(DFW) In search of Rack of Lamb
I am having a dinner party and need 4 racks of lamb. In the past I have purchased them at Whole Foods, and Rudolphs. I was dissapointed with both because they were not fully frenched. What I am hoping to find is racks where the bones are scraped almost all the way down to the meat, and the thick fat cap is removed so that when they are cut after roasting, they look elegant and not fatty. I have looked on the internet at Niman Ranch, and Jamison Farms, both of them seem to have what I am looking for but at a cost of around $300. Does anyone know of a place in Dallas where I might find what I am looking for at a reasonable price?
Thanks to all who replied, I appreciate the suggestions. This past weekend
I decided to get a single rack from VonGerrtsem butcher on Oak Lawn to see
if it would be suitable for the party. I called the butcher (Greg) on
Saturday morning and told him what I wanted. When I picked it up, I could
tell he had trimmed it quite a bit, and had actually put some effort into
providing me with what I wanted. The rack weighed in at 2 lbs and cost $35.
After roasting it, and slicing it I was dissapointed to see that the fat
cap was still pretty much intact on the chops, basically a layer of fat
approximately 3/8" thick. This was not readily apparent to the eye when it
was in its raw state. Appearance wise I wouldn't be proud to serve it to
company, but it tasted great. All in all I was impressed with the
VonGerrtsem butcher shop and would return. Perhaps I need to change my menu
to some other party friendly big piece of meat?
You might try VonGerrtsem Butcher Shoppe 3527 Oak Lawn Ave.; 214-219-3700. I have not had the chance to try them yet but the write up in DMN said that they were a "full service" shop and it sounds like they might be "high-end" as well.
I have always had good luck at Central Market. Just call ahead and order what you want, they'll usually take care of it for you. I ordered 5 lbs of hanger steak with the center tendon thing removed and they were happy to do it. I ordered them the day before and they were ready with my name on them when I got there.
I don't know if there is a Costco warehouse store in your area, but in the San Antonio stores, they have terrific racks of lamb...frenched, the way you want and costing only about $15 for an eight-rib rack. Yes, they are from "down under" but try them before you pay $300. I think you will be pleasantly surprised. We eat one a week, at least and have on occasion served them to lamb lovers...to rave reviews, I might add.
Have you though about trying a restaurant? They might be able to help you. I was thinking about somewhere like Bob's on Lemmon who have a spectacular rack of lamb, frenched and with about 8 good sized chops. It's an Australian lamb and they get it by the case, so it's worth a shot.
You wouldn't think this would be so difficult. I, too, was going to suggest checking Central Market. Also, whenever I need a real butcher to cut something a specific way I've found Kuby's in Snider Plaza to be a good source. I don't think I've tried (or noticed) the lamb but all the meat I've purchased there has been good.
Whole Foods should be able to accomodate your request, however. I've noticed at both the Lemmon Ave and Preston/Forest locations some butchers are more accomodating and more accomplished than others.....