Lean cuts of lamb may be low in fat and an alternative to other red meats, but not everyone likes the gamy taste. A good marinade made with wine or vinegar removes much of the gamy flavor and tenderizes the meat. Don’t use straight vinegar, or you may find the vinegar flavor overwhelms the meat. For larger cuts, it will take several hours or more of marinating to penetrate the meat, while small cuts, such as chops, benefit from shorter marinating times.
Pure vinegar is too strong for marinating lamb, so try a marinade of flavored vinegar or wine, olive oil, rosemary, garlic and other herbs to remove gaminess and add desirable flavors. Refrigerate the meat in a plastic bag or container, completely covered with marinade. Chops, lamb cubes and stew meat need at least two to four hours and up to two days marinating time. Large cuts, such as leg of lamb and roasts, benefit from two to five days marinating time. If you don't have several days, the lamb will still benefit from a short time in a marinade. Cook marinated lamb to a minimum internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit.
- U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service: Lamb From Farm to Table
- Marinades, Rubs, Brines, Cures & Glazes; Jim Tarantino
- What's Cooking America: Marinating Meat Guidelines
- Jupiterimages/Stockbyte/Getty Images