How to Cook Baby Lamb

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Baby lamb and lamb are two different grades of meat. Baby lamb meat comes from a six to eight week old lamb that is purely milk fed. Spring lambs also fall under the baby lamb category, but are usually three to five months old. Traditional lamb meat comes from a lamb that is less than 12 months old. Because baby lamb is so young and is only fed milk, the meat is incredibly tender. Baby lamb meat is prized for succulent, tender and mild-tasting dishes.

Things You'll Need

  • 2 racks baby lamb chops, Frenched
  • 1 breast of baby lamb
  • 2 legs of baby lamb
  • 5 pound baby lamb shoulder
  • Lamb stock
  • Vegetables
  • Baking sheet
  • Large roasting pan with lid
  • Small roasting pan
  • Heavy bottomed all-metal pan
  • Heat-proof tongs
  • Skimmer
  • Fine sieve or cheesecloth
  • Meat thermometer
  • Aluminum foil
  • Carving knife
  • Carving board

Preparation

  • Purchase baby lamb that is pale pink and the lightest weight available: It will be the youngest and most tender.

  • Trim all fat and skin from baby lamb cuts before cooking, as it adds saturated fat and a gamey flavor when cooked with the meat.

  • Let the cut of baby lamb rest at room temperature for an hour before cooking.

  • Season the baby lamb cuts immediately before cooking.

Rack

  • Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • Roast the baby rack of lamb on a baking sheet in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes -- until the thickest part of the rack has an internal temperature of 125 degrees.

  • Remove it from the oven and cover it with aluminum foil. Let it rest for 10 minutes.

  • Cut the rack between the protruding bones into chops -- plate them and serve.

Breast

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • Season both sides of the baby breast of lamb with salt and pepper. Sear both sides in a hot pan. Remove the breast and set it aside.

  • Add vegetables to the pan and caramelize them for 5 to 10 minutes. Return the breast to the pan.

  • Add lamb stock to the pan: Cover it, and bring it to a simmer. Place the pan in the oven for three hours.

  • Remove the pan from the oven. Remove the bones from the breast, then carve it and serve.

Leg

  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Heat a roasting pan to medium high on the stove top.

  • Remove the fat and hip bone from the baby leg of lamb. Brush the leg with oil and sear it on all sides in the roasting pan.

  • Cook the leg in the oven for 45 to 50 minutes. Remove it when the internal temperature reaches 130 degrees.

  • Let the leg rest for 15 minutes. Carve the leg of lamb and serve.

Shoulder

  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Layer a large roasting pan with vegetables.

  • Place the baby lamb shoulder on top of the vegetables. Add lamb stock and place the pan in the oven on the center rack.

  • Roast the shoulder for two hours, turning and basting frequently. Remove it from oven. Reduce the oven heat to 350 degrees.

  • Remove the shoulder from the roasting pan. Skim the fat from the top of the liquid in the pan.

  • Heat the pan on stove over high heat. Boil the liquid until it is reduced to 1 ½ cups. Strain it through a fine sieve or cheesecloth

  • Place the shoulder into a small roasting pan and pour the strained liquid over it. Put the pan back into the oven and cook it for 30 to 40 minutes, turning every 10 minutes. Remove the shoulder and let it rest for 15 to 20 minutes.

  • Strain the liquid again, and reduce it again -- until ¾ cups of sauce remain. Carve the shoulder and serve it with the sauce.

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