The 5 Best Cuts of Lamb To Cook at Home

Beginner cooks tend to shy away from lamb, but buying, preparing and cooking lamb is actually quite easy — and more versatile than you may think. Plus, recently breeding and feeding methods have improved the quality of lamb available in the U.S., which means less of that gamey aroma and flavor, according to Adam Matthews, store manager of Fleisher’s in Brooklyn, whose pasture-raised, grain-finished lamb is super tender and mild — definitely not your grandmother’s mutton.

If cooking lamb is new territory for you, here are five cuts that are best to start out with: rib chop, loin chop, sirloin steak, stew meat and ground meat.

1. Ground Lamb

ground As with all ground meats, lamb shouldn’t be over-handled. “It’ll get tough,” says Lobel, “So use a gentle touch and I like to only seasoning the outside.” He also recommends cooking a lamb patty a little more than you would a beef patty, medium instead of medium-rare, for about 7 to 11 minutes. Lamb is also a great candidate for kebabs and bologneses.

2. Rib Chops

rib Rib chops are cut from the center rib section of the lamb and usually come with a long rib bone attached to the end. While not the meatiest of the chops, tenderness and a smooth flavor make them a prized cut. Evan Lobel, co-owner of Lobel’s of New York, says they’re easy to cook because all you need is a hot skillet (he prefers cast iron). “Just a few minutes on each side, and they’re good to go,” he says. “Opt for a one-inch-thick cut; thicker than that and you increase the risk of over-cooking or under-cooking.”

3. Loin Chops

loin Cut between the ribs and the leg, loin chops look like mini T-bone steaks and tend to be meatier than rib chops. While not as tender as rib chops, loin chops also have that smooth flavor. This is a good choice when you’re looking for a hearty dinner. Matthews suggests searing them in a hot skillet (a couple minutes each side) and finishing in the oven, set at 325°F for about 15 minutes.

4. Sirloin Steak

sirloin This larger, meatier, leaner cut is best marinated in advance. “Novices tend to like throwing stuff on the grill, and this is perfect for just that,” says Lobel. “Cook it for five minutes and call it a day.” Other options are to slice it into slivers and stir-fry it Asian-style or cut it into cubes for kebobs.

5. Stew Meat

stew This boneless shoulder cut tends to be tougher than chops, which requires a longer cooking time. Matthews likes simmering this cut low and slow (like one-to-two-hours slow) with Middle Eastern or Indian seasonings.

Whichever cut of lamb you choose, select the best quality you can find by heeding Lobel’s shopping tips:

  1. Look for meat that has a soft pink color with white marbling — the fat that gives lamb its incredible flavor. Once lamb turns deep red, it means it’s old.
  2. The flesh should be fine textured and firm, like the pad of your palm.
  3. Any fat surrounding the lamb should be a milky white not yellow.
  4. If it’s wrapped in packaging, make sure there’s no moisture trapped in there. It could mean it was frozen and thawed out, not freshly butchered.
  5. Store raw lamb in the refrigerator immediately after purchasing. Use ground lamb or stew meat within two days. Lamb chops should be used within three to five days.
Egg on Top Meals

11 Satisfying Egg-on-Top Meals

Like a golden crown atop your plate, a perfectly fried egg with a runny yolk adds decadence to nearly any dish — making it prettier, creamier, and just plain yummier. Read more »

Making Pea Shell Puree-1621

A Trick for Eating Your Pea Pods

Any time we send out fresh English peas (in this recipe or this one), we write this instruction: shell the peas. But you don’t have to toss those shells when you’re done. Here’s how to up-cycle them to create another dish! Read more »

Panzanella

8 Dinners That Breathe New Life into Old Bread

Some of the most delicious meals in the world’s repertoire–yes, the entire world–originate in cooks’ desires not to waste any precious bread. The recipes that follow all make use of day-old bread, in soups, salads, and sandwiches. Plus, check back soon for a breakfast application–also known as French toast. Read more »

All Natural Easter Eggs | Blue Apron

How to Dye All-Natural Easter Eggs

How to make all-natural Easter egg dyes with fruits, vegetables, and herbs you likely already have in your pantry. Read more »

Hot and Cold Plates

Why & How To Warm (& Cool) Your Plates

Here’s one thing home cooks can learn from restaurant chefs: serve hot food hot, and cold food cold. Here’s how to do it. Read more »

mothers-day-recipe-banner2-blog

Enter the Blue Apron Mother’s Day Recipe Collection Contest

Enter our latest Facebook contest and toast to mom, by sharing your mom’s favorite dish. We’ll show off her special recipe–along with recipes from other Blue Apron moms–in our Mother’s Day Recipe Collection here! Read more »

BA boil method 5 actual size 1000 px

How To Clean the Absolute Toughest Pots & Pans

The best part about cooking in your own kitchen? A delicious, homemade meal you can be proud of. But what about those greasy dishes? Here are some tried-and-true methods for getting dishes clean as quickly as humanly possible. Read more »

For-Print-0055

5 Ways Spring Herbs Make Dinner Great

Spring herbs are the best way to make the season arrive in your kitchen even before your favorite fruits and veggies have ripened. Here’s how to make them work for you. Read more »

Orange Chicken Drumsticks with Mashed Yucca

Prep Yucca for Dinner Tonight

This week, one of our recipes, Orange-Glazed Chicken Drumsticks with Mashed Yucca & Arugula Salad makes use of yucca. Also known as cassava, it’s a long, brown tuber that’s a staple in Latin-American cuisines. Most people liken it to a potato, but it’s really anything but. When mashed, yucca is fluffier than potatoes and has […] Read more »

As seen in

© Blue Apron, Inc. 2014 Privacy Terms