5 Reasons You Should Make The Switch To Lamb

Each time we step into the grocery store, we are faced with dozens of options for proteins. The options seem endless – we have the choice to choose the type of meat, the cut of meat, and even the producers of the meat. As humans, we love familiarity as it keeps us feeling comfortable. However, change can be good as it introduces us to new experiences. The next time you step into the grocery store, why not try something new, like lamb?

There are more and more people who are switching to lamb as their protein of choice every day. Here are some reasons why they (and why you should) make the switch to lamb:

 

1. High Source of Protein

Lamb is primarily made up of protein, providing all nine essential amino acids that your body requires for proper growth and maintenance. Thus, eating lamb contributes to positive health. Lamb is especially beneficial for those who engage in daily physical activity, such as athletes and bodybuilders, since protein helps with muscle repair.

Consuming lamb can also prevent overeating since it is protein heavy. Protein is widely known for creating higher levels of satiety. Therefore, lamb can contribute to maintaining a healthy weight.

plated lamb chops

 

2. Rich Source of Vitamins and Minerals

Lamb is a great source of a variety of vitamins and minerals, including:

  • Vitamin B12 – this vitamin is important for the formation of blood cells and the healthy functioning of the brain.
  • Selenium – selenium acts as a powerful antioxidant, and therefore prevents damage to cells that are caused by free radicals.
  • Zinc – this mineral is vital for the development and formation of hormones.

And these are just some of the vitamins and minerals that lamb is incredibly rich in. Consuming lamb will ensure you are getting a healthy supply of different types of vitamins and minerals to support good health.

lamb kabobs

 

3. Excellent Source of Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Today people are consuming more omega-6 fatty acids than they are consuming omega-3 fatty acids. This is an issue because omega-6 is pro-inflammatory and omega-3 is anti-inflammatory. Thus, omega-3 can possibly lower the risk of heart disease.

Omega 3 also promotes healthy skin as it supports flexibility, moisture retention, and antioxidant function, leaving your skin hydrated with diminished visibility of fine lines and wrinkles. Who knew lamb could keep you young? 

lamb chops with vegetables

 

4. Great Source of Iron

Since lamb is a red meat, it has much more iron than other sources of protein, like fish or chicken. Therefore, consuming lamb increases the composition of red blood cells, increases the proportion of hemoglobin in the blood, and even improves blood flow and the delivery of oxygen to cells.

Lamb also has more heme iron than non-heme iron (heme iron comes from animals, and non-heme iron is found in plants). Heme iron is absorbed much better than non-heme iron; thus, eating lamb is beneficial if you are looking to prevent and improve iron deficiency, and symptoms of anemia. As lamb is rich in iron, eating lamb can help you meet your goals for iron intake.

rack of lamb with potatoes and carrots

 

5. High in Calcium

Lamb meat is high in calcium. This makes lamb a great source of calcium for those who are calcium deficient and cannot consume other sources of calcium, like milk. The consumption of lamb and its high calcium content provides benefits such as maintaining strong and healthy bones, preventing disruptions, and preventing bone abnormalities.

 

SunGold Speciality Meats makes it easy for you to make the switch by providing a variety of Lamb Tonight products to choose from, along easy-to-make recipes

Our Lamb Tonight Line is pre-seasoned, mild flavored and convenient. Just add heat, and eat!  

From burgers to sausages to meatballs and kabobs, our healthy and tasty options will have you wishing you made the switch sooner! You can pick up our Lamb Tonight products at Sobeys, Safeway, Thrifty Foods, Federated Coop and Calgary Coop. 

What are you waiting for? Pick up a package (or two, or three…) today!

lamb kabobs

Lamb & The Keto Diet – A Beginner’s Guide

If you haven’t been hiding under a rock, you’ve likely heard of the Keto diet and its health and weight loss benefits. This diet is similar to low carb diets such as the Atkin’s and Paleo diet, and has generated just as much interest. But what exactly is the Keto diet?

 

In this blog, we break down the complex information around the Keto diet into bite-sized pieces, so you can determine—with the help of your doctor—if it’s right for you. You’ll also learn how our favourite protein, lamb, can play an important part in this diet! 

 

What is the Keto Diet?

A Ketogenic (“Keto”) diet is a low-carbohydrate, moderate-protein, high-fat diet. In a Keto diet, you replace carbohydrates (which is converted into glucose, aka sugar) with fat as an alternative energy source for your body. 

A standard Ketogenic diet contains 75% fat, 20% protein, and only 5% carbohydrates.* When we drastically reduce the amount of carbs we consume, we force our body to enter a metabolic state called ketosis

Ketosis is when our body burns fat instead of glucose for energy. Our liver turns fat into ketones, a source of fuel.

*Fat, protein, and carbohydrates are called macronutrients, the three big nutrients we get from our daily food intake.

 

What Do I Eat and What Do I Avoid Eating on a Keto Diet?

The Keto diet is about replacing carbohydrates with fat. But we’re not talking about eating unhealthy fats here. The Keto diet encourages people to eat whole and unprocessed foods. Let’s take a look at what you should and shouldn’t eat on Keto.

Eggs, bacon, peppers, and seeds are just some of the things you can eat on the keto diet.]

Do Eat:

Foods that are high in fat, but low in carbs such as:

    • Meat: Red and white meat, particularly fatty meat, including lamb, beef products like steak, chicken, turkey, pork products such as bacon and ham, offal. 
    • Fish: Look for fatty fish like salmon and tuna.
    • Eggs: Choose eggs that are organic or come from free-range animals.
    • Dairy: Butter, cream, cheese, etc. Again, look for products that are unprocessed.
    • Vegetables: Leafy greens like kale, spinach, and broccoli, tomatoes, peppers, etc. Veggies will be where you get most of your carbs and fiber.
    • Avocados are recommended as one of the few fruits to eat on a Keto diet because they contain healthy fats.
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Oils: Extra-virgin olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil.

 

Limit Eating:

Foods that are processed, starchy, and high in carbohydrates such as:

    • Grains: Bread, cereal, pasta, rice, crackers, bagels, corn, etc.
    • Sugars: Candy, soda, juice, ice cream, etc.
    • Fruits: Most fruits are high in carbs and fructose.
    • High-carb veggies: Potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, beans, legumes, peas, chickpeas, lentils, etc.
    • “Low-fat”/diet foods: These are often heavily processed with high sugar content.
    • Unhealthy fats: Mayonnaise, processed vegetable oils, etc.
  • Milk
  • Alcohol

 

 

Benefits of the Keto Diet

Weight loss is one benefit of the keto diet.

Okay, so the Keto diet can be restrictive. No carbs? What is this life? 

However, the Keto diet has many great health benefits for anyone looking to improve their metabolic or overall health. Some of these benefits include:

  • Weight loss: Because you’re eating fewer calories while also burning calories in the form of fat, you lose weight. Additionally, the Keto diet helps you feel fuller, longer, and reduces appetite.
  • Increases energy and improves mood: A steady supply of ketones instead of glucose for fuel mean less energy slumps. The Keto diet also fuels your brain better than carbs and makes you feel great.
  • Lowers risk of diseases: Body fat, cholesterol, blood sugar, and blood pressure are all affected by the Keto diet, leading to a lowered risk of heart disease.
  • Treats diseases and conditions: The Keto diet has been found to lower blood sugar and insulin levels in people with Type 2 diabetes, reduce seizures in epileptic patients and improve symptoms in Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and Polycystic ovary syndrome.

Side-Effects of the Keto Diet

As with any major change, your body needs time to adjust. This is why one of the main side effects you may feel at the beginning of the Keto diet is the Keto flu. The Keto flu mimics symptoms of the real flu, including fatigue, headaches, and irritability. This is because you are going through a carbohydrate withdrawal. It is very important to stay hydrated and replenish your electrolytes, as you will lose a lot of water on the Keto diet.

 

Keto-Friendly Lamb Recipes 

Lamb is a great source of healthy fats and high-quality protein as well as numerous vitamins and minerals. On top of that, it has no carbs! SunGold’s products are perfect for your Keto meal plan. Here’s one of our Keto-friendly, low-carb recipes:

SunGold Grilled Mojo Lamb Steaks

Grilled mojo steaks are a delicious, keto-friendly dinner idea.

Prep Time: 20 minutes | Cook Time: 10 minutes | Total Time: 30 minutes (+ 4 hours marinating time) | Serves: 4

Ingredients List:

  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) orange juice*
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) lime juice*
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) chopped fresh cilantro
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, minced
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) packed brown sugar*
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) dried oregano
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) each salt and pepper
  • 4 SunGold Bone-in Lamb Leg Steaks

Avocado Salsa:

  • 1 avocado, peeled, pitted and chopped
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) finely chopped red onion
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) lime juice
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) cumin
  • Pinch each salt and pepper

Directions:

  • Whisk together orange juice, lime juice, cilantro, garlic, jalapeno, brown sugar, oregano, cumin, salt and pepper; pour over lamb in non-metallic container or in resealable plastic bag. Cover or seal; refrigerate lamb for at least 4 hours or up to 6 hours.
  • Preheat grill to medium-high heat; grease grate well. Grill steaks, turning once, for about 8 minutes for medium-rare or until desired doneness.
  • Avocado Salsa: Meanwhile, combine avocado, red onion, lime juice, cilantro, cumin, salt and pepper. Serve with steaks.

Tip:

  • Instead of the salsa, serve the lamb simply with avocado – with a squeeze of lime and chopped cilantro if desired.

*Note: Although sugar should be drastically reduced on a Keto diet, that doesn’t mean you must eliminate it altogether. Just make sure it stays below your 5% carbohydrate intake per day.

Other Helpful Resources & Links

Ruled.me’s Keto Guide

Healthline’s Keto Guide

Nerd Fitness’s Keto Guide

r/Keto

Macronutrient calculator

Keto Shopping List

Keto Diet Recipes on AllRecipes.com

 

 

 

 

<< Looking for healthier ways to use lamb? Check out our low-carb recipes here >>

Finish Summer Strong With Our Best Lamb Tonight Recipes

Canadian summers are beautiful but short, and we can’t believe September is upon us! 

 

We want to help you extend the summer feels with these delicious dishes from our Lamb Tonight product line! From burgers to meatballs and sausages to kabobs, we have great tastes, exotic flavours, and healthy options on the menu for you to savour.

 

Our Lamb Tonight line is freshly made, pre-seasoned and convenient  – just add a little heat and enjoy.

 

Available at your local Sobeys, Safeway, Thrifty Foods, Foodland, Calgary CO-OP and Federated CO-OP

 

<<Related Reads: Why You Should Be Having Lamb Tonight>> 

 

Hot and lazy summer days call for light meals like our Lamb Tonight Lamb Kabobs with Mango Apple Salad.

Lamb Kabobs with Mango Apple Salad

Perhaps the cold won’t set in if we keep summer alive on our plates? Plus…no one can resist our lamb kabobs with a sweet mango apple salad!

This is a meal that is not only light, but healthy and perfect for the last days of summer.

Ingredients:

  • 2 pkg (300 g each) SunGold Lamb Tonight Taste of India Lamb Kabobs
  • 1 1/2 cups (375 mL) quartered cherry tomatoes
  • 1 ripe mango, peeled, pitted and sliced
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, cored and sliced
  • 3 tbsp (45 mL) lime juice
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) olive oil
  • 4 tsp (20 mL) brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
  • 1/3 cup (75 mL) fresh basil leaves, torn
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup (75 mL) chopped toasted cashews
  • 4 naan breads, warmed

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat grill to medium-high heat; grease grates well. Cook kabobs, turning once, for about 8 minutes or until cooked through.
  2. Toss together tomatoes, mango, apple, lime juice, olive oil, sugar and salt. Stir in basil and green onions.
  3. Divide salad evenly among 4 plates; top with kabobs. Sprinkle with cashews and serve with naan bread.

 

Prep Time: 15 minutes 

Cook Time: 10 minutes 

Total Time: 25 minutes 

Serves: 4

 

⭐ TIPS:

  • Serve the kabobs over basmati rice if desired.
  • Substitute almonds or peanuts for cashews if desired.
  • For a spicy salad, garnish with thinly sliced fresh Thai chili peppers.

 

Lamb meatballs with lemon-cumin yogurt make a great appetizer for your next party.

 

Lamb Meatballs with Lemon-Cumin Yogurt

So you’ve been invited to an end of summer bash, and you don’t want to bring the usual casserole… how about something different, or dare we say, absolutely scrumptious? Try these lamb meatballs with lemon-cumin yogurt, and be the talk of the party! We’re also sure you’ll get a few requests for the recipe!

Ingredients:

 

     For the yogurt:

  • 3/4 cup whole-milk Greek yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh mint
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Zest of 1 medium lemon, minced

Directions:

  1. Heat the oven to 375°F and arrange a rack in the middle.
  2. Place meatballs on a baking sheet.
  3. Bake until meatballs are no longer pink in the middle, about 15 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, combine all yogurt ingredients in a small bowl and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Mix well. Serve with the meatballs.

 

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes  

Total Time: 30 minutes 

Serves: 30

 

—Adapted from Chowhound

 

 

Grilled burgers are a summertime classic. Change it up by adding eggplant, basil pesto, and crumbled goat cheese for a Mediterranean flair.
Mediterranean Lamb Burger

Who says BBQ season is over? Fire up the grill for a taste of the Mediterranean with our recipe for these delicious and simple-to-make lamb burgers.

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Preheat grill to medium-high heat; grease grate well.
  2. Grill burgers and eggplant slices, turning once, for 8 to 10 minutes or until grill-marked and burgers are cooked through.
  3. Assemble burgers in buns with eggplant, goat cheese, pesto, tomato and arugula.

 

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes  

Total Time: 25 minutes 

Serves: 4

 

TIP: For a low-carb option, serve burgers wrapped in lettuce leaves instead of buns.

 

<<Why Mediterranean? Here Are Some Benefits to the Famed Diet>>

 

 

Who knew that gyros are perfect camping food?

Grilled Gyro Kabobs

Calling all long weekend campers! This next recipe isn’t just perfect for backyard grilling, it’s a great meal to cook over the campfire.  

 

Ingredients:

For the sauce:

  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

 

Directions:

  1. Fire up your grill or get your campfire going. You’ll be cooking the kabobs over medium-high to high heat.
  2. Build your skewers by threading the lamb, tomatoes, and halloumi on their own skewers. Brush the tomato and cheese skewers with oil.
  3. Once the grill has reached a medium-high heat, place all the skewers on the grate. Grill, turning often, until the lamb has cooked through (about 10 minutes), the tomatoes are soft and beginning to blister (about 4 minutes), and the halloumi is soft and grill marks form (about 3 minutes on each side). Heat the flatbreads over the grill until warm. 
  4. Make the yogurt sauce by combining the yogurt, lemon juice, garlic, and salt.
  5. Build your gyros by spreading some of the sauce on each flatbread and topping with the lamb, tomatoes, and halloumi.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes  

Total Time: 25 minutes 

Serves: 4

 

TIP: Replace the lemon-garlic yogurt sauce in the previous recipe with tzatziki, another great sauce that goes well with gyros. 

To make tzatziki, mix together:

  • 1 small cucumber, grated
  • Bunch fresh mint, leaves finely chopped
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 cup Greek-style yogurt
  • Kosher salt

 

—Gyros recipe adapted from Fresh Off the Grid; tzatziki recipe from Food Network

 

<<More Lamb Recipes Begging to Hit the Grill>>

We hope these recipes will help you finish off the summer stong! With our wide range of Lamb Tonight products, your options are endless. Let us know what your favourite recipe is!

5 Crockpot Lamb Recipes to Impress Your Family

As September brings in the first hint of fall’s chill, it’s time to talk everyone’s quick dinner solution: The slow cooker! 

If you’re like us, you’ll want to spend as much time as possible outside enjoying the last of the nice weather this month has to offer. Full schedules beg for quick, delicious healthy meals. If you’ve been with us awhile, you know we have a collection of recipes to inspire your lamb dinners. 

Of course, if you visit your favourite grocer, you can pick up delicious Sungold Meats’ ready made Lamb Tonight options. But, there’s always a bit of Hoorah! when you know you’ve put together a dinner from scratch. And, this wonderful list of recipes is for those moments. 

Get ready to Prep. Set. Forget.

Whether you’re using a crockpot or the now infamous Instant Pot, these succulent recipes will surely impress your tastebuds, and have your family begging for more.

Flavoursome Crockpot Lamb Recipes

1. Essence of Morocco Lamb Shoulder

A crockpot lamb shoulder is bound to impress! Tender meat, layers of flavours, and aromas for days … this recipe calls for our SunGold lamb shoulder to make it shine. Dried apricots add a touch of sweetness to the dish, while the cardamom, saffron, and ginger gives it a little kick.

Essence of Morocco Lamb Shoulder

2. Thyme & Balsamic Slow Cooker Lamb Shanks

A rich flavoursome dish bolstered from the sweet acidity of balsamic vinegar and tomatoes. This recipe is also wonderfully gluten free, dairy free, and super simple. And, the leftovers will make amazing tacos or topping a fresh salad. 

 

. Thyme & Balsamic Slow Cooker Lamb Shanks

3.Braised Lamb Shanks

Luxurious red wine gravy to drizzle over fall-off-the-bone lamb shanks, slow cooked to perfection. Cafe Delights even offers up various methods to slow-cooking this recipe: the oven, the crockpot, or the instant pot. 

Braised Lamb Shanks

 

 

4. Slow Cooker Citrus Lamb Shanks

Get ready for a mouthwatering lamb shank! Paired with this recipe, these scrumptious shanks will fill the air with a comforting aroma of oranges, limes, and lemons.

 

Slow Cooker Citrus Lamb Shanks

 

 

5. Persian Braised Lamb Shanks

Paired with Persian dill rice and warm naan bread, this dish is sure to be stunningly delicious. A quick dip in the sauce, with meat falling off the bone to be lapped up with naan.

Persian Braised Lamb Shanks

 

 

We’re on a mission to be sure Sungold Meats offers beautiful flavors for your quick dinners. Whether you’re using our Lamb Tonight options or going for gusto with a home cooked meal, we hope you make lamb a part of your weekly routine! 

Did we miss a crockpot recipe you feel should be included on this list? We’d love to hear about it. Mark your recipe down in the comments or jump over to our Facebook page and share the recipe and photos of your dinner with our community.

The SunGold Butcher’s Guide to Lamb

Lamb is often thought of as a complicated delicacy, one that takes time, extensive knowledge and practice to prepare. We’re here to tell you that’s far from the truth!

Lamb is a delicious, and simple protein to work with. It takes no more time, knowledge or practice to prepare than beef. Plus, our SunGold lamb is known for its mild flavor, so there’s no need to be intimidated! 

Consistent in size and quality, SunGold offers a variety of quality cuts to suit everyone’s palate and budget.

We’ve created this guide (and handy graphic) to show you all the parts of the lamb, and the best ways to cook them with tasty recipes! 


Shoulder

The shoulder of a lamb is taken from the top of the front legs. It’s a juicy cut of meat, full of flavour. It’s also one of the most reasonably priced of all SunGold lamb cuts!

Slow roast or stew to maximize flavour, and create meat that falls right off the bone. Shoulder is also great to cut into cubes for kebabs.

🍖 Our Recommended Recipe: Chipotle Braised Lamb Tacos 

 

Rack

The rack is widely considered the premier protein cut regardless of species. Rack of lamb is fast to cook, and popular for barbecues and quick roasts. 

Rack of lamb can be cooked whole or individually (“lollipop” style), but be careful not to overcook this light and delicate meat. Pair it with a simple dressing for a show-stopping main.

🥩 Our Recommended Recipe: Rack of Lamb for Two with one of SunGold’s 8-Rib Racks

 

A grilled rack of lamb makes an easy and excellent meal for a dinner party

Loin

The loin is taken from the waist or top of the back of the lamb. The loin is tender and also versatile to cook, and is delicious roasted, pan-seared or fried. It’s also a great grilling item, and is often used on the barbeque. 

🍖 Our Recommended Recipe: BBQ Lamb with Mediterranean Compound Butter with  SunGold Pre Cut Lamb Loin Chops

 

Sirloin

The sirloin (or chump as it is also known) is extremely flavourful, and is widely considered the best value cut on the lamb carcass.The sirloin is the muscle that connects the loin to the back legs. It’s a tender meat that is best grilled or roasted to compliment its mild flavor.

Dried Mushroom and Peppercorn Crusted Sirloin Roast with SunGold Boneless Lamb Sirloin
🥩 Our Recommended Recipe: Dried Mushroom and Peppercorn Crusted Sirloin Roast with SunGold Boneless Lamb Sirloin

 

Leg

The Leg is perhaps the most traditional cut of lamb, and is quite versatile (as a bone in, or boneless roast, or as leg steaks). Like all of our cuts, our legs are known for their mild “grain finished” flavour. 

The shank is also incredibly popular, particularly in the cooler months, and is best served braised. 

🍖 Our Recommended Recipe: Western Style BBQ Sauce for Lamb Steaks with SunGold Lamb Leg

 

Fore Shank & Hind Shank

The fore and hind shanks are the lower part of a lamb’s legs. They’re a meaty cut made flavourful from the bone. The fore and hind shank flavour is similar to the leg of lamb. Shanks do best braised, or cooked slow and low for dishes like stews.

 🥩 Recommended Recipe: Rosemary Braised Lamb Shanks with SunGold Hind shank

 

Flank

The flank of the lamb is the section where the leg meets the loin, aka the abdomen of the lamb. The flank is plump and marbled, but very tender. The flank’s fat serves to keep the meat juicy while cooking. The flank pairs well with herbs like rosemary, thyme and garlic. Try it grilled on the barbecue or quickly roasted in the oven.

🍖 Recommended Recipe: Lamb Flank Steak Gyros with SunGold Lamb Flanks

 

Neck

Lamb neck chops are full of flavour from the fat marbled throughout the meat! It’s best cooked slow to bring out those flavours, so try roasting the neck whole for juicy, tender meat. The neck is also perfect to cube for barbecued kebabs, stews, or curries.

🥩 Recommended Recipe: Red Wine-Braised Lamb Neck with SunGold Neck Chops

Roasted potatoes
Source: Pixabay


Breast

Lamb breast’s marble helps to tenderize this cut of meat, so the best way to cook the breast is via a slow roast. Another great way to prepare and cook breast meat is by grinding the meat and making everyone’s favourite meatballs!🥩 Recommended Recipe: Moroccan Lamb Meatballs.

 

A pot of lamb meatballs with yogurt, and mint
Source: Unsplash

 

There you have it: Lamb is nutritious, delicious, versatile! With all these options, why not add lamb to your diet?

SunGold is Canada’s source for Premium Canadian Grain finished lamb.

Our Favourite Drinks to Pair with Your Favourite Lamb

When pairing your favourite Sungold Meats’ lamb dish, you probably jump to a wine pairing immediately. We can’t say we blame you.

We get it, a nice Cab Sauv never disappoints with a succulent lamb dish. From the herbs to flavour of the tender meat – a full bodied red is a sure fire hit for your dinner guests. But, it’s safe!

Worry not. We’re here to help expand your liquor horizons, and help you create pairings that compliment a few of our favourite Sungold Meats’ recipes.

Ready for a boozy adventure?

 

Rack of lamb presented on table

 

How To: Pairing a Beverage to Your Lamb Dish

The success of your pairing is measured by what happens when a sip of your drink interacts with your last bite of food. This is where the magic happens!

So, what makes a good or bad pairing? Glad you asked!

If the flavour after the sip of your drink is jarring or even slightly unpleasant, it’s a poor pairing. However, if the flavour leaves you wanting more, you my friend, have a found a fantastic match.

 

Pairing Wine with your Favourite Lamb Dinner

The best advice for pairing your favourite dish with a drink: What grows together goes together.

When deciding on a pairing, think about the region of the world where your lamb is from. For example, a Canadian Shiraz or Syrah would be a perfect pairing for SunGold lamb recipe, as both the wine and lamb are Canadian.

Another way to look at it: Figure out which region inspired your dish (Indian, Mexican, Greek, etc.), then find a wine, beer or a cocktail to match. Regionality is a great starting point to match your favourite Sungold Meats’ lamb recipe. Move from locale to your plate.

When pairing a lamb dish with a beverage, you need to keep in mind the weight of both the drink and the dish. The weight of the dish must match the weight of the drink. A rich, flavourful dish needs to be balanced with a full-bodied wine or beer, or with a layered cocktail.

“There is magic in that distance between the food and the wine. The ideal match fills that space.” – Derek Todd, sommelier, New York.

A SunGold Meat’s leg of lamb will pair beautifully with a Rioja or a Cab Sauv from Bordeaux. Both options are a great example of the weight of the dish to match the weight of the full-bodied wines.

 

Pairing Beer: The Basics  

  • Porters are rich, dark, and malty beers, with just enough of a bitter hop bite to suggest strong coffee or pure cocoa beans. They pair well with a Spaghetti and Lamb Meatballs.
  • Stouts have a wonderfully silky texture with an almost savoury flavour. They complement lamb’s earthiness. They pair well with a lamb shank for both weight and flavour profile.
  • Pale Ales offer a great pairing with rich, bold lamb dishes. An example of a great pairing is either a rack of lamb or a lamb loin chop.
  • Amber Ales are a balanced beer with toasted malt and a light fruitiness that pairs well with hearty and spicy dishes, such as a lamb chili. Amber ales work well with fried or salty dishes as well.
  • Brown Ales tend to have caramel and chocolate flavours, allowing them to pair well with heavier red meats and dishes that have been roasted.
  • Wheat Ales are often forgotten in the beer pairings, but they come in handy for pairing a brunch (or lunch) lamb dish that may be either fried or on the spicier side. They often pair well with a Lamb Kabobs with Mango Apple Salad or a lamb sandwich.

Let’s Talk Cocktails

Pairing your favourite cocktail to a dish adds complexity to your meal. The best part of a cocktail pairing is the ability to tweak – or even create – one to perfectly match your dish. With cocktails, you’ll want to match the flavour profiles of your dish. From herbs (rosemary or mint, for example) to the spirit used, you have no shortage of options to choose from.

For example, if you’re pairing roasted leg of lamb with a coffee and chocolate sauce, a Scotch based cocktail would be perfect before, during, or after your meal.

If your lamb dish is stuffed with a rosemary herb mixture, a triple-distilled tequila’s extra smooth finish would compliment the lamb’s eathiness. Rosemary would bring out the oak flavour in tequila. Tequila is also a great match for a dish that uses cucumbers and mint.

The gist? It’s Margarita time.


Vodka is another sure fire match to accompany a lamb dinner and to form the basis of your cocktail. Plus, lamb’s fat content helps to balance out vodka’s alcohol percentage- so don’t feel
too bad about your second round. 😉

 

 

Our Top Drink Pairings with Our Favourite Lamb Dishes

 

Slow Cooker Lamb Goulash

Slow Cooker Lamb Goulash

 

The beauty of this delicious recipe is in its simplicity. Head on into your local grocer and pick up some Lamb Tonight Shoulder Stew, along with the other ingredients, and pull out the slow cooker.

The magic is hands-off, giving you time to pull together some delicious options for pairing.

 

The Cocktail: an Old Fashioned

The full-bodied bourbon will hold up well to the full flavour of the goulash. Try switching the bourbon in your cocktail: Basil Hayden’s, Makers’ Mark, or Four Roses. Each bourbon will bring its own flavour profile to the occasion, giving you different experiences with this dish.

 

The Wine:  Gewürztraminer / Pinot Noir

This may surprise you, but a Gewürztraminer, such as Pfaffenheim Tradition Gewürztraminer, will pair nicely with this dish – light, fruity, not too sweet. If you prefer a red, the fruity Meiomi Pinot Noir  will be right up your ally.

 

The Beer:  Pale Ale

A pale ale complements the richness of lamb without overpowering the dish. Try pairing a local craft pale ale to elevate the pairing.

 

 

Taste of India Curry Lamb Shoulder Chops

Taste of India Curry Lamb Shoulder Chops

With this curry recipe’s kick of spice, it’s the perfect dish to test your pairing skills!

 

The Cocktail: The Mojito

How can you go wrong with a perfectly muddled mojito? Mint is a natural pair to a curry, so why not enjoy it muddled with some rum and a little spritz?

Mojito

 

The Wine: Zinfandel

Zinfandel’s bold fruitiness is reminiscent of homemade jam, which cushions a spicy lamb dish beautifully. A favourite Zinfandel to pair: Ravenswood Old Vines Zinfandel.

 

The Beer: Pilsner / Amber Ale

The lightness of the Pilsner is a great pairing to the Indian spices this dish embodies. Another great pairing with the spiciness of this dish would be the toasted malt of an Amber Ale.

 

 

Lamb & Quinoa Power Bowl with Tahini Dressing

Lamb & Quinoa Power Bowl with Tahini Dressing

 

We’ve included this light, refreshing bowl as a reminder lamb dishes don’t always need to be heavy! As a bonus, this dish can be served either hot or cold, depending on what you’re in the mood for.

 

The Cocktail: Greek Red Wine Sangria

We’ve enlisted one of Canada’s top bartenders for this amazing cocktail. Tarquin Melnyk, based in Vancouver, BC, combined the bright, fresh flavours of citrus and mint with a Greek red wine, fortified with Metaxa.

Greek Red Wine Sangria

The Wine: Syrah / Pinot Gris

A light-bodied Pinot Gris with a light citrusy flavour profile will be a sure hit with this mediterranean dish.

A Syrah’s full-bodied dark fruit flavours make this a match made in heaven. With the Syrah, you’ll have a punch of flavour that tapers off to a spicy, peppery note to make lamb the star of the dish.

 

The Beer: Wheat Beer

Erdinger Weissbeir allows the bowl’s citrus notes to come alive on your palate. Light, crisp, citrus notes in the beer leave out the heavy hops from a darker ale or stout. The sparkling, lively taste of this wheat beer allows the dish to be the star.

 

 

Pairing Your Dinner Should be Fun!

It’s important to remember the perfect pairing for your lamb dish will also be what’s perfect for your palette. Food and beverage pairing is all about listening to what your nose, and mouth tell you.

5 Lamb Recipes Begging to Hit the Grill

Man grilling over open flame grill

With Spring’s glorious return, our hectic schedules fill up fast. When you want to spend as much time as possible in the open air, what better place to call your kitchen than the great outdoors? Nothing compares to a charbroiled meal kissed by the flames of the BBQ.

If you’ve been with us a while, you know we have a fantastic collection of recipes to inspire your lamb dinners. As we’re serious about whole animal butchery, this list helps you uncover new lamb cuts alongside the most rewarding ways of preparing them.

We’ve also included a couple recipes from our Lamb Tonight product line that only require you preheat the grill and go!  

There’s always a bit of Hoorah! when you cook on the BBQ, as you the feel warmth of the open flames on your skin. This collection of recipes is here for those moments.

It’s grill season – are you ready?

 

 

 

1. Lamb Burgers With Smoked Cheddar and Caramelized Onions

Lamb burger and fries

 

These deluxe Lamb Tonight burgers are perfect for a quick and filling dinner. The caramelized onions are cooked in foil packets on the grill for a simple burger topping. The best part? This flavoursome recipe is as easy to clean up as it is flavourful.

You can scoop up our Lamb Tonight burgers at your local Safeway, Sobey’s or Co-Op.

 

2. Grilled Safon Rack of Lamb

Grilled Safon Rack of Lamb

 

Ready to give your rack of lamb a spring makeover? This recipe needs a little extra love (you’ve got to marinate the meat overnight), but we promise it won’t disappoint. Saffron lends itself well to lamb’s flavor, and you can kick your meal up a notch by pairing it with with some potatoes, roasted red peppers and a crip white wine.

 

3. BBQ Lamb With Mediterranean Compound Butter

BBQ Lamb With Mediterranean Compound Butter

 

The best way to elevate any meal and impress your backyard guests? Compound butter. While the term may sound complex, it’s actually really simple. Plus, you can whip up a bunch, and save fridge or freezer for a quick flavour booster for your next open flamed feast.

Ready to get grilling? Check out the step by step video recipe here.

Recipe created with our luscious lamb loin.

 

4. Spicy BBQ Leg of Lamb

Spicy BBQ Leg of Lamb

 

This BBQ Leg of Lamb recipe (from our boy, Jamie) is the perfect mix of smoky heat and summer flavours. With each bite, your guests will dip their lamb leg into a minty lemon yogurt sauce that will leave them wanting more! Add a side of seasonal charbroiled veg, and you’re plate will come to life.

 

5. Lamb Kabobs with Mango Apple Salad

Lamb Kabobs with Mango Apple Salad

 

Here’s another recipe from our Lamb Tonight line that will provide you with a quick and delicious meal. These lamb kabobs (which only take about 4-5 minutes on the grill) create a summery treat when paired with mango, green apple and fresh basil. This color this plate creates screams spring BBQ!

Valentine’s Day Dinner for Two: Gourmet Lamb

 

New Zealand lamb chops, herb potatoes, and organic raspberry jam

Photo credit: @justcavallimilano

 

You had the best of intentions. Weeks ago, you were going to call your favourite restaurant to book a table for two. You wanted to surprise your significant other with a romantic dinner with their favourite dish – lamb.

Alas, the days have flown by. Your favourite restaurant is full up. And, you have nowhere to go on Valentine’s Day.

Now, you could call up another restaurant and be tied to their fixed menu full of aphrodisiacs eaten around a crowded table.

Or, you pull up your sleeves, turn on the oven, and set the table.

 


Lamb – The Fancy Protein

 

When trying to impress your loved one, you have the option of many delicious proteins. Then, there is SunGold Meats’ lamb. Expensive to order in a restaurant, yet so elegantly satisfying to prepare at home.

The delicious aromas will fill your house as its fat renders at the bottom of the pan, waiting to be reduced into the most velvety, flavoursome sauce.

Set the table with your best dishes. Adorn it with a beautiful centrepiece bouquet. Pop the cork on your favourite wine.

And, let’s get cooking.

Lamb Loin with Caramelized Onions and Rhubarb Compote

 

Did someone say caramelized onions? and rhubarb? All right. Dish …

Thankfully, the Cerea brothers graciously have.


Photo credit & Recipe:
https://www.greatitalianchefs.com/recipes/rhubarb-compote-caramelised-onion-lamb-loin-recipe

 

We haven’t strayed far from the sous vide method used in the previous recipe, after all, we are going for gourmet dishes made in the comfort of our home. This recipe happens to be Michelin Star worthy.

Juicy lamb loin paired with tangy rhubarb and sweet caramelized onions. Is your guest going to be held to just one serving – is the question.

The recipe itself seems adequately manageable, with the sous vide portion adding an element of skill. Ok, maybe the plating will be the showcase of skill in this recipe.

This recipe would be fantastic paired with a smooth Zinfandel. All in all, the hour and a half to prepare this amazing dish will garnish you rave reviews.

 

Fillet, Shoulder, and Belly of Lamb with Kale Compote, Glazed Roscoff Onion and Lamb Jus

 

Another Michelin Star dish for you to dazzle your loved one with. This dish is taking everything up a notch … or three … by relishing the beauty of a lamb fillet, lamb shoulder, and the belly of lamb.

 

Photo credit & Recipe:  https://www.greatbritishchefs.com/ingredients/lamb-fillet-recipes

 

Three amazingly flavourful cuts of lamb blessing your plate. Take out the good dishes for this amazing recipe.

It’s best to start the recipe the day before your big date night, the curing, the confiting, and the braising will all-in-all take about 5 hours.

Chef Alyn Williams’ dish is masterful. The flavours beautifully layered.

 

Pressure-cooked braised lamb fore shank, parsnip bubble, and squeak with smoked bacon sauce

 

We’re sticking with Chef Alyn Williams for another recipe. This one isn’t as challenging, but, trust us, it won’t disappoint.

 

Photo credit & Recipe: https://www.greatbritishchefs.com/recipes/pressure-cooked-lamb-shanks-recipe

What’s not to love about this recipe? Truly. And the best part, aside from a bit of searing, the pressure cooker does most of the hard work.

Smoked bacon sauce to accompany succulent lamb shanks. Parsnips to add a touch of glamour to the plate.

Dang-nab-it. Pair this plate with a full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon. Enjoy.

 

Assiette of lamb with garlic purée

 

This recipe will push limits. Featuring the underused but surprisingly mild and tender lamb’s tongue to deliver a dish to wow any guest.

Photo credit & recipe: https://www.greatbritishchefs.com/recipes/assiette-of-lamb-recipe

 

A challenging recipe that contrasts the textural elegance of the lamb’s tongue with the soft braised lamb’s neck and the tenderness of the roasted loin.

You’ll want to prepare the lamb’s neck the day before, so you can enjoy your company without extra dinner duties.

The plating may be tricky for each of these delectable recipes. Master that, and you’ll be cancelling all your restaurant dates in the future.

Why You Should Be Having “Lamb Tonight” … Tonight!

Sometimes, you want to have a five-star dining experience when you come from work …but without the price tag, the Uber ride or the hours of time spent preparing your meal at home. That’s why SunGold’s Lamb Tonight products all come pre-seasoned and pre-marinated.

All you need is a bottle of vino and an oven.

What about preservatives?

Fortunately, we don’t like chemical preservatives in our food either – and if we wouldn’t eat it, we don’t want you to either. SunGold products only use ingredients you can read and say (and would probably add to your own meals at home)!

For example, ‘Our Favourite Lamb Burger’ is the perfect fusion of complementing herbs and spices gently blended into tender, juicy, fresh Canadian lamb. It’s ingredients are:

  • Lamb
  • Spices: basil, black pepper, fennel, mint, oregano, parsley, rosemary, thyme
  • Dehydrated vegetables: tomato, onion, garlic, red bell peppers
  • Canola oil

… and that’s it! Simple, right?

Or, how about our Kofta Ground Lamb Kabobs? These delicious skewers combine mild lamb with Old World flavours to create an authentic lamb experience at home for family or guests. These kabobs contain:

  • Lamb
  • Water
  • Spices: allspice, black pepper, cayenne, cinnamon, coriander, cumin, ginger, rosemary extract
  • Salt
  • Dehydrated vegetables: onion, garlic, parsley

Check out each of our Lamb Tonight products online and read through the ingredient listings. We have nothing to hide!

 

Bringing clean eats to a whole new level

Lamb, by itself, is a healthy protein option. In fact, it’s considered what’s known as a nutritionally complete protein and is an exceptionally good source of zinc, selenium, vitamin B12, vitamin B3, phosphorus, and iron.

But that’s not where it ends. Research has shown that adding spices to your diet provide numerous health benefits including:

  1. Eating food with spice regularly lowers mortality by 14% (according to a study by Harvard and the China National Centre for Disease Control and Prevention).
  2. Spices like cumin, cinnamon, turmeric, and peppers raise your metabolic resting rate and slow down your appetite.
  3. Spices combat inflammation. So do ingredients like ginger and garlic – that work to treat a range of conditions like arthritis, autoimmune disorders, and even headaches and nausea.
  4. Spices like cumin and turmeric are known to have powerful antioxidant and antimicrobial properties.  

“Herbs and spices make food tastier while boosting your health,” says Monica Moreno, an adjunct professor of nutrition at the University of Miami and a dietitian for the Miami Marlins. “You should be cooking with herbs and spices regularly — and, if possible, using several at a time.”

Lamb Tonight products make it easy for you to fulfill your protein quota for the day while getting a delicious serving of herbs and spice.

 

Ethically sourced lamb

SunGold works with local farmers across Western Canada to provide high-quality, Canadian-raised lamb meat to our customers. The sustainability of the industry is of utmost importance to us and our producer community. To help consumers of SunGold’s products connect with the people that carefully raise our lamb we are collecting stories to showcase our farming community. Feel free to connect with any of our farmers or the SunGold team at any time!  

SunGold products, including our delicious Lamb Tonight dinners, are available at your local Sobeys, Safeway, Thrifty Foods, Foodland, Calgary Co-Op, and Federated Co-Op.

Whole Animal Butchery: What, Why, and Where

If you’re even a little bit conscious about what you eat, where it comes from, or how it gets to your table, you’re probably familiar with the latest clean-eating buzzwords: “organic”, “non-GMO”, “sugar-free”, “superfoods”, “probiotics”, “whole-grain”… and so on and so forth. With so much to read and learn, it can be tricky to distil what’s really important.

That’s what inspired us to share one of the simplest, yet most widely unknown processes to consider when you’re choosing fuel for your body: the art of butchering.

Where your food comes from and what happens before it gets to your plate is just as important as what you’re consuming, and taking the butchery process into account when you’re planning meals can help you be a more mindful consumer.

What

What we’re talking about is called whole animal butchering. This is an approach that cuts down on waste and hones in on the craft of butchering an animal, taking care to use every part to the best of its potential.

The diagram below shows the cuts of sections of lamb that correspond to the cuts of meat available after butchering:

SunGold | Chalkboard illustration of lamb cuts

(Bonus, this great little diagram is available on Etsy so you can show off just how much you love lamb.)

Looks familiar, right? The whole animal butchery process includes traditional cuts, but also yields cuts of meat consumers may not be familiar with. Unusual cuts bring with them an element of delight and excitement, which elevates dinnertime and opens up new recipe ideas and opportunities to create dishes that are memorable and unique.

Some of the cuts that come from a whole animal butchery process include what’s called “offals” – the organs and fancy meats including livers, hearts, and even heads.

That said, you can also expect to see expertly cut racks, legs, and loins that have gone through a careful butchery process so that once cooked, they are as delicious as they possibly can be. Each part can serve its own purpose, and using a whole animal technique involves understanding the value of the animal in its entirety, rather than just its individual parts.

Why

Here’s why we do it.

The fact of the matter is, a small family-owned butcher shop will never quite compare to a large-scale meat plant when it comes to the use of whole animal butchery (no matter how romantic a tiny, local shop might feel). This is due to the operational efficiency principles that plants like SunGold employ; it just doesn’t make sense from a business sense to waste any parts of the animal.

At SunGold, we’ve taken even greater strides to reduce any wasted product over the last few years.

Lamb meat plays a major role in many traditional diets, of which dishes often include parts like the lungs, testicles, head, heart and more. By offering these cuts to the Canadian market, we are embracing the cultural diversity in our country and catering to their dietary needs. We also understand and greatly appreciate the cost and effort that our farmers put into raising each of the animals that comes to us. Utilizing whole animal butchery is beneficial to our consumers, our sources, and and our distributors.

When you choose to buy from a conscientious specialty meat plant like SunGold, you are directly contributing to sustainable practices in the Canadian food industry. Your personal choices as a consumer do create a positive impact on the environment, and will also encourages people within your network to reconsider their eating habits.

Where

At SunGold, accounting for the whole animal in our butchery process matters to us. When you buy our meats for your family and friends, you know you’re getting a hearty meal that was raised with care and butchered with consideration. We take pride in bringing you wholesome meats that are sourced ethically and sustainably so you can feel good about bringing them home.

SunGold is a leading supplier of lamb in North America.

From our carefully cut offals to our Lamb Tonight range, we use a whole animal approach to butchering, and we’re so excited to be able to share it with you.