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MSP - Good lamb at a good price?

Last night I picked up 9 (New Zealand) lamb loin chops for $4.99 per pound at Holy Land (<$7.00 total). Just last week I (almost) bought 4 lamb loin chops at Lund's for around $18.00.

I have had lamb from both venues and found it wonderful, if not spectacular, as in the case of Holy Land (the sirloin half leg).

Question: Is lamb in the Twin Cities a crap-shoot for price, or is it a crap-shoot for quality? I'd love to hear what other lamb buyers have to say.

Since - c'mon, the 7 rib roast in plastic-wrap at the market does not tempt me to pay over 43 bucks. Cripes, at Holy Land, I can talk to the butcher cutting my meat - no cling-wrap-in-coolers. Anyone singing the praises of Halal markets?

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  1. Costco, the only reason to join. Lamb is reasonable.

    1 Reply
    1. re: ibew292

      I've thought about Costco for the meat, too, and I've had some delicious lamb chops from there, but I can't get around the fact that I should be shopping at indie local markets, even though I know Costco has good employment practives.

    2. Agreed on the employment practices, but Costco (as yet) is just too far a drive for me. (Costco in Roseville soon?)

      But is lamb still a polarized meat in the Twin Cities? Is it either high-end standing rib roasts(for special occasions), or ethnic markets for stew meat, for biryani?

      I guess my question seems vague. Maybe I'm wondering what lamb-loving people in MSP do to procure the best lamb at the lowest prices - I say lowest prices not to be a penny-pincher, but because lamb is not so spendy in other parts of the world. Why here? And why in certain places here?

      At the root: are the small markets selling lamb at the prices they are because they are selling substandard lamb, or are the large markets just price-gouging because lamb sounds so "special" to this market?

      1 Reply
      1. re: cayjohan

        Had a Leg of Lamb from the Holy Land it was very good and only 3.99 a lb. I don't think many people in the midwest are willing to try Lamb. I bet most of them have had overcooked mutton and think that was lamb. The problem that I have with lamb is most of it to tame, I miss the stronger flavor that I have had in the past. ThelLamb at the smaller places seem to have more fat on the meat. It could be that it just hasn't been trimmed enough but at those prices I will eat it often. Costco does have great lamb at low prices compared to Lunds or other upscale stores.

      2. I asked last winter for a good lamb source (no expense restriction, though), and got some very helpful replies. Here's the thread:

        http://www.chowhound.com/topics/124864

        Sad to say, I haven't tried any of them out - we started Mr. Tastebud's low cholesterol diet right around then, and have limited the lamb consumption to the occasional meal out. (Holy Land Gyros is a wonderful thing!

        )

        Anne

        1. cayjohan, the weirdest answer i've ever got on why they don't eat more lamb here is "because it's too cute to eat" (?!)
          we eat it all the time and Costco and Holy land are great sources. We like goat too (now tell me why NO ONE eats THAT meat here?!) and halal mkts, specially Holy Land, are the best for that.

          3 Replies
          1. re: MariQ

            MariQ, tell me what you do with goat - I've eaten it only a couple of times in the Caribbean.
            Same approach as lamb?

            At the risk of seeming ghoulish(and with tongue firmly in cheek), I think the cuter, the better for food - I won't be elbowing in line for alligator! :)

            1. re: cayjohan

              Goat is a little bit tougher, so we roast or stew it. But the flavor is great! Never had it in the Caribean, but i imagine that the approach is very similar, given the texture of the meat.
              About aligators: texture of chicken, taste of fish. Nothing to write home about, so you're ok not elbowing for it!

              1. re: MariQ

                MariQ - saw your post on various goat dishes in the Twin Cities, and have gotten hungry! Would you be so kind as to tell me what cuts you get at Holy Land, as I don't anticipate a night out for awhile and would like to experiment.

          2. I havent had the Holy Land lamb yet, which is too bad since I am only blocks away, must get to them....But I have bought my lamb at Whole Foods. It isnt cheap. I think I paid $13.99 or $14.99 a lb. I did get some Icelandic lamb this year, which was amazing. They only butcher their lambs once a year in the fall so it is only available for a month or so every year. Great flavor. I think it was $15.99 a lb and worth it. I cooked it side by side with some New Zealand lamb. Definate difference.