As a Vibrant Beeter, even I get an inkling for some organic meat sometimes. It’s rare and far in-between, but when the weather starts to cool and my warm nights out make their way inside, a dinner party with friends, red wine and some roasted lamb may just hit the spot. Very aware of the inhumane methods of factory farming, especially with chicken, beef and pork, I steer away from animals that are domestically in high demand and more likely filled with hormones. Instead, I dabble in the more obscure by satisfying my carnivorous taste buds with lamb, duck and goat. All three of these delicious meats go great with fall’s root veggies. Roast them or cook them into a stew depending of your mood. A perfect special occasion comfort food, while eating these rare meats, take your time and relish each bite…consider them a delicacy. To make sure that you’re getting the highest quality, find an organic local butcher in your neighborhood and strike up a conversation about where they acquired these meats and where the farm is located…you’re looking for a local organic grass-fed farm. Find a butcher that knows and cares where their animals come from, in that way it’s both better for the environment and healthier for you.
|Happy and healthy goats roaming the fields in Deadwood, OR.
Duck meat is a very flavorful type of poultry and is full of iron, niacin, phosphorus, riboflavin, zinc, Vitamin A, B Vitamins and thiamine. In Korea, people even think that duck meat has the healing effect of detoxification, due to the high amount of unsaturated fatty acid, much higher than those contained in chicken, pork, or beef. Unsaturated fatty acid functions in anti-oxidation and lowers cholesterol. Strangely, the main advantage of duck is duck fat. The melting point of duck fat is only 14 degrees Centigrade, much lower than the temperature of the human body and therefore it is easily excreted, and less likely to cause weight gain. The low melting point of fat makes duck meat still very delicious even when served cold.
70% of the world's population is very familiar with goat meat, it is only our Western culture that we just beginning to familiarizing ourselves with this delicious animal. Goat meat is the most nutritious red meat you can ingest and has fewer calories and less fat than chicken, beef, lamb or pork. Goat meat is naturally lean, meaning it is much lower in saturated fat and cholesterol. Since the molecular structure of goat meat is different than that of beef or chicken, it is easier to digest. Because goats are not grazers, they have a much smaller impact on the land and consequently farmers are able to produce more goat’s meat from the same sized pasture than they would with beef.
Lamb is a staple in the Mediterranean diet. Nutritionally speaking, lamb is an excellent source of several B vitamins, niacin, zinc, and iron. If you’re going to go for lamb, make sure that your cut is grass fed. Unregulated, farmers will feed their sheep grains to fatten them up, but their natural food is grass. Grass-fed sheep have higher amounts of omega 3’s and have up to a third less fat then grain-fed sheep. Although lamb can be slightly higher in calories than other meats, it can be offset if you remove some of the fat from the cut…for the leanest choices choose the loin, shank or leg. According to the American Sheep Industry, in 2010 the United States produced approximately 163 million pounds of lamb and mutton. Compare that to the 26.41 billion pounds of beef produced domestically in the same year, making lamb much more less industrialized than beef.
Herb Roasted Lamb Chops: 4 large garlic cloves, pressed1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, lightly crushed1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves, lightly crushed2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided6 1 1/4-inch-thick lamb loin chops
Mix first 4 ingredients and 1 tablespoon olive oil in large bowl. Add lamb; turn to coat. Let marinate at room temperature at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 400°F. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in heavy large ovenproof skillet over high heat. Add lamb; cook until browned, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer skillet to oven and roast lamb chops to desired doneness, about 10 minutes for medium-rare. Transfer lamb to platter, cover, and let rest 5 minutes.