Not only is lamb delicious but it’s also pretty good for you. High in protein, vitamins and minerals and you can cook it in all sorts of ways. You can roast, grill, poach or slow cook it!
Some people like their meat a little on the pink side and we know this is safe to eat beef this way but how about lamb? Can you also eat pink lamb?
You can eat pink lamb. Whilst it is true that meat requires cooking to kill harmful bacteria, the majority of this bacteria is on the outside of the meat. So, as long as the outside of the meat is cooked this bacteria should be destroyed.
What Does Pink Lamb Taste Like?
As you can imagine, pink lamb tastes similar to any lamb that has been cooked thoroughly all the way through.
Lamb has a taste that people either seem to love or hate. It is often described as having a gamey or earthy taste. This comes from the fact that most lamb is grass-fed.
Pink lamb may not have too much of a different taste but some people love their lamb on the pinker side in the middle because it enhances the natural flavour of the lamb and when cooked well (not well done!) it gives it a wonderful soft texture to eat.
However, some people do have an aversion to blood in their meat saying that it can taste metallic. If the lamb is cooked and rested properly then you’ll avoid this. But if it is exceptionally pink and full of blood then it may take on metallic flavours.
How to Eat Lamb Pink
Lamb is a versatile meat and you can cook it in all sorts of ways. You can also get different cuts of meats that are used in different ways.
For rare lamb, you are more likely to be cooking a steak or a joint. Below are few of the cuts you may want to opt for when it comes to cooking lamb pink:
You can’t beat roast lamb served with all the traditional trimmings as a family meal. Whether it’s your Sunday roast or a lucky midweek treat – if you have the time, of course!
If you time it right you can cook the lamb perfectly so the outsides and ends of the roast are crispy while the centre is just pink enough to satisfy those who like their lamb pink. It won’t be a blushing pink but a subtle, pale pink especially if cooked on the bone.
Barbecued Chops and Cutlets
Chops or cutlets that are barbecued over a high heat to render the fat whilst keeping the centre rare needs no gimmicks or faffing. Once cooked, all they need is a quick pinch of salt and a twist of black pepper before they can be enjoyed.
Low-fat cuts of lamb, such as loin, can be quickly pan-fried and served pink. As there’s no fat to render or break down, keeping it pink will ensure that the meat remains tender.
With low-fat cuts, such as loin, it’s vital that they are rested. As a good rule of thumb, rest loin for half the time it took to cook. If you were to sear it in a pan for 2 minutes then roast it in an oven for 6 minutes, you’d want to rest it for 4 minutes.
Benefits of Eating Lamb Pink
There are no real benefits to choosing to eat your lamb pink other than this is how you prefer to enjoy it! You will still get some great nutritional benefits from the lamb.
We know there are plenty of people who dislike the sight of blood in their meat. However, blushing pink lamb will be full of more flavour and far softer to eat versus fully cooked through meat.
There might be no extensive list of nutritional benefits to eating lamb pink, but there are certainly some advantages such as more flavour and a better texture.
Should You Eat Pink Lamb?
There are a few reasons why you shouldn’t eat your lamb rare, even if that’s how you like it.
If you have a dodgy stomach or digestive issues then you may find you struggle to digest the undercooked meat but most people can cope with lamb that is a little pink with no problems.
When it comes to bacteria you do still have to be careful. Meats, including lamb, contain harmful bacteria that can make you sick. Cooking destroys most harmful bacteria.
To kill the bacteria you need to heat up the food to 70℃ for two minutes or more. Luckily when it comes to red meats most of the bacteria is on the outside of the meat.
This is why you can eat beef and lamb rare safely. You just have to ensure that the outside of the meat has been heated up and cooked well to kill the bacteria.
Pink Lamb FAQs
If you’ve got other specific questions about eating lamb pink then these might help:
We would be cautious of eating lamb raw as bacteria will not be killed off as it normally would be during the cooking process. If you have really good-quality, fresh meat then it might be safe to eat.
Yes, you can eat pink lamb mince and burgers providing that the meat itself is of good quality. You should avoid eating cheap lamb mince rare.
Yes, you can eat lamb that has been frozen pink, as long as you store it properly in the first place. Defrost it slowly in the fridge overnight until it has thawed through entirely. You can then cook it how you normally would.
Generally, most cuts of lamb can be cooked pink. It’s easier to opt for cuts that you cook quickly and not those that require slow and low cooking. Cuts such as chops, cutlets and loin are great options for cooking pink.