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Mar 24, 2012 04:00 PM

lamb for Easter that isn't gamey and isn't chops.

Need a change from ham and thinking of making lamb for Easter.

I've only made grilled chops, but don't want those this time. Thinking of some type of roast, but don't know what type of cut. Husband thinks some are too gamey, but neither of us know if that depends on the cut or other factors.. Are some cuts more gamey than others? What would you recommend to avoid that? Thanks!

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  1. Butterflied leg of lamb done with rosemary, garlic and olive oil is wonderful--on the grill stupendous. I did not grow up eating lamb and do find it gamey at times, but I have found that our organic/natural foods market carries amazingly good American lamb. It is more expensive but the flavor is amazing.

    3 Replies
    1. re: escondido123

      marinate it for two days in olive oil garlic lemon juice and the rosemary , or oregano. Any "gaminess "will disappear.

      1. re: escondido123

        +1 on Escondido's butterflied leg; do this every Easter for brunch. I marinade in red wine, rosemary, a cut orange (squeezed into liquid, and rinds added too), garlic, and dijon mustard in a gallon ziplock overnight. Grilled to MR - perfection. We need 2-3 of them for our brunch crowd.

        Served with made-ahead spanikopita, grilled asperagus in lemon viniagrette, and eggs baked in cream done for a crowd too, in a 13x9 pyrex x3, with each having a pint of cream, 1/2 stick of butter and a dozen eggs in them. Cook till just set, but yolks still soft.

        So good with some fresh fruit, pastries and mimosas - Happy Easter little lamb!

        1. re: escondido123

          This was my suggestion. I prefer this to the lamb chop racks in the oven. The grilled flavor is lovely and Easter is a great holiday to get to make a large item outside.

        2. I find gaminess depends of from where the lamb originated and how it was handled when butchered. I certainly agree with escondido123 regarding the spice combination. I too would butterfly a leg of lamb, but I'd use a combination similar to what escondido123 suggested in a marinade using a light oil (olive or vegetable) combined with the juice of a lemon, 4 - 6 cloves of garlic (chopped) one medium onion (chopped) a tablespoon of oregano and a teaspoon of rosemary (use more if you like). Marinating the butterflied lamb for 8 - 12 hours before putting it into the oven (on a rack of course) should help cut down on any gaminess. Gaminess can be reduced by eliminating as much of the fat as possible from the leg of lamb before it enters the marinade.
          Those who don't like the hint of gaminess (if any remains at serving time) can always slather on a layer of mint jelly (ugh) to reduce the impact.

          6 Replies
          1. re: todao

            I agree - in my opinion American lamb tends to be much less gamey than Australian or New Zealand lamb. Costco carries boneless leg of lamb for about $5/lb that I find to be quite serviceable - my husband dislikes that "gamey" flavor, but will eat the Costco lamb, and although I would prefer MORE of the gaminess I enjoy the Costco lamb well enough. Anyway, using a strongly flavored marinade and/or sauce will also help mask the flavor should you still find it too strong. I like to grill it simply and serve it with mint pesto.

            1. re: biondanonima

              I grew up on lamb and have had it served many ways. It was one of my mother's favorite meals. That being said, the absolute best lamb I've ever had, I bought at was butterflied and stuffed with spinach and feta cheese....melted in your mouth and had no gaminess whatsoever. Just roasted in the oven with a little olive oil. Sorry MOM, love and miss you!

            2. re: todao

              Butterflied leg it is easy to remove any fat from the meat also, and marinating grilling adds enough smokiness that any remaining 'gamey' taste is pretty much gone.

              A nice alternative to mint jelly (ugh, too), is a cup of good balsamic vinegar, 1/2 cup white balsamic, 2 Tblsp. sugar or honey, reduced down by half. Then add 1/2 cup of slivered mint leaves, let steep for 15 minutes or more, then serve. A modern mint sauce:)

              1. re: gingershelley

                I like to make a tzatziki sauce to go with my lamb. Greek yogurt, grated cucumber (no seeds!), macerated garlic and a little hint of horseradish! Yum! Kinda like the tzatziki sauce you get with a gyro.

                1. re: sheilal

                  This is excellent with lamb, and if I had a different menu to go with it for Easter, Pita and tzatziki would be on the table as well!

              2. re: todao

                I agree that removing the fat elimates the gaminess..

              3. Rack of lamb is chops uncut, but you can cook it like a roast and it's a beautiful piece of meat.

                1 Reply
                1. re: visciole

                  I was going to suggest this as well - it's a lot more expensive than leg but SO delicious, tender and rich. The flavor tends to be milder than leg as well, in my experience.

                2. I love to take a butterflied leg of lamb and then give it 12 hours in a jerk rub (I use Walkerswood) - at that point you can either par-smoke it or grill it. No reason it couldn't go in the oven.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: mrgreenbeenz

                    I am a big fan of barbecued lamb and find it surprising how uncommon it is to find in restaurants.

                  2. I don't know if you've had the chance to catch Jamie Oliver's At Home, but his lamb episode where he roasted a lamb shoulder was fantastic. We did the same thing and not only was it the most idiot-proof and simple lamb recipe I'd ever made, but it tasted fantastic. not gamey, great flavor and super-moist.