Lamb is readily available in most supermarkets. The freshest lamb will have soft pink and red flesh with marbling throughout. Avoid anything that looks grey in color.
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Wrap the lamb in it in its original packaging, airtight, with plastic wrap or aluminum foil. From there, you can also place the meat in an airtight freezer bag to prevent freezer burn. Chops and loins fare best when wrapped individually.
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Lamb can be defrosted in three ways. As with most meat, refrigeration is the most effective, albeit slowest method. Lamb meat defrosted in the fridge can actually be re-frozen before or after cooking, though there may be a loss of moisture. If you're in a pinch, lamb can be defrosted in the microwave, or placed in a bowl of cold water (which should be replaced every 30 minutes).
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Borrowing from the classic combo of lamb served with mint jelly, this comforting dish braises the lesser-used cut of lamb shank until fork tender, then brightens it all up with a mint-orange pesto. It’s a nice way to bring spring into the meal any time of year.
What to buy: We used lamb foreshanks for this recipe; most high-end butchers and grocery stores carry them.
Game plan: The pesto can be made and the shanks fully cooked up to 2 days ahead—just don’t stir in the pesto until the last minute. To serve, rewarm the shanks on the stove over medium-low heat, then whisk in the pesto.
This recipe was featured as part of our Hosting Your First Passover menu.