I have a confession, dear readers: I don’t like lamb.
I know, I know. Crucify me if you will! Here, have my food blogger badge and my food lover badge and my sane person badge. But I’ve given lamb a fair shake, I promise. Every time I try it, I think, “Maybe this time my taste buds will embrace the lambiness.” True story: when I was a child, I didn’t like sour cream. Today, I love it. Maybe lamb is like sour cream!
Spoiler alert: lamb is not like sour cream.
Growing up, my parents owned a butcher shop in a small rural community. The above picture is from one of the many northeastern snow storms that hit our small town, but what I remember most about the butcher shop was the summers I spent there. My days consisted of playing the the abundance of feral cats who frequented the straw-filled barns on the premise, feeding them scraps of smoked lunchmeat and occasionally convincing one of them that being petted or even held wasn’t so bad after all.
Every once in a while, I succeeded.
Oh my, those glasses. Don’t be taken by Jessica’s cutie-patootie cheeks. She was a stinker when she was little. When it started to get dark, I knew it was time to head into the house, where our table would be covered with an abundance of vegetables from my grandma’s garden and meat. Always lots of meat.
We usually had beef and pork, since that’s what my father butchered. We never had lamb. Not once, not ever. In our area of Pennsylvania, people just don’t raise them. So I guess I never developed a taste for it.
One day, when I was older, I was at my favorite restaurant, having a few glasses of wine with the girls, and I smelled something amazing. The waitress informed me that it was the lamb special, and we promptly all ordered that dish for dinner.
When it came, we oo’ed and ah’ed over the pretty presentation. My friends quickly proclaimed it to be the best lamb they’ve ever tasted and I…well, I thought something was wrong with me. Because I didn’t like it, not even a little. It had to be a fluke, right? But since that day, I’ve tried lamb at at least five different restaurants. Baked, broiled, stewed, roasted…yuck. It smells amazing, It tastes like…well, not amazing. We’ll just leave it at that.
Jeffrey, however, happens to love lamb. He makes a point to get it when we’re eating out, because he doesn’t get it at home.
The other day, though, lamb was on sale, and on a whim, I thought, “Why not?” It had been a few years since I tried it. Lamb is probably a lot like sour cream, right? I’ll probably like it now, right?
Jeffrey enjoyed this recipe, but it was all I could do to choke down a few bites. Luckily, I make onion roasted potatoes as a side dish, so I didn’t go hungry. I wasn’t going to post this recipe, but he liked it enough that I thought I would pass it on for those of you who do not have a lamb aversion like I do.
This recipe adapted (and heavily edited) from this Panko Crusted Rack of Lamb recipe from What She’s Having. I have since subbed out the lamb for pork chops, and it worked really well.