The Colorado Lamb has gained such immense popularity that it has become a much sought-after culinary delight even beyond the confines of the state, across the country and also in some other parts of the world!
Origin of Colorado Meat
As the name suggests, this gastronomical feast originated in Colorado where the lambs are specially bred for their meat. In fact, ranch owners and local authorities have worked together to raise an awareness among restaurateurs about the produce and its quality. While most lambs across the globe are known to be bred for their wool, in Colorado, the species are grown with the objective of getting premier quality meat.
Specialty of Colorado Meat
Immaterial of the recipe followed to cook it, the authentic Colorado Lamb stands out with its sheer quality. It is the texture and the flavor of the meat of these lambs that makes the dish outstanding. The quality of the meat is achieved from the way that the sheep are reared. The sheep are taken to graze on the local grass of the Yampa Valley and are tend to by traditional shepherds from the sheep-herding regions that run along. Many of these shepherds are the traditional keepers from Peru, Chile, Mexico, Basque and the natives from the region between France and Spain.
There are different breeds that are reared in the Colorado ranches. While some breed at different times of the year, some other at any time of the year and yet others only once a year. The sheep are led up the mountains where they nibble on the native brome grass, wild carrots, berries, knapweed and larkspur. The leisurely and unhurried way of pasturing ensures proper growth of the lamb giving it superior meat. They are also fed with corn as a last touch to translate into good quality meat. The sheep are slaughtered young when they are between 6 to 11 months old for the exquisite meat.
Special meat cuts
The cut of the meat is as important as its texture. Popular cuts of the lamb are steaks, chops, roasts, ground meat and stewing cuts. The rib and loin chops are the most expensive and delicacies that food connoisseurs swear by. Then there are the boneless crosscut slices of the loin called the noisettes or medallions. These when on the menu are sure to weigh heavily on your wallet. The Denver Ribs or the lamb spareribs are slow-smoked much like the pork counterpart. The lamb leg can be roasted, grilled or butterflied with or without the bone in it.
Not all groceries in Colorado selling the meat have cuts that add to the start rating of the delicacy. Specialized butchers in the Denver region cut them out to specification giving the famous rib pieces. Specialty meat stores across the state however are sure to have these fine pieces ready.
Seasoning the premium meat
The Colorado Lamb is usually seasoned with mint, lemon, basil, cumin, rosemary and oregano to complement the flavor of the meat. In fact, the readily available lamb seasoning consists of all of these along with black pepper, celery, sweet paprika, onion, garlic, ginger and spearmint. However, specialist chefs at each restaurant are sure to give the meat their signature taste of seasoning that helps bring out the best taste of the meat.