Silere Merino Lamb Review + Recipes

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merin lamb 1

My first experience with lamb happened on a sunny Easter Sunday in Greece.This was back when all I ate was chicken breast (I refused to eat any red meat, including lamb, because I thought it was unhealthy). But after a few (or more) glasses of wine I gave in and tried the lamb that had been roasting over the spit all day. 

It. Was. Amazing. 

merino rack of lamb

So when I got the opportunity to review this gorgeous Merino lamb from Marx Foods I was pumped. 

Since we’ve moved back to the states, I’ve changed a lot about the way I eat.  I’ve added in more animal product, and removed everything processed. I focus now on whole foods that have been raised responsibly- because it’s better for my body, animal welfare, and the environment. 

If I’m buying lamb I usually go for local, or  Australian or New Zealand raised lamb, as they are typically grass fed and pasture raised.  So I was really excited to learn about Silere Alpine Origin Merino lamb from Silver Fern Farms. 

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This Merino lamb comes from Silver Fern Farms (Food & Wine Magazine recently called it “The Next Great Lamb”).  The Merino roam the slopes of New Zealand’s alpine regions, grazing and foraging the way that nature intended for them.  

This lifestyle means the lamb is naturally leaner than other breeds of sheep. It also has a big impact on the flavor of the lamb – which is less “lamby” or “gamy” than some other breeds. 

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When I opened my package, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the frenched rack.  The rack was smaller than the Australian lamb I have cooked with before, and had noticeably less fat.  It was also lighter in color, more pink compared to the deeper red that Australian lamb usually has.  

After a quick sear, I popped the rack into the oven for about 12 minutes.  I think that 10 minutes would have been perfect, as Merino lamb (and all lamb in my opinion) is tastiest when it’s rare. 

Lamb makes its way into our dinner rounds pretty frequently, and this was absolutely the best lamb we’d ever tasted. My Greek husband has eaten a lot of lamb in his day, and it actually isn’t his favorite due to its usual gamy flavor.

The Merino lamb had no gamy hint whatsoever (even though gamy isn’t something that I mind).  If you think you don’t like lamb for that reason, I’d highly suggest this variety.  The chops were incredibly tender, buttery and you barely had to chew them.   

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I served the lamb chops over a mint and pea puree (which is SO good) with some baked sweet potato fries on the side.

I made this plate last Saturday around 11 am, after my husband had eaten breakfast.  He said he wasn’t hungry and that he would have it when he got home from work….

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When I walked back into the kitchen a few minutes later he had literally eaten it all.  

(recipe at end of post)

The other cut I was privileged to experiment with was the Merino lamb loin filet.  After trimming the little bit of fat from the cut, I just went with a quick sear.  The outside got good and caramelized, while the inside stayed rare and amazingly tender. 

Like the rack, the flavor was mild and not at all gamy which makes it perfect for pairing with foods that lamb might otherwise overpower.

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I went a little Mediterranean this time and served the lamb over some roasted garlic and feta mashed potatoes.  

They made the perfect little bed for the lamb, which I kept simple to really allow the flavor to shine. Some roasted cherry tomatoes and chopped Greek olives finished the plate.  

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Are you still with me?  Thanks for sticking around for this lengthy post.  I loved testing out this lamb and would absolutely recommend it if you are able to get your hands on some, certainly if you see it while dining out.  

The lamb for this post was provided by Marx Foods, but the opinions are my own!

Merino Lamb Chops with Minty Pea Puree and Sweet Potato Fries

Makes 2 servings

Silere Merino Lamb Review

Ingredients

    For the lamb
  • one rack of Merino lamb, frenched (this recipe also works with other varieties of lamb, I just used Merino!)
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • oil (bacon grease, coconut oil, or avocado oil)
  • salt and pepper
  • brown mustard
  • splash of white wine
    For the pea puree
  • 1.5 cup frozen peas
  • 2 teaspoons butter or ghee
  • 1/4 cup half and half (you can sub with full fat coconut milk)
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, packed
  • squeeze of lemon

Instructions

  1. Add olive oil, garlic cloves, salt, pepper, and rack of lamb to a plastic bag. Marinate in the refrigerator at least 2 hours, overnight if possible.
  2. Remove lamb from refrigerator.
  3. Heat the oven to 375.
  4. Add peas to a small saucepan and add enough water to cover. Bring to a simmer and cook peas for 3-4 minutes. Drain water.
  5. To peas add butter, half and half (or coconut milk), and fresh mint. Add everything to a food processor and blend until smooth. Add squeeze of lemon, and salt and pepper to taste. Reserve.
  6. Heat a cast iron skillet, or oven safe pan over high heat and add a bit of oil.
  7. Score the fat on the rack of lamb and sprinkle both sides with salt. Add the rack to the hot pan, fat side down first. Sear for 1 minute and flip. Spread mustard over the top of the lamb and add it to the oven.
  8. Cook lamb for 10-15 minutes (or until lamb reaches 120 degrees F) and remove from the oven, allowing it to rest for 5 minutes before cutting.
  9. While the lamb rests, deglaze the hot pan with a splash of white wine and 3 teaspoons of mustard.
  10. Add pea puree to a plate and drizzle the lamb with the pan sauce and serve.
https://reclaimingyesterday.com/silere-merino-lamb-review-recipes/

And here’s the recipe for the Seared Lamb Loin with Roasted Garlic and Feta Potatoes!

Seared Lamb Loin with Roasted Garlic and Feta Potatoes, Olives, and Tomatoes
Serves 2
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
45 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
45 min
For the lamb
  1. one Merino lamb loin fillet, trimmed of fat and silver skin
  2. 1/4 cup olive oil
  3. 2-3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  4. dried oregano
  5. salt and pepper
For the potatoes
  1. 1 large russet potato, or 2 small
  2. 4-5 cloves garlic
  3. 2 tbs butter
  4. 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  5. 1/2 cup feta
  6. whole milk
For the tomatoes
  1. 1.5 cup cherry tomatoes
  2. drizzle olive oil
  3. salt and pepper
  4. To top: mixed greek olives, pitted and chopped
Instructions
  1. Add olive oil, 2-3 cloves garlic, oregano, salt, pepper, and lamb to a plastic bag. Marinate for at least 1 hour, preferably overnight.
  2. Remove lamb from refrigerator.
  3. Preheat oven to 375. Spread tomatoes on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  4. Add 4-5 cloves of garlic to a square of aluminum foil. Drizzle with olive oil and fold into a pouch.
  5. Add tomatoes and garlic to oven, roasting for 25 minutes, giving the tomatoes a shake after about 15.
  6. Meanwhile, peel potatoes and cube. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and add potatoes, cooking until they are tender (10-15 minutes)
  7. Drain potatoes and return to pan. Add butter and oregano and mash, adding milk until you have achieved desired consistency (use a food processor for a smoother result) Remove garlic from aluminum pouch and squeeze into potatoes. Mash to combine. Add crumbled feta and stir to incorporate. Salt and pepper to taste.
  8. To a pan heated over medium high heat add a drizzle of olive oil. Sear lamb for 3-4 minutes on each side. Remove and let rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing.
  9. Divide potatoes and lamb between two plates. Spoon over roasted cherry tomatoes and garnish with chopped olives.
Notes
  1. *3-4 minutes should result in medium rare lamb. Adjust cooking time according to preference.
Reclaiming Yesterday http://reclaimingyesterday.com/



6 responses to “Silere Merino Lamb Review + Recipes”

  1. Hey Allyson,
    Nice blog.
    You know why the lambs are free to roam in NZ? They don’t have barns there! My daughter lives there and last we skyped she told us that the TV news showed video after a snow storm of the sheep standing in the snow with just their heads poking out. They had to be dug from the snow.
    Funny!

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