Whatever it is that we have always done, doing it again makes the holidays seem right. Traditions! It wouldn’t be OUR holidays without them. At Salty’s, the Magical March of the Nutcrackers and our festively decorated restaurants has inspired an annual December ritual for so many of our guests. The holidays are all about the celebration of family, friends and especially FOOD! What do you serve for holiday dinner? is always an interesting question to ask, and for me the answer is incredibly delicious LAMB. My Grandma Ruth passed down the roasted lamb with savory mint sauce tradition, and somehow that yummy goodness just has to go on.
But it’s not just for special occasions. Lamb for many cultures is a mainstay on the table all year through. From the United Kingdom to Australia, the Middle East to the Mediterranean, lamb is a preeminent national dish. It is a very tender variety of meat that has an extremely luscious, almost buttery taste and texture. This December our chefs are proudly cooking up delicious Range-Raised Lamb Loin Chops from the Martinez Farms in Moxee, Washington. The Martinez Family raises lamb in combination with grapes and hops which is such a sustainably brilliant idea. I was fascinated by this video of a similar operation: Lamb in the Vineyards: The Benefits of Targeted Grazing. Lamb is worth its weight in gold. Over 10,000 years ago lamb was actually the very first animal domesticated by humans, providing meat, wool and wealth, sustaining the life of its owner and no doubt many of the cultures of the world.
Range-fed lamb comes bearing some pretty great nutritional gifts. It is actually high in omega-3 fatty acids that help decrease inflammation and disease. It is a terrific source of pure protein with no carbohydrates. About 40 percent of the fat in grass-fed lamb is monounsaturated, similar to olive oil, and is very good for you. It is also a great resource for zinc and selenium, valuable in the fight against heart disease. Lamb is also high in B vitamins, especially the essentials B12 and niacin, supporting our access to energy.
In the U.S. lamb isn’t as common a tradition, but there is still a big lamb fan club here for sure (unless of course you are Chef Jeremy’s mom); you should try his delicious Baaad Boy Lamb Shanks Recipe, because even his mom thought it was incredibly delicious.
We wish you and your family the merriest and brightest of holidays and invite you to join us for the season’s celebrations. At Salty’s we hope you will make US your tastiest holiday tradition for your food, family and friends.