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Organic, free range lamb from New Mexico


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#1 Rail Paul

Rail Paul

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Posted 20 April 2011 - 01:22 AM

Julia Moskin has an article about the difficulties of raising free range lamb in the high plateau of New Mexico. This hard scrabble land produces lamb of high quality, and wool in abundance. But, the lamb is of high quality, and much in demand by chefs.

I was interested in the folk suggestion to add a little vinegar to bean soaking water.

The taste of pasture-grazed lamb is clean and meaty, with a firm texture. The fat of a healthy, mature lamb is white and crystalline when raw, light-textured and delicious when grilled or roasted. In many parts of the world, lambs are bred with an eye to getting the most fat loaded onto their tails, considered the most sublime morsel of all.

Brian Knox, the chef and owner of Aqua Santa in Santa Fe, cures the lamb he buys from Mr. Manzanares overnight in salt, juniper and cumin before braising it for six hours and mixing the big chunks of shoulder with wilted rapini, chicken stock and crisp leeks. Smaller nuggets go into a concentrated ragů with lamb broth and fresh chanterelles, all tossed with whole-wheat spaghetti and a dusting of pecorino, aged sheep’s milk cheese. Mr. Knox said that only this meat matches an ideal for lamb that he carries around in his mind: herbal, earthy yet ethereal. “The terroir of what the animal eats really comes through in this meat,” he said.



NYT on Lamb

Organic Lamb website

“Jazz musicians just get better and better as the years go by. I think chefs are the same way. You know who you are.”

 

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