On the Lamb

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Why chefs should be incorporating lamb into their menus

In a less-is-more food culture, how much you eat is just as important in a healthy diet as what you eat. According to the Fresh Canadian Lamb website, lamb cuts are smaller than other meats, “providing you with just the right-sized portion of meat for a healthy lifestyle.”

In fact, just 3oz of cooked lamb, with any excess fat removed, provides the average person with 48 per cent of their daily protein requirements, 30 of their zinc requirements, 10 per cent of the recommended amount of iron, 37 per cent of vitamin B-12 requirements and 27 per cent of the daily recommended amount of niacin.

When choosing lamb, look for a nice fatty finish, which not only adds flavour to the lean meat, but can also be — in the right amount — a healthy part of a balanced diet. “Fat supports the production of essential hormones and the uptake of vitamins in the human body,” the website states. “Removing excess fat can reduce the amount of saturated fat by half, while still maintaining lamb’s unique taste.”

Dishes with lamb are well suited to cuts that include the bone. For example, slices of lamb neck seared in a pan and stewed in a sauce make an excellent dish at an affordable price. The bone of a leg of lamb constitutes approximately 25 per cent of the weight. A leg of lamb bought with the bone intact, ranging in weight from 2.5 to 3 kilograms, will serve six to eight people.

Buying local lamb is a concrete way of reducing the air transportation of foods, and consequently the emission of greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change. It’s also a tangible way of supporting the 13,500 Canadian family sheep farms and the overall agricultural industry.