Lamb Tenderloin

Lamb tenderloin is a very tender, fast-cooking, and delicate-tasting meat that is somewhat expensive to buy in certain parts of the world. It is similar to beef tenderloin that can be substituted for lamb in areas where lamb is not readily available. Lamb tenderloin may need to be specially ordered from a butcher shop or restaurant supplier since it is not commonly found in supermarkets in the United States.

The tenderloin of the lamb is the piece of meat that can be found beneath the ribs, along the backbone. One lamb tenderloin is usually regarded as a portion for one or two people because each tenderloin weights less than half a pound. The meat is almost fat free, so it is low in calories and full of protein. Depending on how it is cooked, it will contain between 140 calories and 400 calories in most cases. A three ounce cooked portion contains about four grams of saturated fat, no carbohydrates, fiber, sugar, or calcium, but 21 grams of protein and a small amount of iron.

There are several ways to prepare lamb tenderloin to enjoy its tenderness and taste the most. Some common ways of preparing it are to grill or broil it, or sauté pieces quickly in a skillet. It can also be cubed and skewered. Some recipes call for a marinade that the lamb is placed in for some time because it will absorb the flavors of herbs due to its delicate flavor. One marinate recipe includes lemon juice, and fresh, chopped mint, oregano, thyme, and rosemary. Olive oil, Dijon mustard, honey, salt, pepper, and minced garlic are the other ingredients that are then well mixed. The lamb tenderloin is placed into a plastic food storage bag to soak in all of these flavors. The marinade also tenderizes the lamb even more.  After only one-half an hour, the meat is taken out and the marinade is discarded. The lamb is cut into cubes and placed on skewers and grilled on a medium heat until done. It can be served with toasted brown rice with saffron and asparagus or broccoli for a low calorie, nutritious meal. The meat portion of the meal is only 221 calories, but it is quite small since the recipe says that two tenderloins serve six people.

Another popular way of preparing lamb tenderloins is by marinating it in a yogurt-based marinade. In Turkey and parts of the Middle East, lamb kebabs are very popular, and they use the tenderloin portion of the animal to make these. One recipe uses Greek yogurt, crushed garlic, lemon juice, tomato paste, hot pepper flakes, oregano, pepper, and olive oil to make the marinade. After all of the ingredients are mixed, the lamb is placed in the mixing bowl and refrigerated overnight to allow the meat to absorb the flavors. The next day, the lamb is removed from the bowl, and the marinade is discarded. It is then cut into cubes, skewered, and grilled. When it is cooked thoroughly, the meat is taken off the skewers and served with pita bread.

Another recipe features artichokes, balsamic vinegar, red and white wines, shallots, lemons, mint, truffles, and tarragon. The lamb is browned in olive oil over high heat and sautéed for around six or eight minutes. It is then removed from the pan and the other ingredients, except for the wines, are cooked in the pan to absorb the flavor of the lamb. After a minute or so, the wines are poured into the pan and the vegetable and other ingredients are cooked until the alcohol is somewhat absorbed and syrupy. Other vegetables can be julienned and added as well, such as carrots, green beans, broccoli, or any other, according to the cook’s preference.

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