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The Many Loves of American Lamb

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(Family Features) Romeo and Juliet. Antony and Cleopatra. Lamb and Potatoes (or Mint or Feta). The list of American lamb’s great loves goes on and on. This luscious protein entices any side or ingredient it touches.

A truly versatile meat in terms of texture and flavor, American lamb is an excellent choice for the cook who wants to spice things up, both literally and figuratively.

From a classic Rack of Lamb and rich Lamb Shank Osso Buco to Grilled Lamb and Feta Burgers, there are many reasons (and ways) to enjoy lamb. Take lamb’s versatility to the next level by pairing it with longtime loves like potatoes and pomegranates, but with little twists to give it a fresh taste.

As a delicious and nutrient-rich food, American lamb is a natural choice. There is a cut, loin or chop to tempt taste buds and spark culinary excitement for a romantic dinner for two or simply a gathering with friends. If you’re feeling adventurous, try out these six enticing couplings of American lamb and other favorite foods. For more tantalizing recipes, visit AmericanLamb.com.

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1. Lamb and Pomegranates
Some say pomegranate seeds are the rubies of the orchard, so it’s only fitting that lamb is often adorned by one of nature’s precious gems. Think of pomegranate as the yin to the lamb’s yang. Its tart, clean flavor balances the richness of luxurious lamb dishes such as this Braised Lamb Shank with Pomegranates and Fennel.

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2. Lamb and Rosemary
Lamb and mint have been bedfellows for centuries. However, there’s another herb that matches up well with lamb – rosemary. The fragrant woody aroma of rosemary infused into a grilled leg of lamb alongside charred lemons is what dreams (and dinners) are made of.

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3. Lamb and Potatoes
A classic Irish love story with an American twist. The humble potato is drawn to the ever-mysterious cut of lamb, and the rest is history. Think American Lamb Chops and Fingerling Potatoes or Irish Stew. You’ll never go wrong with Shepherd’s Pie, and this one gets an added kick from horseradish.

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4. Lamb and Pasta
Ground lamb is experiencing a renaissance in American cuisine. It’s one of those chameleon foods that can transform itself from a juicy burger to a flavorful ragu, and pasta is its ideal companion. Create your own “Lady and the Tramp” crossed with “Casablanca” moment with this Northern African-inspired riff on spaghetti and meatballs featuring Merguez Sausage prepared with American lamb.

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5. Lamb and Garam Masala
There are some pairings that can create some serious heat in the kitchen. Take garam masala for example. “Garam” means hot or heating and “masala” means spice blend. Rub this popular blend, which often contains black pepper, cinnamon, cumin, fennel and more, onto a rack of lamb ribs before it hits the oven. Slather individual chops in a velvety bath like this Indian Coconut Feenugreek Sauce.

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6. Lamb and Red Wine
Red wine pairs with lamb in many ways. Loin chops, roast or ribs, there isn’t a cut of lamb that doesn’t pair well with red wine. As an ingredient, red wine provides acidity to perfectly complement the lamb. The hardest part of this recipe is opening the bottle of wine.

Source: American Lamb Board

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