Tips for Buying Fresh Ontario Lamb
· When buying lamb look for firm, pink meat with white fat. Select lamb that has a nice amount of marbling as this will add to its flavor and tenderness as it cooks.
· Domestic lamb can be difficult to find in the supermarket. Try going to a Farmer’s Market or using our lamb locator to find a producer near you.
· Avoid cuts with excessive fat or fat that looks yellowish.
· Large cuts of meat may be covered with a white papery membrane – be sure to remove this before cooking.
· Lamb products should always be regrigerated at a temperature of less than 4°C, the cooler the better as lower temperatures help preserve storage life and prevent spoilage.
· Generally speaking any ground lamb, offal or smaller cuts should be cooked the day they are bought or else they should be frozen promptly
· A local butcher shop will often have a greater selection that your grocery store. They can also do custom orders if you call ahead. Don’t be afraid to ask for a specific cut of meat – if they do not have it, chances are they can get it and the more interest shown in lamb will equal more lamb on the shelf.
Tips on Cooking Fresh Ontario Lamb
· Lamb is a very tasty meat and should be served hot and on a heated plate
· Lamb should be served when it is still slightly pink. The internal temperature is an effective way to verify cooking. This can be checked by inserting a thermometer into the meat at its thickest part. At 68°C (155°F), It is just right
· Larger cuts such as a shoulder roast may require more cooking time and are best when braised or roasted as these cuts can be a bit more tough
- Lamb products should always be refrigerated at a temperature of less than 4°C, the cooler the better as lower temperatures help preserve storage life and prevent spoilage. Fresh lamb can be kept for approximately three days. Ground meat will keep for one or two days.
- Frozen Lamb should be stored below -18°C. Maintaining a uniform temperature while in storage will retain an optimal appearance and flavor for the lamb. Never thaw lamb at room temperature as the outer surfaces of the meat defrost quicker than the inside of the cut and are therefore exposed to potentially hazardous bacteria for a longer period of time. Defrost meat in the refrigerator or in a container completely submerged under cold, running water.
- Individual pieces of meat will keep for eight to ten months in the freezer, while ground lamb will keep between two and three months. To prevent the meat from drying out, cook it at a moderate temperature of 140°C to 160°C (275 to 325°F). As a safety measure, ground lamb should be cooked until the temperature reaches 70°C for at least 15 seconds. Lamb distinguishes itself from other meats by the nature of its fat. As the fat has a tendency to harden quickly, it is best if lamb is served very hot and preferable on a heated plate.