"My dinners at home are startlingly simple," Marilyn Monroe once said in an interview with Pageant Magazine. "Every night, I stop at the market near my hotel and pick up a steak, lamb chops or some liver, which I broil in the electric oven in my room. I usually eat four or five raw carrots with my meat, and that is all. I must be part rabbit; I never get bored with raw carrots."
I used to resist cooking lamb—maybe because it was never a part of my diet growing up—until I read that interview. I thought to myself: If Marilyn could subsist on the other red meat, then I could too. Surely it must be worthy enough to forgive the raw carrots (which I hate).
It may be that lamb has yet to fully make its way into the home cook's kitchen in the States, not least because it can be more expensive than beef and often harder to find. Growing up in the suburbs of Atlanta, for instance, I remember how hard it was to get my hands on lamb in any form at my local grocery store. Thank goodness it's more readily available now, and that more and more Americans are acquiring a taste for it—because when cooked well, lamb can be really delicious.
What's important to know about lamb is that it's really not so different than beef. And when you have a gorgeous cut, like a rack of lamb, you can cook it the good ol' Gordon Ramsay way—which is to say, lightly pan-sear it first, then baste it with an herby, garlicky butter, and finally finish it off in the oven until it's still pink and juicy in the middle.
It comes out perfectly every time.
This simply prepared (it's rubbed in a paste of just Dijon mustard, garlic, and herbs) rack of lamb is best served with equally unfussy vegetable sides, like grilled asparagus or baby artichokes.
This contest-winning lamb recipe calls on pantry staples—like spices, canned tomatoes, olives, and orzo pasta—to create a feast-worthy dish that, flavor-wise, is so much more than the sum of its parts.
We promise you won't miss the beef in this extra-juicy lamb burger slathered in a minty-garlicky yogurt sauce (aka tzatziki) and piled high with fresh, peppery arugula.
Described as "fabulous" and "amazing," this rack of lamb gets an extra one-two-punch bonus of flavor and texture thanks to the Parmesan-herb crust.
Make the most of pomegranate season by taking them the savory route in this roast lamb; it'll fit in just about anywhere, from a cozy fall dinner to a wintry weekend supper.
Speaking of cooler weather, when the temperatures are low, you'll want to add this hearty, soul-warming lamb stew with chunks of butternut squash to your rotation.
This leg of lamb will stand out as a showstopping centerpiece on any dinner table, giving no indication that it was actually quite easy to prepare.
Perfect for parties or picnics, these bite-size lamb meatballs with an herby yogurt dipping sauce are impossible to eat just one of.