How to brine lamb

Updated March 20, 2018

Many people don't like lamb because it has a strong flavour. Mellow the taste by brining the lamb before cooking it. Brining involves soaking the lamb in a salt, sugar and spice mixture to add moisture and flavour to the meat. Through osmosis, the brine is drawn into the meat, bringing with it the tasty spices and salt. Brine lamb before cooking it and you might convert a few lamb-haters.

Combine the water, sugar and salt in the pan and bring to a boil over high heat.

Stir the mixture and boil until the sugar and salt completely dissolve.

Remove the pot from the heat and add the bay leaf, cinnamon stick, cardamom pods and cumin. Cool the brine solution to room temperature.

Place the lamb in the bottom of the bucket and pour the cooled brine over the meat.

Refrigerate the lamb for 24 hours in the brine.

Remove the lamb from the brine, rinse it well and cook as desired.

Things You'll Need

  • 4.5 litres (1 gallon) water
  • 50 ml (1/4 cup) sugar
  • 250 ml (1 cup) salt
  • Large saucepan
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 1 Cinnamon stick
  • 3 Cardamom pods
  • 5 ml (1 tsp) cumin
  • Large resealable bucket or container
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About the Author

A.J. Andrews' work has appeared in Food and Wine, Fricote and "BBC Good Food." He lives in Europe where he bakes with wild yeast, milks goats for cheese and prepares for the Court of Master Sommeliers level II exam. Andrews received formal training at Le Cordon Bleu.