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lamb tartare

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Hi
Can lamb tartare be made from pre frozen lamb ?

Thanks Dale
post #2 of 13
I am not an expert but I would think that would be fine. maybe even desirable as the freezing process could take care of some bacteria.
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post #3 of 13
I don't believe "freezing" will affect bacteria in any manner except to slow down reproduction though I do think "freezing" may have an effect on any parasites.
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post #4 of 13
and my research agrees with you Pete, so now I know more, but am still no expert. However I think the lamb will be fine, texture and flavor would be the real issue I imagine. That depends on the freezing process and quality of the meat at the time of freezing.
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post #5 of 13
The only thing the freezing will do is slow down the growth of the bacteria.
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post #6 of 13
not had lamb tartar, but plenty of beef and pork tartars.

frankly, I wouldn't even think of using a "pre-frozen" cut.

again with experience limited to beef and pork, frozen meat releases a lot of water/moisture when thawed. given the amount I observe in (thawed) ground meats I should think a tartar from frozen would turn into goop.

beef/pork is often deep chilled to firm it up prior to grinding, but not frozen solid.
post #7 of 13
IMHPO, serving previously frozen meats as tartare is probably not a good idea.

It's been discussed that freezing will only slow bacteria growth and this is absolutely true. Unfortunately, once you grind the meat, I would think that any bacterium that have multiplied, even ever so slightly.....would explode in development as the meat thaws and under storage. To me....the trouble lies in not knowing exactly how long the food has been in a frozen state or how old it was prior to being frozen.

I've never had lamb tartare so it's new as a thought to me but I would think the same rules for beef or tuna would apply. Fresh, center cut, very lean for beef, from the tenderloin or eye and ground fresh to order. For lamb, I would guess that you'd be using the tenderloin as well? If not what cut? I see you're from New Zealand. We can't get New Zealand lamb in any form other than frozen but we do have American raised product that is fresh. Isn't fresh available to you as well with your countries product? Never heard of Pork and even though I eat pork cooked medium ....I would shy away from that one. Especially with the knowledge that most pork here in the states has been enhanced with tenderizers and solutions. But that's a personal as well as professional mindset.

The couple places I served steak and tuna tartare (a tough one to run by the local Health inspector in many areas I have been....) we used meat we asked our beef purveyor to portion and cryo for us and only cut a certain amount of tuna per shift. what was left over was served as either a tuna burger or tuna salad the next day. That way we didn't have opened PSMO's all over the place nor did we have portions of precut meat or fish exposed to air....even wrapped and in the cooler.

It doesn't appear to me that you're trying to do this in a professional setting. Maybe it'd be better to find a butcher that can get you the amount you need and if you have a home sealing system, use that to get a bit extra shelf-life out of things. I guess I'm having a hard time wrapping my mind around using frozen product for this application. There might not be an issue....then again there might. I can't answer it with any degree of certainty. But I would steer clear of it.;)
post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks All

I hear what you are saying re frozen lamb. I have some farm killed lamb that was killed on my farm in the frezzer I was keen to use it as I know the history behind it and its good lamb... But I agree I might be best so buy some fresh lamb

Thanks for ya help :look:

Dale
post #9 of 13
I have come in a little late but I'll add this, for any tartare only the freshest will do.

Freezing does not kill bacteria it merely inhibits bacteria activity and the growth of mould although it has to be said that some micro organisms do die during freezing.

All food contains moisture and as it freezes the moisture expands to form ice crystals which rupture the cell membranes. The cell spaces in meat contain water and freeze first, this in turn draws moisture from the cells losing proteins and other cell fluids along the way resulting in a much drier, tougher meat. This is why when you defrost you will have moisture running out. I agree with others that this is not the best choice for a tartare.
post #10 of 13
Can't add to the comments re viability, but having had lamb tartare I thought I'd throw in that experience. The lamb tartare I've had was prepared by a friend's Armenian aunties, and was well seasoned with chopped fresh white onion and mint. Years have passed since then and I'm no longer clear on whether other ingredients were also present, but I think they might have been because the foods this duo created were never shy or plain, though they also knew when enough was just perfect. Other ingredients could have been spices like Allspice or chopped fresh green chiles. They pressed the tartare into individual elongated egg shapes for service, complemented by wedges of lamb.

The tartares were never gamey, in fact if you didn't know you were eating lamb you might not have guessed, though by just color alone you'd have known you weren't eating beef. And this wouldn't have been fancy milk-fed lamb, this was in Southern California (where mutton=lamb) and these families weren't rich, so the meat would have been whatever is typically procured from a local grocer. Great food, though!
post #11 of 13
Hm, I question whether "mutton=lamb" anywhere, especially in SoCal!

Lamb is less than year-old sheep.

Mutton is generally sheep older than 2-3 years

And Fat-tailed sheep is different altogether.
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post #12 of 13
Yes, lamb is under one year. Mutton, over one year. And the older lamb gets the gamier it is, and in California, anyway, the older the sheep the more meat to sell so most supermarket lamb is in fact adult and bordering on mutton. I'm sure we can at least agreee that spring lamb it's not? And my point was just that, the good Armenian sisters weren't ordering their lamb from Niman's or Jameson's, their tartare was made with whatever was available at Safeway. Or possibly a halal market if there was one in that area, and there might have been. But neither could drive a car, so the majority of their groceries were procured from within walking distance.
post #13 of 13
Lamb tartare - you'd need something to spice up that one for sure. Maybe lamb backstrap would work.

As an aside, we've had lamb (under one year) and mutton (over 2 years). The age group 1 to 2 is known as hogget
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