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ground lamb - seems suspicously cheap

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[This post was moved from the Home Cooking board. --The Chowhound Team]

I just bought .72 pounds of ground lamb for $1.73 at a Food Emporium in Manhattan. The butcher said that it was fatty but fresh ground today. Is this the going rate for ground lamb in NYC? I rarely cook with meat and was expecting it to be more pricey. I don't mind if it's a little fatty, I'm just wondering if there is other stuff mixed into it.

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  1. The " wondering if there is other stuff mixed into it" would have been a good question for the butcher.

    1 Reply
    1. re: jtc

      Unless you bought it from the back of a truck, I can almost guarantee there is no "other stuff mixed into it". Its most likely just the fat and crap that was trimmed off the shoulder, rack, etc.

    2. That seems really cheap, I agree. At the Greenmarket, I paid $11/lb last week (and wonder if that was astronomically expensive!) and it goes for $9.50/lb at the meat/cheese provider associated with my CSA: http://www.csapasturedmeatandpoultry....

      1. That seems suspiciously cheap. I bought some a month or so ago at my local ShopRite and it was $3.99 a pound. Wish I could get some at your price!

        1. I would not suspect that anything has been "added" to it. It is more about what is not there and that would be the better cuts of lamb. Like with plain ground beef (not chuck or sirloin) the ground lamb was probably scraps and trimmings. It makes for a good shepherds pie, if I was making something like lamb burgers I would ask the butcher to grind some for me from lamb stew meat of the leg. Then I would of course expect to pay more for it too.

          1. A lot of the ground meat that you see are meat from animals that are too old to sell the way it is. So I would also be very suspicious of your deal.

            1. Usually ground meat is made of leftover cuts and trimmings from other cuts. Usually, the lower price on ground meat happens when the butcher has more than he will sell at the normal price. It doesn't come from older animals or the like.

              2 Replies
              1. re: jlawrence01

                This is probably not the best venue for this type of discussion, but the lower prices of ground meat is not necessarily because of the laws of supply and demand. I'm not sure about the lamb industry, but a lot of ground beef comes from old dairy cows. There was an article in the Wall Street Journal about the whole mad cow thing (as quoted from steakburger.com):

                "... the USDA's mad-cow investigation appears to be running out of steam. Ron De Haven, USDA's chief veterinarian, yesterday said, it is likely that several of the dairy cattle that grew up with the infected Holstein cow and accompanied it from Canada two years ago have probably already been culled because of their relatively advanced age. The fate of most old dairy cows is to be turned into hamburger..."

                1. re: Miss Needle

                  But the discussion is lamb .. and there are few dairy lambs.

              2. It's because ground meat from scraps - traditionally the normal source for ground meat - is usually fatty, and lots of people don't care for the taste of lamb fat, so there's not a lot of demand to drive up price.

                  1. re: chef chicklet

                    Maybe you should get some raw lamb and a good meat grinder and try grinding your own?

                  2. Which Food Emporium??? I want to run over there. Usually I see ground lamb around $3.99/lb and it rarely goes on sale.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: JungMann

                      I think it's old meat (not from old animals), especially since the butcher said it was freshly ground today. It's probably not good enough to sell as one piece so ground it up with a marked discount.