It took me a while to find out what cut of lamb I cooked. To be honest, I don’t look at the packaged name when I buy my meat & poultry! After this 20 minute query of what this was… maybe I should.
I only buy kosher meat and poultry and there is only a small area in the local shoprite that sells it. So, I typically just buy what I know. Chicken, beef, and turkey are relatively easy to identify – it’s the other animals that start to get tricky (lamb, veal, etc).
Part of the reason why I don’t bother looking at the names is because a majority of them are geared towards the average consumer and they are basically marketing names. Most average home cooks don’t know meat cuts by the name of the cut – or where on the animal it is located. Subsequently, the packages read familiar preparation names.
For example, the ever famous London Broil. As the meatman notes, it is a cooking method – or preparation. Not a cut of meat. The cut of meat that is usually used is top round roast. (Click the word meatman for further info on that)
Now, I get it. I understand why the markets do this. If you don’t know anything about meat, then it is easier to just advertise a name that you possibly grew up hearing..like..”grandma’s London broil” – or something like that.
If you are interested in food and even saving a buck or two – I do recommend familiarizing yourself with where the cut of meat is located so that you understand how tough (or tender ) the cut of meat would be. As explained here, meat from the hindquarters are generally made up of larger muscle groups with LESS cartilage (stiff and inflexible tissue that doesn’t really break down in cooking) and connective tissue – so it is therefore more tender.
Conversely, if you have a “shoulder” or “chuck” cut of beef and you understand that it is located near the neck of the cow, it is usually tough (and generally less expensive) the upside of choosing this type of meat is that it is very flavorful. All it takes is a little planning ahead, and cooking low and slow in liquid. ( low temperature + longer cooking time = flavorful, “homey” and delicious comfort style food)
So next time you are choosing your meat, go ahead…choose a chuck… pay less and have a warm comforting meal like Hungarian goulash. For those who are thinking “I don’t have time!” fret not. This is a great meal to make ahead and let it go in the oven for 1.5/2 hours while you are doing other things around the house. You can also freeze it and because it is in liquid – it heats up wonderfully.
I chose to make these lamb “chump chops” to get out of our chicken rut. I got two packages that contained two pieces each – since I knew they would shrink after cooking. I think they were about $15 total. For kosher lamb, that is not bad.
Lamb Chump Chops with Minty Chimi Churri
I seasoned the lamb with Salt & pepper only – since the chimi churri would be very flavorful.
Then I sauteed the seasoned chops in a hot pan with olive oil on both sides until golden brown. (About10 minutes)
1 bunch fresh parsley, chopped fine
5 or 6 leaves of fresh basil, chopped fine
2 sprigs of fresh thyme, chopped fine
1.5 bunch of fresh mint, chopped fine
5 garlic cloves, chopped fine
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
.5 cup red wine vinegar
dried red pepper flakes – to taste
Mix all delicious & aromatic ingredients together and let sit for an hour if possible before spooning over your hot lamb.