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The herbs you decide to use when preparing lamb will depend on how you approach the dish. Is there a taste of a regional cuisine you wish to capture? Is there a particular herb you wish to dominate the dish? How will you cook the lamb? In any case, the herbs used with lamb are always those that accentuate the lambs flavour without smothering it.
Classic lambs herbs
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Throughout Britain, Europe, North America, and a few other stops on the globe, rosemary is the herb most often wed to lamb. This is not happenstance. The herb works brilliantly with the meat when it infuses it with its perfume. The two together are like a couple walking hand in hand. Thyme and, frequently, sage and parsley are also used - by themselves or in combination with rosemary - as they, too, render onto the lamb a delicate flavour and perfume.
Marjoram, mint and dill
While rosemary is frequently used with lamb in the southern parts of Europe, there's also greater use of marjoram, mint and dill. Again, the aromatic herbs are chosen as they impart perfumes and flavours that - when used judiciously - don't overwhelm the delicate lamb
Heavier flavoured herbs are often used when preparing braised lamb, stew or ragù. Depending on the region, oregano, coriander, even myrtle leaves are used to create a richer, more complexly flavoured dish. Perhaps just as interesting, rosemary is frequently added to these same dishes as, it seems, the two cannot be parted.
Just a touch of herbs
For lighter fare, like lunch and warm weather meals, lamb is most welcome on the grill. For grilled lambs, as well as other meats, using a light mixture of herbs is best to complement the meat and, at the same time, brighten the the delicious char. Try finely chopped mint, along with coriander parsley and even a some rosemary, blended into olive oil and lemon juice, as the perfect dressing for slices or cubes of lamb.
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