Ashley, one half of Hungry Hungry Hipsters, and I teamed up with the American Lamb Board (ALB) to embark on Tour de Lamb. Within Colorado there are 4 Lambassador chefs who source local lamb and ingredients for their signature dishes.
Pasture to Plate Info-graphic courtesy of ALB.
American Lamb vs Imported Lamb:
The craze is always about New Zealand or imported sheep, but did you know the lamb is just as good in America? Support your local ranchers and farmers by choosing American raised lamb.
The ALB represents over 80,000 farmers and ranchers who care for over 6 million sheep across the nation. American sheep are pasture raised, which gives back to the Earth. "When you choose American Lamb you support local family farmers and ranchers throughout the United States who are dedicated to the health and welfare of their animals and the land. They are living the adventures of the lamb life every day to bring you the best quality meat in the most natural way. The farmers and ranchers that are raising your lamb are family focused, entrepreneurial and food artisans who are passionate about the process from start to finish." - American Lamb Board
TOUR DE LAMB:
Stop #1 at Blackbelly:
You won’t You won’t 🐑Baaaaaa-lieve🐑 me when I tell you I’ve been traveling around Colorado with @hungryhungry_hipsters for Tour de Lamb. American Lamb Board selected Colorado’s top chefs to serve as Lambassadors, by creating the most unique dishes with locally raised lambs.
🍽 This Double (loin) Lamb Chop is from Blackbelly. The lamb is from Buckner Family Farm and butchered by Nate Singer. This special cut was grilled to perfection by Chef C.B. Daniels. It’s accompanied by ancient grains, oxford cucumber, birch syrup, apricots and pistachio aillade. You must try it! Chef Hosea Rosenberg was on vacation but is credited with the entree creation.
Stop #2: River and Woods
The Lamb and Oat Meatloaf at River and Woods is a more tantalizing taste bud experience. Chef Daniel Asher is known for locally sourcing ingredients such as the lamb from Buckner Family Farms and Elevation Ketchup on this entree.
Stop #3: Rioja
I’m counting sheep until the next time I can eat Chef Jennifer Jasinski’s Colorado Lamb burger at Rioja. Lucky for me it’s offered on the brunch, lunch and dinner menu.
Pro Tip: order it ‘á la Fausto” for the fried egg, chronic bacon and avocado. @hungryhungry_hipsters and I devoured our burgers within minutes. Can you blame us?
Rioja sources their lamb from Buckner Family Farm.
Stop #4: Mercantile
🐑 The final stop of Tour de Lamb! 🐑
@hungryhungry_hipsters and I ended our tour at Mercantile with the Grilled Colorado Lamb Loin. This signature dish by Chef Alex Seidel was paired with fresh chickpea tahina, confit veal sweetbreads, toasted grain salad, and feta. It’s delicious and I love sweetbreads. Have you had them?
This lamb came from Mountain States Lamb Co-op, a group of family ranchers raising quality lambs.
In the US we have very high quality, delicious lamb from our domestic sheep farmers. Some of the best Front Range chefs are dedicated to supporting them!
If you're interested in supporting American sheep farmers, make a point to ask where your butcher or retailer where they are sourcing their lamb from. Much of the lamb at grocery stores and butcher shops is imported. However, King Soopers is the retailer Front Rangers can count on for American Lamb.
Many thanks to American Lamb Board for helping me pick my stops and learn more about the importance of local lamb.
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