For many of us, eating lamb is a rite of spring. This probably started in pre-industrial agriculture when lambs were born in the spring, but now even local lamb is available year-round.
If you haven’t tried the “other red meat” lately, here are three delicious reasons to go out on a lamb!
Contemporary Indian stalwart Kiran’s serves about five lamb dishes including lamb skewers, loin chops and lamb tenderloin, but the berry demi-glace lamb chops will be calling your name this spring.
First off, the dish is lovely to look at. Chef-owner Kiran Verma starts by coating the rack of lamb in a masala and coffee seasoning that creates a slight crust after grilling it. To coax the most flavor from the organic New Zealand lamb rack, it is trimmed of fat and marinated. Then, the lamb is skewered and cooked in a tandoori oven so the fat drips away, and finally, it is grill seared for charcoal flavor and texture.
“Many of our guests come just for this signature dish,” says Kiran. Garnished with fresh rosemary, spring onions and blackberry demi-glace the rosy lamb is so gorgeous, you don’t know if you should devour it or snap an Instagram. (Devour it.)
At chic Emmer & Rye, owner-chef Kevin Fink, known for his innovative way with trendy grains like red fife, emmer and Sonora wheat, makes seasonal use of lamb shoulder in a pretty, one-dish meal.
After slow roasting the lamb shoulder with a variety of fresh and dried herbs, he combines the shredded meat with housemade Buckwheat Mafalda pasta, grilled Japanese eggplant and barely wilted dandelion greens.
You can tell the flavorful, ruffle-edged pasta is made fresh in-house. Cooked exactly al dente and combined with the other ingredients, it results in an exotic dish that pops with intense wheat flavor, savory yet slightly sweet roasted lamb and peppery dandelion greens. This one is for the health nuts who seek robust flavors but less meat. Carnivores never fear, Fink is a big lamb fan—look for lamb tartare, carnitas lamb and more on the daily changing menu.
From the posh setting to the polished service and products, Pappas Bros. Steakhouse prides itself in doing everything really well.
First and foremost is the meat. Sometimes if you want the biggest and the best lamb chops, you have to go to a steakhouse—so why not go to the finest in town? Pappas Bros. sources the high-quality lamb from the Rocky Mountains (Suffolk and Dorset breeds), which are grass raised and then finished on grain. Like the steaks, the lamb is butchered in-house and gets some dry aging. The chefs season it with kosher salt and fresh ground pepper before grilling it to specs in a high-tech vertical broiler.
“The highly marbled meat is sweet, mild and tender,” corporate chef Michael Velardi says. The plump chops are served the classic way, with mint jelly, but “the meat is so good, it needs nothing.” For an à la carte dish, the haricots verts or fresh jumbo asparagus taste as beautiful as they look. Toast the chef with a silky pinot noir from the 2,000-plus bottle collection. You’re feasting like a king.