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Dec 29, 2011 08:15 AM

cooked lamb leg with lots of tiny holes (sponge-like) -- should I be concerned??

Hi all,

I roasted a boneless lamb leg for the first time the other night, and while I manged to avoid my main fear of overcooking the meat, I ran into something unexpected. When I sliced up the lamb, on almost all slices there are very small holes throughout, almost making the lamb look sponge-like (or maybe fried tofu-like, if that makes more sense -- see the attached pics.) I've never seen this before with lamb or any other meat. What's going on, and should I be concerned that there was something wrong with the lamb?? (Mad cow was the first thing that popped into my head, unfortunately...)

Thanks for any advice or guidance!

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  1. lamb are pastured, so mad cow wouldn't be an issue.

    i confess i've never seen anything like it, though.

    3 Replies
    1. re: hotoynoodle

      Prions and sheep go way back. I believe it's called "scrapie". PrPSc can be found in their muscle tissue.

      1. re: hotoynoodle

        ya know, i stand corrected. apparently american lamb IS grain fed. yuk.

        that pattern looks like worms or parasites. i am not a nervous nelly about food safety, but i'd chuck it. and contact whomever sold it to you.

        1. I recently had a ham that looked exactly like that. Grossed me out a bit.

          1. Could it be a sign of previously frozen and/or mishandled meat?

            1. flabby, out of shape lamb? Maybe that is what cellulite looks like from the inside!

              1. I would contact an agricultural extension at a University in your state. Ask, they will know!

                1 Reply
                1. re: blue room

                  that is the thing to do -- they can help in a jiffy -- if they are there, though, coming in this holiday period.