Lamb is often associated with Easter and spring because at one time this fine , mildly flavored meat was only available at this time of year. But with today's efficient refrigeration and transportation facilities, lamb is now available in many cuts all year round, and there's no such thing as spring lamb.
Even so, spring means lamb to many people which makes it a traditional food for this time of year.
You may still see some meat labeled ''spring lamb.''This label identifies lamb marketed between the first Monday in March and the second Monday in October , a designation established by the United States Department of Agriculture many years ago.
For your own table tribute to spring, there are many different cuts to choose from.
Always special and prestigious is a leg of lamb. The leg can be American style, French style, boneless, rolled or butterflied.
Sirloin chops and sirloin roasts, either boneless or bone-in, are cut from the sirloin section.
Lamb loin chops with the T-shaped bone may be cut as boneless chops or loin roasts. Rib chops are favorites, too.
The regal crown roast is two or more rib sections bent outward and sewn together. It is handsome when stuffed and roasted.
Among the more economical lamb cuts are ground lamb, breast of lamb, spareribs or riblets, lamb shanks, kabobs and shoulder roasts.
Rosemary is a favorite herb when it comes to seasoning lamb and mint sauce or mint jelly are very traditional.
Cranberry sauce is a colorful suggestion from a reader who says it adds just the right sweet and sour tartness to complement just about any cut of lamb.