This fact sheet was developed by students enrolled in Purdue's ANSC 442 Sheep Management course in Spring 2001, as a semester project. These fact sheets provide useful information on various topics related to sheep. View the list of fact sheets.

Lamb, it's Whats Cooking!

(For us anyway)


For our project we decided to cook a cut of lamb and show the steps along the way.

Due to us having a college budget the idea for us to cook a leg of lamb was out of the question.

So instead we are going to be cooking lamb Kabobs.


This is an information page on the best way to cook lamb for this dish as well as the different kinds of cuts of lamb that you can use to make this dish taste the best.


How to pick out a good cut of lamb


We went to DNR in Lafayette to view the possibilities for lamb meat. Patrick the head of the meat department gave us an informal discussion on how to pick lamb meat out.


When picking out lamb meat, use the same guidelines for picking out red meat. The color of lamb meat when the freshest will be a pinkish, red color, not a blood red, but not a pale pink either. There should be minimal fat on the meat. Also most consumers of lamb meat prefer the taste of locally grown sheep, so it would be best if a first time buyer to make sure the meat you buy is local and not overseas. As the overseas meat has a stronger flavor to it which many people tend to not like. Cost of lamb meat being in the shank cut, and the shoulder are cheaper in price ranging from $3-$3.50 a pound. A leg of lamb that we saw at DNR was $45. The loin cut(chops) and the rack are the more expensive cuts and the cost of that cut ranges anywhere from $5-6 a pound and higher but these cuts are more flavorful and in general are just better quality.


The lamb shoulder is what we are going to be using for the kabobs, and there are many reasons for it. One reason is that the shoulder is less exspensive than the rib or loin chops. The best way to use the shoulder is to have it be cubed and to use it in kabobs or stews.



Proper Handling and Storing of Lamb Meat


Fresh lamb is perishable and proper handing is imperative in maintaining quality. After buying the lamb meat, immediately store lamb in the store's plastic packaging in the coldest part of the refrigerator, preferably at 32 F to 40 F for a day or two.


When handling raw meat, wash hands, counters, and utensils with hot, soapy water between recipe steps. Never put cooked lamb on the plate that held the uncooked meat. Wash the plate while the meat cooks. Never serve raw meat. Use an ice chest to transport meat if your plans don't take you home within an hour.


Thaw frozen lamb in the refrigerator overnight. Leave it in the freezer wrap and place it on a plate to keep juices from leaking onto other foods. For faster thawing, use a microwave oven, following the oven manufacturer's directions. Do not thaw frozen lamb at room temperature. Defrosting at room temperature may promote bacterial growth or spoilage.


A suggestion from the head meat supervisor at DNR he said that" lamb meat is best when used immediately and not frozen, as with any other meat it loses some of its flavor".



The recipe

Lamb Kebabs
    1/4 c  Olive oil
    1/4 c  Fresh lemon juice
      1 sm Clove minced garlic
      1    Scallion -- finely sliced
    1/4 ts Ground coriander
           Salt and cayenne pepper to Taste
  1 1/2 lb Boneless leg of lamb -- cut Into 1-inch Squares

Combine the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, scallion,
and coriander in a mixing bowl and season to taste
with 1/2 teaspoon of salt or more; season with cayenne
pepper if you wish. Add the lamb and marinate for as
long as possible (up to 3 hours at room temperature or
6 hours in the refrigerator); turn the meat in the
marinade every now and then. Soak bamboo skewers in
water while this marinates.

Position the broiler pan 4 to 5 inches away from the
heat source and preheat the broiler. Thread lamb cubes
on skewers. Broil kebabs for 6 to 7 minutes a side or
until lamb is cooked through.

Yield: 4 servings

From: Gail Shermeyer

(We will be using meat from the shoulder instead of the leg due to it being cheaper)



Nutrition Information on Lamb Meat


Lamb is a prime source of high quality protein, vitamins, and minerals.


Its protein is nutritionally complete, with all 8 amino acids in the proper ratio. Lamb is also high in B vitamins, niacin, zinc, and iron. Compared to other meats, lamb contains very little marbling (internal fat throughout the meat). Since most of the fat the lamb does have is on the outside edges, it's easily trimmed. That means fewer calories - only 176 in an average 3-ounce serving.


Percentages of U.S. Recommended Daily Allowances (RDA)

Provided by a 3 ounce Serving of Cooked Lean Lamb.



Vitamin B-12













Lamb Nutrient Composition For Calories, Fat, Cholesterol, and Sodium.

Lamb Cuts




Calories (kcal)




Total Fat (g)




Saturated Fat (g)




Mono-unsaturated Fat (g)





Poly-unsaturated Fat (g)








Sodium (mg)





A recent study also shows that only about 36% of the fat in lamb is saturated. The rest is mono or polyunsaturated, the "good" fat in one's diet.



Cooking the lamb


Below are the steps in preparing the lamb kabobs and pictures associated with each step

Ingredients: Pam Oil Spray, Garlic-Salt, Onions, Coriander, Salt, Cayenne Pepper, Lamb Cubes, and Bamboo Skewers Raw Lamb Cubes with bamboo skewers
Uncooked Kabobs Uncooked Kabobs grilling in the "George Foreman Grill"
Cooked Kabobs Kabobs cooked medium well and ready to be eaten
Debbie eating the lamb kabobs



Links to sites to get recipes for lamb dishes










A few of the pictures came from websites which were free but just asked us to give them a link on our website.





This web page was created by:

Amanda Berlin, Courtney Stewart

and Debbie Vargas