Readers' Recipe Contest: Lamb

For the spring installment of our now-seasonal Readers’ Recipe Contest (see The Cookie in Winter 2013 and The Tomato in Fall 2012), we asked you for your favorite lamb recipes. Now that so many farmers markets have vendors selling local meat, and lamb is readily available at farmstands and mega-stores alike, we figured this would be a great way to highlight home cooks’ family techniques, old-fashioned preparations, kitchen experiments-gone-right, and intriguing ethnic recipes we’d never seen before. We wanted original and different, not the basic Shepherd’s Pie or Irish Lamb Stew, and you answered with a treasure trove of interesting and delicious recipes showcasing this ever-so-spring-like of meats.

What was surprising, though, was the ratio of professional chef-to-home cook submissions: the pros out-submitted the amateurs by 5-1. Does this mean lamb is not something people cook at home? Is it a special occasion protein best left to our favorite restaurants to prepare for us? Maybe too many of us only think of lamb at Easter, in its classic preparation of roast lamb with mint jelly.

For instance, we had two amazing submissions for very different dishes based on lamb belly, a difficult, if not impossible, cut for the average home cook to find (thank you, Beacon Hill Bistro’s Chef Josh Lewin and Volante Farms’s Chef Todd Heberlein!). While we didn’t print them in the magazine, you can find Chef Lewin's recipe for Sorrel-Stuffed and Braised Lamb Belly with Ramps, Olives, and Fresh Spring Leaves here, and Chef Heberlein's recipe for Lamb Bacon Breakfast Sandwich with Spicy Kale and Aged Provolone here.

We hope the following recipes (and those accompanying Elizabeth Gawthrop Riely’s story, too) will tempt even the greenest of home cooks to give lamb cookery a try no matter the season.

Spiced Lamb Chops in Tomato-Wine Sauce >> Submitted by Robert M. Sturtevant of West Bridgewater, MA. He gets his copy of Edible Boston in the mail as one of our subscribers.

Barbeque Pulled Mutton or Lamb >> Submitted by Katie Sullivan Bradeen of Sheep and Pickle Farm, Brookfield VT. She gets her copy of Edible Bostonfrom her employer, Fat Toad Farm.

Greek-Style Leg of Lamb with Potatoes + Tzatziki >> Submitted by Alex Polemeropoulos, Sudbury MA. He picks up his copy of Edible Boston at Verrill Farm in Concord.

Lamb Steaks with Herbs + Caramelized Garlic >> Submitted by Jody Adams and Ken Rivard, chef/owner of Rialto and Trade, and writer, respectively. This recipe appears on their very beautiful blog, The Garum Factory ( They pick up their copy of Edible Boston at Rialto in Cambridge.

Traditional Pascha (Easter) Lamb Dinner with Lamb Chops, Spanakopita, and Tzatziki >> Submitted by Nelson Cognac, chef/owner of Cognac Bistro in Brookline and Kouzina in Waban. He picks up his copy of Edible Boston at Clear Flour Bakery in Brookline.

Khinkali (Lamb Dumplings) >> Submitted by Tim Williams, Executive Chef of Community Servings. He gets his copy of Edible Boston at Community Servings headquarters in Jamaica Plain.

Lamby Bahb Bahb >> Submitted by Suzanne Lombardi, chef/owner of The Plate, Milton MA. She gets her copy of Edible Boston in her own restaurant!