Buying and Preparing Lamb
Do you want to learn more about purchasing and preparing fresh Lamb? Or ways to properly store it before and after cooking? This page has handy pointers to ensure it’s prepared and cooked properly every time.
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 flavour and tenderness as it cooks.
If your local grocery store does not carry Ontario or Canadian lamb, consider going to a Farmer’s Market or using our lamb locator to find a seller near you.
Large cuts of meat may be covered with a white papery membrane – be sure to remove this before cooking.
Any ground lamb, offal or smaller cuts should be cooked the day they are bought or frozen promptly.
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.
A local butcher shop may have a greater selection than 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. If you are looking to source fresh Ontario lamb, try using the lamb locator tool to find a retail location near you.
Tips for Storing Fresh Ontario Lamb
Frozen Lamb should be stored below -18°C. Maintaining a uniform temperature while in storage will retain an optimal appearance and flavour for the lamb.
Individual pieces of meat will keep for eight to ten months in the freezer, while ground lamb will keep between two and three months.
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 when refrigerated. Ground lamb will keep for one or two days.
Tips for Cooking Fresh Ontario Lamb
Lamb is a very tasty meat and should be served hot on a heated plate.
Larger cuts such as a shoulder roast may require more cooking time and are best when braised or roasted.
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.
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.
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 tends to harden quickly, it is best if lamb is served very hot and preferable on a heated plate.
Use our convenient product locator tool to find out where you can purchase lamb products such as meat, dairy and wool.