What passes as lamb in the US is mutton. Big, ripe-smelling, heavy. I'd never found a local source for real lamb, meaning baby lamb, until a few days ago. I was shopping at Trader Joe's and found a package of frenched, trimmed rack of lamb from New Zealand. I wasn't very optimistic but of course I couldn't resist trying it. I cooked it last night, and I think my food life in the US changed forever. THANK YOU TRADER JOE'S! I don't care if I sound like a commercial, I'm really grateful.
No pictures, because it was night and I don't have an adequate light source for photographs, so I'll just describe it.
I seasoned the rack with salt and black pepper and seared it in a pan. Then I covered it with a mixture of minced garlic, coarse grain mustard, a bit of balsamic vinegar, a bit of pomegranate molasses, and some smoked paprika. Stuck it in the preheated very hot oven until poking it with my fingers told me it was medium. Let it rest for 15 minutes, which was hard, because it smelled like heaven. Then I cut into it with guarded anticipation and lo and behold, it was unbelievably tender and tasty. Yeay! I think the taste was a bit more neutral than the lamb we get in Turkey, but I'm not complaining. I started off my dinner with half the rack, and then couldn't resist and finished the whole thing. I know I'll make more trips to Trader Joe's now.
And I forgave Trader Joe's for selling some crappy stuff (like the inedible Manchego), and the less then stellar fresh fruits and vegetables. Now my list of TJ favourites includes the lamb in addition to the dried pitted sour Montmorency cherries which I can't find anywhere else.
Another positive note: I remembered not to grab the handle of the saute pan with my bare hand when I was taking the lamb out of the oven. I don't always remember.