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What does lamb taste like? How does it compare to beef and pork? Some say that lamb’s gamey flavor is an acquired taste, so read this first before trying it!
Lamb is not a common protein we see at the grocery. So if you haven’t tried it before, you’re not alone.
There are also different lamb meat cuts; some are more flavorful and tender than others.
Considering the animal’s young age, is lamb tastier than the typical beef and pork? Read this first to know what the gamey taste of lamb meat means.
What Is Lamb Meat?
Lamb is the meat of a young sheep before it reaches one year of age. Do not confuse it with mutton, the meat of a sheep at least 12 months old.
Because it’s uncommon meat, I’ve researched how lamb is enjoyed in various cuisines, and let me tell you, it got my stomach growling!
American and English-style cuisines tend to have a longer cooking time than French cuisine, where recipes call for more pinkish lamb meat. Lamb is also enjoyed in Turkey and Greece, typically roasted or marinated.
And if you love curry, Indian cuisine features lamb and mutton with their delicious and aromatic spices.
What Does Lamb Taste Like?
So what does lamb taste like? Lamb is best described as gamey but has a milder flavor than mutton. Also, because the meat is from a young animal, lamb is noticeably tender with less fat than those from older animals.
You will also notice a hint of grassy flavor in lamb meat, but it’s not as strong, especially when compared to goat and venison.
Far Eastern and Middle Eastern countries enjoy the stronger-flavored mutton or meat from a year-old sheep. On the other hand, I’m not surprised why the milder-tasting lamb is preferred in Western countries.
The unique grassy flavor might take you some time to get used to, but the tender texture of lamb is incredibly delicious when braised, roasted, or grilled.
It’s also moist and juicy, especially when you try the most tender part: the lamb loin.
What Do Lamb Chops Taste Like?
Lamb chops can refer to the blade chop, arm chop, and rib chop. The blade chop is more flavorful than the arm chop, which is also less tender.
However, the higher fat content in rib chop makes it tastier, like beef’s earthy and gamey taste.
What Does Lamb Shank Taste Like?
Lamb shanks have a stronger gamey flavor compared to other cuts of lamb. It’s best slow-cooked in red wine sauce.
What Does Lamb Belly Taste Like?
Lamb belly or flank tastes grassy like other lamb cuts, but it’s tougher than the highly-prized loin. Because of this, the flank is often used as ground meat to make burgers.
What Does Ground Lamb Taste Like?
You can either love or hate the gamey taste of ground lamb. However, it’s perfect for recipes where you want the meat to melt in your mouth, like kebabs and meatballs.
Often compared to lamb meat, I highly recommend reading about what goat meat tastes like.
Both lamb and goat meat taste grassy, but you should still give these not-so-common proteins a chance because they make spectacular dishes to which beef and pork won’t bring justice.
The Different Types of Lamb Meat
The mildly-flavored and tender rack of lamb is, dare I say, the best cut to try if you haven’t eaten this meat before. Try a roasted rack of lamb with an herb and garlic crust!
If you love slow-cooked meat dishes, this is your sign to try the leg of lamb. It’s juicy, and the size of this delicious meal is perfect for feeding a crowd.
Have you ever had a burger or meatball made from ground lamb? Do not be afraid of the grassy taste, as it actually goes well with different herbs and spices on lamb burgers, meatballs, and kebabs.
If you don’t have time (or are just feeling lazy) to prepare lamb chops or ground lamb, you can enjoy lamb meat as sausages! Some are already flavored with herbs like rosemary, and if you’re like me, who hates pan frying, these sausages are also air fryer-friendly!
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Why You Should Try Lamb Meat
- Tasty: Quality lamb meat is tasty when prepared well, and compared to other “grassy” meats, it has a milder flavor that is perfect for roasting, grilling, or braising.
- Tender: Because lamb comes from a young animal, the meat’s tenderness makes it easy to cook. The lean pink meat is juicy, and I recommend trying the loin or rack of lamb for the best taste and texture.
- Protein-rich: Lamb is a rich source of protein and is packed with vitamins and minerals essential for our well-being. Since the distinctive lamb flavor pairs deliciously with vegetables, you can even make a complete meal that’s tasty and nutritious!
How Healthy Is Lamb Meat?
Delicious lamb meat is protein-packed, making it ideal for weight loss meals or as part of the diet if you have an active lifestyle.
It’s also an excellent source of nutrients like zinc, phosphorus, iron, selenium, and vitamin B12!
But like any red meat, enjoy lamb in moderation or as part of a healthy diet with vegetables and fruits. And if you prefer your lamb to be slightly pink in the center, it’s recommended that it should be cooked to at least 160°F.
Where to Find Lamb Meat
- Grocery: Lamb meat is not easy to find in most grocery stores, but it’s starting to be more widely distributed than before. There are even sustainable lamb farms in the US!
- Online: You can also browse Walmart and Amazon for different cuts of lamb. But of course, don’t be surprised if lamb meat is pricier than other proteins.
5 Best Substitutes For Lamb Meat
The pastoral flavors and gamey taste of goat meat make it the top choice as a lamb meat substitute. I discovered that because it dries out easily, the best way to cook goat meat is by braising it slowly in low heat.
Veal is meat from young calves, so it’s a fantastic substitute for the meat of young sheep. It also has a delicate taste if you’re not fond of grassy flavors.
Beef is more readily available than lamb, so it makes perfect sense that it’s often used as a substitute in lamb recipes. I enjoy it on roasts and stews!
Pork does not have the signature gamey flavor of lamb. However, this tender meat would still work as a lamb substitute, especially the juicy pork loin.
Is there a non-meat alternative to lamb? You can use tofu on lamb dishes if you can’t eat meat.
There are even vegan recipes that can make a “rack of lamb” from tofu!
Does Lamb Meat Go Bad?
Like any other meat, lamb can go bad, especially with improper storage.
How to tell if lamb is bad? The white fat of the meat has likely turned gray or green.
The meat itself might also smell like rotten eggs. And if you poke it, it won’t return to its shape.
How To Store Lamb Meat
You can store lamb meat in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 to 5 days. It’s also possible to keep the meat for an indefinite amount of time if you freeze lamb at 0°F or below!
But what if you accidentally left lamb meat on a countertop at room temperature?
Meat is perishable, and it’s unsafe to consume if it’s left out overnight.
Recipes That Have Lamb Meat In It
There are many ways to enjoy lamb meat because even though it tastes gamey, it still has a subtle flavor, and the meat is irresistibly juicy and tender.
I personally enjoy lamb in a shepherd’s pie because the rich meat goes well with buttery mashed potatoes and puff pastry.
What To Eat Lamb Meat With
Enjoy your lamb chops with red wine like cabernet sauvignon. You can also use red wine for the sauce on your slow-cooked lamb shanks.
Looking for something to cut through the robust flavor of lamb meat? Try it with fluffy mashed potatoes!
Curry spices are perfect for tender and juicy lamb meat. Just imagining lamb curry and hot basmati rice is making my mouth water!
What Does Lamb Brain Taste Like?
If you’re feeling adventurous, try lamb organs like brains instead of meat. Lamb brain tastes like sashimi, but I think if it’s your first time eating it, the gelatinous consistency might throw you off, not the taste.
What Does Lamb Heart Taste Like?
Lamb’s heart is also used in various dishes. It has a mild, gamey flavor, but the firm texture is perfect for stews.
What Does Lamb Liver Taste Like?
Some people prefer lamb liver to beef liver because the taste is not as intense. Expect it to have an earthy flavor, but it’s enjoyable with spices and onions.
What Does Lamb Kidney Taste Like?
Lamb offals like kidneys might not be something you’ll imagine craving as you would with a juicy lamb chop. However, it’s not as intensely gamey as lamb liver, and pairing it with toast creates an addictive and delicious dish.
FAQ About Lamb Meat
How does lamb taste compared to beef?
Lamb has a grassier taste than beef, so beef is unsurprisingly more popular. However, lamb is tender and less fatty, so I sometimes prefer it if I don’t want a very heavy meat dish.
Is lamb tastier than pork?
Lamb has a stronger flavor than pork, and this gamey taste is a hit or miss depending on preference. For me, pork tends to be fatty, and some cuts rely on the spices in the dish to be tasty.
Is lamb meat tasty?
Lamb meat is tasty, especially when you take advantage of its tenderness and juiciness. Try it braised, roasted, or even as ground meat in kebabs!
So what does lamb taste like?
Lamb tastes gamey and grassy like goat meat, but the flavor is milder. This is why it all boils down to preference if you enjoy this uncommon protein.
However, some lamb cuts are deliciously juicy and tender, like the highly-prized loin or tasty rib chop. I bet even the pickiest eater will want a bite of roasted lamb loin.
It’s time to discover more delicious proteins. Who knows? Lamb might be your next favorite curry, pie, burger, or stew meat!
For more frequently asked questions, visit our index of food-related questions and answers. Here are a few suggestions for you: