meat Without the Unique Smell

Tips from a Nutritionist: Recipes to Cook Delicious Lamb Meat Without the Unique Smell

Introduction on How-to Remove the Smell of Lamb Meat

Why does Lamb meat have such a unique smell?

Lamb meat is widely becoming known as the “fourth meat” after beef, pork and chicken. However, lamb meat has a unique smell compared to other meats, and some people may not be fond of it. Actually, the cause of the smell is the grass the sheep eats. Grass contains “chlorophyll” which is an organic compound of “phytol” which produces the distinctive odor. Therefore, that unique scent is the smell of grass.

Tips on Cooking Delicious Lamb

  1. 1. Choose lamb meat rather than mutton
    There are two different meat names for a sheep – lamb and mutton. What’s the difference? Lamb is a sheep less than 1 year old. Since lamb is less than 1 year old, the meat is very tender, and the smell of grass is limited, so lamb meat is easier to consume.
  2. 2. Remove as much fat as possible
    As mentioned earlier, “phytol” - the cause of the unique smell is contained in sheep fat. Also, sheep consists of more unsaturated fat compared to beef and pork, which is easily oxidized. So the oxidized odor might give a “gamey” smell. Therefore, when preparing sheep meet, we recommend to remove the fat or add several cuts in between the fat so it can melt easier when cooking.
  3. 3. Effectively using herbs
    Herbs have many beneficial effects such as relaxation and aroma but it also plays a role of removing food odor. Since lamb meat has a unique smell, we recommend to use a slightly stronger smelling herb like Rosemary, to eliminate the unique odor. When preparing the meat, rub the rosemary on the meat so that the smell softens. This way you can enjoy lamb with a hint of rosemary. Next, we’ll introduce simple and delicious recipes to cook lamb.

Good-Bye Gamey Smell! Recommended recipes on cooking lamb meat

We’ll be introducing the most popular way of cooking lamb meat and some useful tips. Lamb meat comes in various cuts such as, thinly sliced meat for “Genghis Khan” (Mongolian mutton barbeque), chunks, and classic lamb racks. The common tip for all lamb meat is not to cook the meat for too long. Since lamb meat itself is tender, when overcooked, the meat’s fiber shrink and become tougher. When preparing lamb meat, we recommend not to season the meat as much but to cook the meat as it is, and dip it in sauce later. For mutton, we recommend to marinate it to remove the unique smell.

Yummy in my Tummy! Garlic Lamb

Garlic lamb

The sweet garlic smell makes an appetizing main dish.

Ingredients (for two people)
  • Lamb(thinly sliced)⋯⋯200g
  • Salt and pepper⋯⋯small amount
  • Vegetable oil⋯⋯1/2 tablespoon
  • Bell pepper⋯⋯1
Seasoning A
  • Sake⋯⋯4 tablespoon
  • Soy sauce⋯⋯4 tablespoon
  • Vinegar⋯⋯1 tablespoon
  • Sugar⋯⋯2 teaspoon
Seasoning B
  • Garlic(grated)⋯⋯1 clove
  • Onion(grated)⋯⋯1/2
  1. 1. Season lamb with salt and pepper and set aside for a moment. Chop the bell pepper into appropriate sizes. Seasoned lamb with salt and pepper
  2. 2. Pour vegetable oil into the pan and stir-fry the seasoned lamb and bell pepper. When the color of the meat changes, remove the meat from the pan and add Seasoning A. Lamb in frying pan
  3. 3. After stirring sauce #2, add Seasoning B and stir again.
  4. 4. Arrange the lamb meat and bell peppers to serve and finally drizzle with sauce. Enjoy!

Lamb meat for beginners! Recommended recipe using herb

Lamb with herbs

Lamb makes an excellent combination with herbs. Season the meat and add your favorite herbs. When using herbs such as rosemary and thyme, not only the smell of lamb meat is lessened but it creates a refreshing scent, and the meat is more flavorful. We definitely recommend a great herbed piece of lamb.

Lamb with herbs

Ingredients
  • Lamb meat (chunk)⋯⋯250g
  • Salt⋯⋯1/2 teaspoon
  • Pepper⋯⋯small amount
  • Garlic⋯⋯1 clove
  • Favorite herb⋯⋯good amount
  • Vegetable oil⋯⋯1 tablespoon
  • Butter⋯⋯15g
  • Parmigiano-Reggiano⋯⋯good amount
Preparation
  1. 1. Season lamb meat with salt, pepper and herb, and set aside to sit.
  2. 2. Pour vegetable oil into a frying pan and add the lamb from #1 and sauté the surface. Sautéd lamb in frying pan
  3. 3. When the surface of the meat is light brown, add butter and herbs (rosemary is used in the picture). Turn off the heat, and put the lid on to make melted butter herb sauce.Sautéd lamb with herb and butter                  
  4. 4. Thinly slice the cooked lamb meat, then add the Parmigiano-Reggiano and butter herb sauce.

Lamb is a popular meat in Mongolia, and one of its famous local cuisines uses a pressure cooker or a thick pot for cooking stew. The stewed meat is thinly sliced and dipped in a sauce. Lamb meat is becoming more popular than ever before however, due to its strong flavor, some people may avoid the meat. But depending on how you cook it, it can be flavorful. Also, lamb is a great resource of an amino acid called carnitine, which suppresses the increase of cholesterol, and can be a booster to burn fat. Recently, the nutrition of lamb meat is gaining attention again. Why not take this opportunity to try lamb meat where you can enjoy variety of great dishes!

Writer:
Mariko Naito
Profile:
Registered dietician, cooking instructor

After graduating from the Department of Food and Nutrition at Tokyo Kasai University, she lectured at a major company for cooking. She then furthered her career at a café-cooking school, developing new menus for a company Now, she is currently a passionate registered dietician and teaches the wonders of food.

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