Cooking and Recipes


French rib chops are a special treat. They are so easy to cook, elegant and taste perfect every time. Here’s a quick recipe for serving them up:

French Rib Chops with Balsamic Reduction

  • 8 French Rib Chops
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Oil
  • 3/4 cup Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1/4 cup Red Wine
  • 1 sprig of Rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons Butter

Heat a cast iron skillet on high heat. Dry off rib chops completely and season with salt and pepper. Add oil to the skillet. Sear lamb until browned on both sides.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, heat balsamic vinegar, red wine and a sprig of rosemary until halved in volume. Remove rosemary sprig and stir in butter. Drizzle balsamic reduction on lamb to serve.

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Memorial Day is almost upon us! Luckily for us, the forecast calls for snow this weekend. For the rest of you basking in warm weather, next weekend should be a perfect time to fire up your grill and celebrate the holiday with Lava Lake Lamb. Our ultimate grilling package comes with:

1 boneless leg of lamb (4-6 lbs.)
2 packages lamb loin chops (4 per package)
Sausage Sampler (approx 4 lbs – 16 total links)

To receive your lamb in time, you’ll need to order online today or call 1-888-528-5253 by Monday. Happy grilling!

photo by Sara Sheehy

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For special occasions, nothing beats rack of lamb. It is simple, elegant and so delicious.

I had an old friend come out to visit Idaho a few weeks ago. I wanted to serve her something really special as a thank you for making the long trek out here, so it had to be rack of lamb.

I went with this Gourmet recipe, which accompanies the lamb with a few herbs and garlic, as I wanted to keep it simple. Rack of lamb is so good, you don’t need want to cover up the delicate flavor with too many ingredients.

The dish was lovely and well received by everyone. The luxurious taste of rack of lamb paired with fresh herbs made our reunion dinner quite memorable.

  • 1 rack of lamb
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/8 cup of parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tablespoon fresh thyme, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon rosemary, finely chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3/4 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

Heat a large cast iron skillet over high heat. Pat lamb dry and sprinkle on both sides with salt and pepper.

Heat oven to 350°.

Heat oil in skillet. Add lamb to hot skillet, and brown on both sides.

Stir together garlic, herbs, salt, pepper and olive oil. Coat the meaty part of the rack, by pressing this mixture onto lamb.

Place lamb into oven and roast for 15 minutes. Cover with foil, and roast about 10 minutes more (check with a digital thermometer until internal temperature reaches your desired doneness. Remove from the oven and let the lamb rest, while covered for an additional 10 minutes.

Idaho is finally warming up, and this weekend appears to be setting itself up nicely for a grilling session. Here’s what I would recommend:

Spiced Lamb Chops with Mint-Mango Salsa

This recipe comes from epicurious, where it was highly recommended. The spice rub alone would make for a fabulous lamb chop, but adding the cool texture of a mint-mango salsa balances the dish perfectly.

Mint-Mango Salsa

  • 1 1-pound ripe mango, peeled, seeded
  • 1 cup fresh mint leaves
  • 2 green onions, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 2 serrano chiles, halved, seeded

Blend all ingredients in a food processor. Add salt to taste. Cover and chill until you are ready to serve lamb.

Lamb Chops

  • 3/4 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 3/4 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 tablespoon coarse kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • pinch of ground cloves
  • 1/8 cup olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 8 1-inch-thick lamb loin chops
  • Fresh mint sprigs

Heat your grill. In a small bowl, mix together cumin, coriander, salt, cinnamon, turmeric, cayenne, cardamom and cloves.

In a separate small bowl, mix together olive oil and garlic. Brush oil mixture onto loin chops.

Press chops into spice rub, coating each side.

Grill chops, about four to five minutes per side, or until they reach desired internal temperature.

Serve with mint-mango salsa and garnish with mint sprigs.

Last weekend we participated in the Idaho Preferred booth at the Green Expo in Boise. The expo was a chance to showcase green and sustainable businesses around Idaho. It was also a great opportunity to make some new friends, talk about Lava Lake and feast on yummy lamb.

Life’s Kitchen agreed to prepare our lamb. They are a fantastic organization based in Boise that transforms the lives of at risk teens by training them in the culinary arts. The program supports itself through catering, a cafe, and donations. Their students go on to become successful chefs and food service professionals – what a great mission!

Maggie, of Life’s Kitchen, left us with the recipe for the moorish lamb dish served at the booth. She prepared the dish using lamb shanks, although it would also be good with shoulder.

Lamb in the Moorish Style from El Caballo Rojo in Cordoba

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • lamb shanks
  • 2/3 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/3 cup very finely chopped green pepper
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 Tbsp brandy
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • few strands of saffron
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 2 Tbsp wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp honey

In a dutch oven, heat oil and brown meat on all sides.  Sprinkle with salt.

Add onion and green pepper and sauté until slightly softened.

Stir in paprika, then brandy, wine and softened saffron and simmer for 5 minutes.

Add broth and bring to boil. Cover the pot with a tight fitting lid or aluminum foil. Place in a 300 degree oven until meat is tender when poked with a fork (3-4 hours). Stir in vinegar and honey, taste for salt and pepper, and simmer on the stovetop 10 minutes more before serving.

Idaho’s Bounty’s second annual locavore fest is about to wrap up. A number of Wood River Valley restaurants have been serving up fabulous local food, and some have been featuring Lava Lake Lamb.

Tonight is the final night of Ketchum Grill’s Locavore Week. All of their entrees are $16.91 or less, in honor of their 19th anniversary (Congratulations!). In addition to braised goat and grilled steak, they are offering braised Lava Lake Lamb shanks.

CK’s will wrap up the festival from May 7 – May 13th. They are featuring beef brisket braised in Bellevue  root beer,  and Lava Lake rack of lamb.

Support local producers and our wonderful local restaurants! This is your chance to fill up your punchcard and be entered into a drawing for a gift certificate to Idaho’s Bounty (see the Idaho’s Bounty site for details). Happy Eating!


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Did you know that May is National Grilling Month? We plan to celebrate this important holiday as often as possible throughout the month.

Luckily, we have plenty of lamb cuts that are perfectly suited to grilling. Our Mother’s Day Package includes loin chops, sirloin roast and ground lamb, all of which grill up quickly and deliciously. Here’s a recipe for one of our most inexpensive, sustainable and tasty cuts – ground lamb.


Feta Lamb Burgers with Mint Aioli

  • 1 package Lava Lake ground lamb
  • 1/4 cup crumbled  feta cheese
  • black pepper
  • mint aioli (recipe below)

Heat up your grill.

Combine lamb with feta and a few twists of freshly ground black pepper. Form into four patties. Use your thumb to press a dimple into the center of each patty. Chill the patties in the refrigerator until your grill is ready.

Grill until an instant read thermometer registers your desired temperature (130 for medium  rare, 140 for medium). Serve on a toasted bun with the mint aioli.

Aioli (recipe inspired by Epicurious)

  • 1  egg yolk
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup of fresh mint
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • Salt

In a food processor or blender, blend yolk, lemon juice and mustard. In a bowl, combine two oils, and slowly add to yolk mixture until mix is emulsified. Add fresh mint until incorporated. Mince garlic with a large pinch of salt and stir into mixture.

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