New Mexico Dahl Sheep

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new mexico dahl sheep

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      Sheep meat is considered to be one of the healthiest types of meat available. It ranks higher than Chicken, Beef and Pork on all Health Charts. Hair sheep meat, particularly New Mexico Dahl Sheep is not known for its mutton flavor or sharp mutton smell. The meat contains very little fat and is preferred for its low fat “better than mutton taste." Owing to their lack of wool they have less, if any, lanolin tainting the meat. Do not overcook and kids generally enjoy the mild, juicy flavor and don’t know the difference between hair sheep lamb and a good cut of beef. Hair sheep meat is marketable at an older age than the wool breeds (even past the "lamb" stage). New Mexico Dahl Sheep has about a 25% higher carcass yield due to less fat - less fat means a better tasting meat. The University of Georgia in 2001 did a study and concluded hair sheep has a more desirable flavor than lamb from wool type sheep. Studies in California and Mississippi showed hair sheep produce lean meat with no mutton taste. The Flavor of a Sheep can vary greatly from breed to breed, from pasture to pasture contingent on what they are being fed or what they are grazing on. A change of diet can affect meat flavor within three days. Meat can also change dramatically in flavor depending on the way an animal is handled within a few hours of slaughter. Stress and running hard is damaging to the meat quality. Gaminess is far more affected by breed, time of harvest and diet. A quality grass fed New Mexico Dahl lamb is matchless in quality of meat taste. “Eat sheep! One hundred thousand coyotes can’t be wrong.”

Lamb Recipes

Spicy Lamb Roast (by Donald Chavez)

Yield: Makes 7 servings


One (8-pound) leg of lamb, aitchbone (hipbone) removed, trim fat to 1/4 inch thick
Two to four tablespoons chile powder depending on your tolerances
Seven garlic cloves
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
Two green onions chopped
Two tablespoons fine sea salt
Two tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 cup dry red wine
Two tablespoons fresh lemon juice
One teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Two tablespoons fresh oregano leaves


Bake or barbeque: For best results wrap lamb in cheesecloth and allow to air in a cool humid free area overnight or until a darker red color skin appears on outer layer. Serve the lamb with home/handmade flour tortillas and New Mexico Mixed Green or Chopped Salad. Put lamb in a lightly oiled roasting pan. Split lamb open and place face down like an open book then score by making shallow cuts all over with tip of a sharp small knife. Pound garlic to a paste with sea salt using a mortar and pestle and stir together with cumin, and pepper. Apply paste all over lamb and allow infusion twenty to thirty minutes. Finely chop green onions and two tablespoons oregano leaves; mix in small bowl. Combine wine, oil, garlic, oregano, chile powder, lemon juice, chopped green onions, salt, and pepper in blender. Blend/puree mixture until smooth. Transfer marinade to large glass baking dish. Add lamb and turn to coat evenly. Cover dish with topper and let stand overnight. Prepare barbecue (medium heat). For baking preheat oven to 350°F. Grill lamb with some of marinade still clinging to surface until lamb is cooked to desired doneness, 15 to 16 minutes per side for medium-rare (130°F). Transfer lamb to cutting board; or Bake lamb in middle of oven until an instant-read thermometer inserted 2 inches into thickest part of meat - registers 130°F, 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours. Transfer to a cutting board and let stand 15 to 25 minutes. Thinly slice lamb across grain. Arrange lamb slices on platter. Pour over any accumulated juices. Sprinkle with onion-oregano mixture and serve. Add wine to pan and deglaze by boiling over moderately high heat, stirring and scraping up brown bits, one minute. Season pan juices with salt and pepper and serve with lamb.

new mexico dahl sheep