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Are all New Zealand lambchops tough as boots?

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I have prepared them myself and had them in restaurants and they were VERY tough (even served rare), so I wondered whether there are any tender New Zealand lambchops out there? They weren't very flavorful either. Or inexpensive.

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  1. I thought this was an urban myth. My mother always went out of her way to instruct the butcher NOT to give her any OZ lamb and so I've done the same. When I was recently getting meat from my butcher, he was letting another customer know that it was American lamb she was getting.

    So, what IS it with lamb from down under? Poor things, are they a thousand years old when they expire?

    1. Dolores, I believe the OP is asking about New Zealand lamb, not Australian. I've often had excellent, tender NZ lamb racks from Whole Foods. Much better than OZ, in my experience - but not as good as Icelandic, which WF carries from time to time when they can get it.

      1 Reply
      1. re: BobB

        Trader Joe's has NZ lamb I think exclusively. I've not gotten individual chops (we prefer shoulder chops, which they don't seem to carry) but we've had leg (boned and otherwise) and racks, all very good and perfectly tender. The racks are especially nice.

      2. Not having any idea where or when you ate or bought the lamb chops, it's hard to generalize. In NZ they tend to like their lamb to be older (and therefore chewier and more flavorful). If you want very tender lamb you need spring lamb, ie very young "baby" lamb. So it will be expensive as those will be teeny tiny lamb chops. Not to mention that if it's fresh as opposed to frozen how are they getting it here? Air freight?

        Pretty hard to believe it was not flavorful. Usually people think it's too gamey.

        1. I prefer Colorado lamb. It is more difficult to find near me, but I have found it is great. I also love VT lamb which seems even more difficult to find but when I have found it, was wonderful.

          1. Why pay the air fare on NZ lamb if you don't like it?

            1 Reply
            1. re: mpalmer6c

              Before this thread gets any sillier, I will accept that other cuts of NZ lamb are fine and that the chops are tough because they're older than spring lamb. Thanks all, that helps.