Lamb vs. Mutton
Mary and Bob Pratt of Elihu Farm specialize in lamb meat at the Saratoga Farmers’ Market, but they also sell ground mutton. Lamb is meat from sheep that is under one year old, after that it is referred to as mutton.
The biggest difference between lamb and mutton is the flavor with lamb being milder. Although all the sheep at Elihu Farm in the southern Washington County town of Easton graze pastures as long as the weather allows. This leads to a mild flavored mutton. Most sheep meat consumed in the U.S. is lamb while mutton is quite popular in other countries in Europe and the Middle East.
Nutritionally speaking, lamb is lower in fat than mutton. In fact, lamb meats the FDA definition for a lean meat. Both lamb and mutton are excellent sources of protein, iron, zinc and B vitamins. Lamb meat is lighter in color, usually pink or pale red. Mutton has an intense red color and is higher in fat.
Mary and Bob Pratt pride themselves for their sustainable husbandry. Their sheep are never fed animal by-products or given growth hormones, or routine antibiotics. Look for their full line of lamb products including legs, roasts, chops and stew meat. The ground lamb or mutton can be used in the recipe below. Mutton costs two dollars a pound less than lamb.
Also in abundance at the Saratoga Farmers’ Market are peppers of all colors and sizes. Look for large peppers to use for stuffing. Other ingredients to pick up at the market for the recipe below include zucchini, onion, garlic, tomatoes and fresh herbs.
This recipe is from the “Farmers’ Market Favorite Recipes” cookbook available at the Saratoga Farmers’ Market, the Cornell Cooperative Extension office in Ballston Spa, and retail locations. The cookbook can also be ordered online at www.ccesaratoga.org.
Lamb & Zucchini Stuffed Peppers
1 cup chopped onion*
1 teaspoon minced garlic*
1½ pound zucchini*, diced
1 pound ground lamb* or mutton*
1 cup peeled chopped tomatoes*
¼ cup sherry (optional)
1 tablespoon each fresh thyme and oregano*
2 tablespoons fresh parsley*
6 large sweet peppers*
Cook onion and garlic over medium heat for 3-5 minutes. Add diced zucchini, cook for 5-10 minutes. Remove lamb sausage from casing then add it or ground lamb or mutton to onion and zucchini, cook until lightly browned, pour off excess fat.
Add chopped tomatoes and sherry, if desired. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes, uncover, and cook for 10-15 minutes longer to evaporate liquid. Add herbs and ground pepper to taste during last 5 minutes of cooking.
Slice top off peppers, remove seeds, stuff with lamb and zucchini mixture. Bake in a preheated 375° oven for 20 minutes or until heated through.
Makes 6 servings.
Per Serving: 330 calories; 24 g fat (9 g sat), 55 mg cholesterol; 16 g carbohydrate; 14 g protein; 4 g fiber; 630 mg sodium. Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (25% daily value), Vitamin C (280% dv), Iron (15% dv).
Ingredients marked with an asterisk (*) are available at the Saratoga Farmers’ Market on High Rock Avenue. The Saratoga Farmers’ Market is open on Wednesdays from 3-6 pm and Saturdays from 9-1 pm. For information about food and nutrition contact Diane Whitten at Cornell Cooperative Extension at 885-8995or firstname.lastname@example.org.