Lamb has always been a steady staple in the United States. It is considered one of the highest protein-giving meat most grocery stores has to offer. So, is lamb expensive?
Yes, it is. Lamb is considered one of the most expensive varieties of meat in the world. This is because, aside from being very healthy, lamb requires a lot of work to maintain and butcher.
In this article, I will talk about lamb meat, what makes it so valuable, its nutritional facts, and why lamb is so expensive.
What is lamb meat?
Lamb meat is basically the meat that is gotten from a lamb or sheep that is under a year old. It is a high-quality cut of meat that is considered one of the healthiest and is a steady staple, not only in the United States, but also in Europe, and the Middle Eastern Region.
There are two types of lamb meat, and they are milk-fed lamb meat and yearling lamb meat. The milk-fed lamb meat is gotten from lamb between the age of 4 – 6 weeks, while the yearling is around 2 – 4 months old.
What does lamb meat taste like?
The taste of lamb meat is best described as mild, chewy, and earthy. However, people find the milk-fed lamb meat to be tastier, but it solely depends on your preference.
So, why is lamb meat expensive?
There are a number of reasons lamb meat is expensive. They include;
1. Nutritional facts
Aside from being lean meat, lamb offers a number of nutrients that rivals other variety of meats. The following is the nutritional information on a 100-gram serving of lamb according to the US Department of Agriculture.
- Calories: 258
- Water: 57%
- Protein: 25.6g
- Fat: 16.5g
- Sodium: 72mg
- Potassium: 310mg
It also contains iron, niacin, saturated fat, cobalamin, selenium, magnesium, and Vitamin B6.
2. Lambs are bred in the wild or on family farms
Unlike other animals that are raised on factory farms, lambs are raised differently. This is because they are prone to sickness, which may affect the entire family or herd, so they are best bred on their own or in the wild.
Factory-bred lambs are also prone to slow growth and infection, and this may affect the overall quality of the meat. Because of these issues, all lambs in the US are bred in the wild or on family farms.
The area they grow up has a positive effect on the quality and taste of the meat. Also, it affects the prize greatly.
3. Lamb offers less meat per animal
Another reason lamb meat is so expensive is that it offers less meat than other animals. The process of catering to a lamb is almost the same as that of a cow or pig, but unfortunately, the meat yield is less.
This has a great effect on their prices; for example, $150 worth of pork holds about 80 pounds. At the same time, the same amount of lamb meat holds only 37.5 pounds.
4. Transportation and maintenance costs
Another reason why lamb meat is expensive is that the transportation and maintenance fees are added. When lamb meat is ready to be sold, they are sold in one of two ways, which incurs more cost.
The first is that they are shipped alive and in bulk to the slaughterhouse. This process requires a large space, a vehicle, and an animal hauler, these prices are added to the sale.
The second process requires the lambs to be killed first before they are shipped to the slaughterhouse. A refrigerated vehicle is needed for transportation, so the quality of the lamb meat remains at its best.
Whichever option is used by the farmer affects the price of lamb meat.
5. It requires a lot of work
Going through all the other reasons mentioned, it is quite obvious the amount of work that goes into it. This is one major reason you hardly see lamb meat sold in small quantities but usually in bulk or discount deals.
6. Lamb is a luxury meat
Lamb is considered a luxury or high-quality meat that is kept for special occasions or holiday celebrations. This is why you find the rack of lamb on high-standard restaurant menus while it is not on low-standard restaurants.
What are the most expensive cuts of lamb?
1. Rack of lamb
The rack of lamb is one of the most expensive cuts of meat gotten from a lamb. It comes from the rib of a lamb and is quite tender, succulent, and delicious.
The rack of lamb is made of small cutlets or chops, which are individual rib steaks of a lamb. This unique cut of meat is delicate and requires light spicing or dressing, so the taste is not overpowered.
The price of an entire rack of lamb is around $35 – $38, and the best way of cooking is in the oven. Also, ensure you sear both sides of the lamb until you get a golden brown color.
2. Leg of lamb
The lamb leg is another expensive cut of lamb. Because the leg contains muscles that work, this cut of meat tends to be very flavorful. This cut cost around $13 – $16.
The best way to cook the leg of a lamb is by roasting it in the oven, whether bone-in or boneless. Although you should ensure you don’t overcook it else, you might end up with dry-tasting lamb.
You can also grill this cut of lamb; simply massage the leg of the lamb with garlic and herb oil. Afterward, you can proceed to grill it.
Just like the leg, the shoulder is another cut of lamb that does much work, and this makes it a flavorful cut. However, it requires more time to cook to make it tender.
The shoulder cut of a lamb costs around $10 – $14, and slow roasting is one of the best ways to cook this cut. Some of the best ingredients to use are garlic, black pepper, sea salt, and olive or avocado oil.
To achieve the best taste, cook this stake for around 4 – 5 hours in low heat. By this time, you should have a golden color steak that tastes just as good as it looks.
Why is lamb meat so juicy and tender?
This is because lambs are raised and developed under stress-free and specialized care. This ensures that the meat is of its highest quality when it is slaughtered.
Why aren’t lambs raised on factory farms like other animals?
Lamb is not raised on factory farms because they are prone to sickness and infection. And that may affect the taste and quality of the meat.
Can you eat lamb meat raw?
No, you can’t. Eating raw or undercooked lamb meat has been linked to a number of health conditions. The US Department of Agriculture recommends that all lamb meat be cooked to at least 145 degrees Fahrenheit.
What is the best way to cook lamb meat?
The best way to get your money’s worth is by searing, grilling, or baking. Ensure you don’t overcook your lamb as it may become too chewy.
How much is a rack of lamb?
The price of a rack of lamb is estimated at $38 per pound.
Conclusion: Is lamb expensive?
Yes, it is. Lamb meat is one of the most expensive varieties of meat because of the conditions they are bred and the workload involved in butchering it.
It is also one of the healthiest protein meat you can get, with a mild and beefy flavor to it. The best way to enjoy lamb meat is by searing, grilling, and baking; however, ensure you don’t overcook it.
I hope you enjoyed this article, if you did, you should also see goat meat and lamb meat differences you should know.
Thank you for reading this article.