Where to buy lamb (raw) in the boroughs?
I grew up in a Welsh family, so I'm a big fan of chops, roasts, legs, stews, etc.
But for some reason, this variety of meat, despite it being seemingly equally disliked as liked in the US, is often one of the pricier options in a typical market. $10 for two or three tiny chops?
As such, I'm wondering if it might be better to source lamb from markets who cater to populations where lamb is not exotic, but rather a typical staple. Middle East? Indian?
I don't mind riding the train in order to get some good, safe fare. Suggestions?
any of the butcher shops on steinway in little egypt, in the two blocks immediately south of the bqe. i like the one in the second block heading south, about 100 metres down on the left. they also make good homemade pita. sorry i can't remember the name of the place. the owner also runs the halal sandwich shop a bit further down steinway on the same side of the street, opposite the layli beirut hookah place.
I buy my lamb from a halal butcher on church ave in kensington, brooklyn, around mcdonald ave. can't remember the name, but it's on the south? (towards coney island) side of the street. sawdust on the floor, they cut your meat to order, and relatively inexpensive. I can get a whole leg of lamb (plus the bones etc) cut any way I want for around 30 bucks. Also, it's one of the few places where i can get lamb shoulder cut off the bone for me for curry. (I add the bones separately for body and flavor and then fish them out.)
Across the street is a different halal butcher that I believe sells organic lamb.
I buy a lot at once and keep it in my freezer.
If you dont insist on those little rib or loin lamb chops or crown roasts,, lamb is pretty reasonably priced, even from standard supermarkets. Legs, shanks, neck, shoulder chops all are very good, much cheaper than the aforesaid tiny chops and readily available at normal supermarkets, specialty butchers, even Costco (their boned out NZ legs are good).
If you want to go to a halal or greek butcher thats fine, have done that,, there are several halal butchers on Atlantic Ave in Brooklyn, or to an Italian store or butcher shop, that too. As much as I love Frank and Sal's tho,I dont think you need to trek all the way out to 18th Ave to get a good piece of lamb though the errand might be enjoyable for other reasons..
I buy it all over the place
Any of 3 butcher shops on Arthur Ave., Bronx. Cut to order an fairly priced. Vincent's and Biancardi's, on the avenue and Peter's in the Arthur Avenue Market.
2350 Arthur Ave, Bronx, NY 10458
Vincent's Meat Market
2374 Arthur Ave, Bronx, NY 10458
Peter's Meat Market
2344 Arthur Ave, Bronx, NY 10458
Try Frank & Sal's in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn. Their meats are always primo. Italian families in the neighborhood usually order a whole baby lamb for Easter. The store itself is a destination with many imported Italian specialies. Take the D train to 18th Avenue in Brooklyn and walk north 4 blocks.
Frank & Sal
8008 18th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11214
Trader Joe's (Metropolitan Ave, just off Woodhaven Blvd, in Glendale) has frozen lamb chops and rack of lamb for very reasonable prices. I am not a major lamb lover, but I've gotten it and it is very good. There is also an Asian market, forget the name, on Broadway in Elmhurst, maybe half a block from Queens Blvd, that carries frozen rack of lamb for maybe $10 or so....(from NZ, I believe).
Frozen TJ's lamb tastes a lot closer to the mutton side than lamb but that may appeal to you. Generally, any decent butcher shop will carry lamb. Its not a big item in the standard grocery store as most americans don't each much of it. If its available in your nabe, try fresh direct. You can order it in bulk and specify how you want it cut. Its great if you eat a lot of lamb.
I live in Astoria where lamb is plentiful. But I don't think it's ever cheap. There are many butchers by the Broadway and 30th Ave stops on the N train. They're all good. But lamb chops are never cheap. Neither is a leg of lamb. But shanks and cheap and bones and heads are basically free. I think you should go to a butcher that sells a lot of lamb for quality. I doubt the price for legs and chops will be much cheaper.
Or, if you really want some fun, go to the live poultry place at 31-37 20th Ave (Ditmars Ave stop on the subway). Pick out a live lamb! You can't get much fresher than that. Plus you'll have lots of leftovers. You should read The Supper of the Lamb for inspiration.
Astoria Live Poultry
31-37 20th Ave, Queens, NY 11105