Advice from a Registered Dietitian: 3 Tips on Cooking Juicy Lamb Meat
Cooking delicious lamb meat depends on how you cook different cuts!
We all know the word “meat” is a combination of all cuts. Common meat cuts we often hear are leg, breast, loin, and these cuts are exactly the same for lamb. Softness of the meat and location of the fat differs on the cut but changing the cooking method to each cut’s characteristic brings out the best. Today we’ll introduce the best way to cook lamb meat depending on the cut.
LegLamb leg is the cut with the least amount of fat. The cut is light and recommended for people who prefer less fat. The softer part of the leg is used for steak and roast, and the firm part is preferred for braised dishes.
ShoulderThe shoulder cut is tough and consists of many grains. When cooking, trim the grain and use the cut for stewed dishes. Since there is more fat compared to other parts, the odor may be a concern. We recommend cooking with herbs and garlic for seasoning.
TenderloinIt’s a rare cut where only a small amount can be found from a lamb. The meat is very tender with litte fat. When overcooked, the meat becomes firm so we recommend to use a good amount of vegetable oil and to cook at a low temperature. The perfect timing is when the center part is slightly red.
LoinLoin is considered the most high-quality cut for lamb. The meat is lean and suitable for sauté and steak.
Oven or Frying Pan? Using the two effectively for Cooking Delicious Lamb Meat
For those who think lamb is difficult to cook at home, the best way to cook lamb is to remove the meat from the refrigerator about 30 minutes before cooking and allow the meat to come to room temperature. If the meat is cooked cold, the meat will be cooked unevenly which cannot bring out the best flavor of lamb. A good indication to figure out if the lamb meat is cooked or not, is to check for the rose color. Lamb meat is known for a low risk of parasites so there’s no problem eating the meat rare. Therefore, the meat doesn’t have to be cooked well-done. Raw lamb meat is red but when cooked, it gradually becomes a pale pink color. But if the meat is overcooked, it will become tough. So covering the meat wholly... with a foil and letting it rest for a while is the key point.
Using some tricks are important to cook delicious lamb meat. There is a significant difference between cooking lamb in the oven and cooking it with a frying pan. Let's use different cooking utensils according to the dish.
Using a frying panWhen cooking a block of lamb, first cook the sides of the fat without using oil. Check the softness by pressing on the meat. If you can feel the meat’s tenderness, turn the heat off, remove it from frying pan and cover the lamb with aluminum foil. By doing this, the color of the center changes to a rose color, and also calms the meat. The cooking time differs depending on the thickness and amount of meat, but the key is to gradually heat the meat from low to medium temperatures and not overcooking it. Just be careful. If you are using sliced lamb, the cooking time is faster. It’s also a great idea to cook the meat with fresh vegetables and using the vegetable’s moisture to steam. If you’re using a cut with less fat, use a good amount of oil, so that the oil wraps around the meat. Since lamb is a healthy meat, we recommend using olive oil to add an extra effect for health improvement. Olive oil contains oleic acid which is a fatty acid and has been associated with decreased LDL (bad) cholesterol and possibly increased HDL (good) cholesterol.
Using the ovenSome people feel that using the oven is a challenge but it’s actually easy-peasy once you try it. The easy thing about using the oven is that you just need to get your ingredients ready and wait until the food is ready-to-eat. While waiting, you can actually make one more item. Using the oven is great for lamb chops in which the loin and the ribs are attached. Since you can grab the lamb chop’s bone, it’s easier to eat and the dish gives a fancy look when served. When cooking lamb meat in the oven, the temperature and time varies depending on the dish. For lamb chops, we recommend cooking it at 200 degrees celsius for 25 to 30 minutes, and for shoulder lamb meat and vegetable grill, we recommend 170 degrees for 30 minutes. If you’re going to cook vegetables together with the meat, cooking at a low temperature is recommended.
Spice Up the Lamb Chop for Rich Flavor!
Last but not least - the recipe for cooking delicious lamb chops. Lamb chops can be made in a frying pan, but in order to bring out more flavor, we will be using an oven today.
Spice Grilled Lamp Chop
- Ingredients (for two people)
- Lamb chops⋯⋯4
- Garlic (in a tube)⋯⋯Good amount
- Curry powder⋯⋯1 tablespoon
- Salt⋯⋯Good amount
- Olive oil⋯⋯3 tablespoon
- 1. Remove the lamb from refrigerator 30 minutes before cooking and allow the chops to come to room temperature.
- 3. Place the meat into a bag and mix well. Rest the meat at room temperature for 30 minutes.
- 4. Add olive oil and mix well.
- 5. Preheat oven to 200 degrees celsius and cook in oven for 20 minutes.
- 6. Plate the meat and ready to serve!
We recommend to eat lamb meat while its hot, since lamb fat can easily solidify, and the smell can get stronger. We hope you enjoy the difference in taste of lamb meat by trying different cooking methods.
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