Category: Superior Farms

The History of Raising Lamb for Food

Lamb is not only a popular meat in the United States but still well-loved throughout the world. For millennia, humans have raised lamb to be eaten as food and, although the process has changed since then, Superior Farms reports that you can still find trace similarities to the ancient practices.

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Let’s explore how sheep were first domesticated for food and how the practice of raising lamb for meat has changed in recent years. Thanks to better technologies and a focus on animal welfare, the lamb industry has become sustainable and more reliable.

The Origins of Raising Lamb for Food

Lamb has been raised for food for millennia. In fact, it is one of the oldest domesticated animals in the world. Sheep were first domesticated in the Fertile Crescent of the Middle East over 10,000 years ago and, from there, spread to Europe, Asia, and Africa. Lamb continued to play an important part in many ancient diets and, even in the Bible, lambs were sacrificed for religious purposes.

Although it’s difficult to say exactly how early man domesticated sheep, it’s believed that the first lamb came from Central Asian wild sheep. Over several generations, herders were able to slowly turn the animal into a simple domesticated farm animal.

How Lamb Rearing Has Changed Over the Years

Originally, sheep were bred and herded in small flocks by a shepherd and his dog. If they wanted to raise lamb for food, the shepherd would allow a few of the sheep to breed and have lambs each year. They would then care for the lambs until they were old enough to be sold or harvested for meat.

As decades passed, farmers and manufacturers alike began to prioritize better care for the flock and the land they graze. Sheep producers realized that if they help take care of the environment, it’ll take care of them. And now, with the advantages of genetic testing and electronic identification tags, these producers can monitor the specific traits in each animal in order to improve the overall health of their flocks.

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Sustainable Farming Today

Superior Farms has partnered with sheep producers from six different states to create a new technologically advanced project, The Sheep Discovery Center: one of the country’s most sustainable agriculture centers. This state-of-the-art Center in Utah, creates a method of lamb production that prioritizes animal health and wellbeing, reduced environmental footprint and blockchain technology, to discover the full potential of each sheep by meeting their needs at every phase in the animals’ lives. The Sheep Discovery Center also implements cutting-edge technologies and production practices, including advanced sustainability methods, seasonal lighting, optimized nutrition, and efficient flock viability.

Why Lamb is a Superior Choice

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While lamb is typically thought of as a protein for holidays or special occasions, Superior Farms offers a range of premium cuts that make it easy to have lamb for a change. Lamb is the oldest known domesticated meat species, entering the human diet about 9,000 years ago in the Middle East. Now, it is often seen featured in Mediterranean and American Diets. There are many good reasons as to why you should incorporate more lamb into your diet.

Incredibly Versatile

• There are five basic major, or primal, cuts of lamb that you’re most likely to find at the grocery store: shoulder, rack, shank/breast, loin, leg. People enjoy lamb in many different ways with recipes ranging from feta stuffed lamb meatballs to seeing lamb on pizza. Lamb could even be featured in your morning frittata.

High in Protein

• One 3-ounce serving of lamb has 23 grams of protein, almost half of the recommended daily intake for adults. A diet high in protein is ideal for athletes, people seeking to lose weight, and people recovering from surgery or injury. Because of the high levels of protein, the regular consumption of lamb may promote muscle growth, maintenance, and performance.

Has Anti-Inflammatory Benefits

• Lamb is also high in conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), a natural acid that has been shown to reduce body fat mass. CLA is essentially a group of chemicals found in fatty acid called linoleic acid. In moderate amounts, it might be helpful for weight loss or management. CLA has proven to aid in fat loss, improve lean muscle mass, and be a potential cancer fighter.

Packed with Vitamins

• Lamb contains important vitamins and minerals that are essential for maintaining a healthy and balanced diet. These vitamins and minerals include, but are not limited to, iron, vitamin b12, selenium, niacin, phosphorous, and zinc. These are all important nutrients for vital body function, including immune support, cholesterol management, and bone health.

Raised with Respect

• Superior Farms has a long-standing commitment to the well-being and care of the flock. Lambs are set to pasture across vast grasslands, sustaining on the natural vegetation as they have for centuries. How a flock is raised is so important,: good things come from putting the flock first.

Superior Farms is an employee-owned company and the leading purveyor of farm-to-table American lamb. Proudly providing the highest quality natural lamb for a variety of recipes from weeknight dinners to Sunday brunch, lunches and more. Choosing Superior Farms means choosing quality.

Eat Superior Farms’ Lamb with a Good Conscience

Superior Farms lamb served for dinner

Grocery stores and restaurants have relied on Superior Farms to be the leading purveyor of farm-to-table American lamb in the United States for decades. Lamb is a versatile and lean red meat that is popular is many different types of cuisines. There are many different reasons to incorporate lamb into your diet. Often times, red meat receives a bad rep for its impact on the environment. There are many good reasons to choose Superior Farms as your lamb provider.

 Focus on Sustainability

  • Superior Farms’ commitment to sustainability and clean energy is one of the leading reasons you should use them for your provider of lamb. Superior Farms understands the environmental impact that the agriculture industry has on the planet. Superior Farms looks to do their part through the inclusion of solar panels and a wind turbine at their California facility that offsets more than 90% of the plant’s total energy use. In addition to its wind and solar clean energy initiatives, Superior Farms’ sustainability efforts have resulted in a reduced use of water by 33% at its Dixon facility, a reduced use of diesel fuel since 2015 by more over 140,000 gallons per year, and a reduced use of plastics by a third by transitioning its case ready packaging to a vacuum skin package.

Respect for the Flock

  • How the flock is raised is so important. When it comes to respecting the flock, Superior Farms is sure to take outstanding care of their lambs. Superior Farms believes all lamb should be able to feed on natural vegetation as they have for all prior centuries which is why Superior Farms partners with small family farms. A flock first mentality is all about respect. When you have respect for the animals, it makes all the difference in the world.

Explanation of Health Benefits from Lamb

  • Lamb is not only remarkably high in protein but is also extraordinarily nutrient rich with a wide variety of other vitamins and minerals. Lamb is a relatively lean and nutrition-packed meat. A three-ounce cut of cooked lamb delivers about 25 grams of protein, plus good quantities of potassium and vitamin B-12. It’s also a good source of iron, magnesium, selenium, and omega-3 fatty acids.

Having respect for a nutrient rich land, being able to maintain a sustainable footprint, and working with dedicated family farmers who raise their flocks with the highest level of care, are all core values that make Superior Farms the leader in American lamb.

These are Some of the Best Spices for Grilled Lamb

Superior Farms lamb on a table

With grilling season underway, Superior Farms knows that home cooks all over the country are enjoying the opportunity to bring new flavors to their barbecues. American lamb is a great choice for any home cook that wants to experience a protein that is different from the usual chicken or beef but delicious, nonetheless. Superior Farms realizes that many home cooks that are new to lamb may not know some of the spices that pair well with a grilled cut and, here, provides a short list of some of the best spices to pack tons of flavor into your grilled lamb.


Cumin provides an earthy bitterness that pairs exceptionally well with the flavors of lamb. Cumin can be used either ground or whole to form a crust on your lamb as it grills. While the flavors of cumin raw can be a bit brash, its flavors begin to mellow out in high heat to create a grassier and more vibrant flavor as the meat cooks. Cumin is also a great choice because its bitterness goes well with the light char that you can achieve with grilling, and the spice infuses flavor into the fat of lamb as it melts with no extra effort on your part.


Harissa is a North African chili paste that contains ingredients such as roasted peppers, garlic paste, coriander seeds, caraway seeds, cumin, and olive oil. Harissa is growing more popular in American cooking because it provides standout flavors to proteins such as lamb. Adding some harissa to your lamb marinade before grilling imparts a spicy, smoky flavor profile that pairs well with the char from the grill. Harissa also gives a fresh flavor to grilled lamb- but be careful not to include too much into your marinade if you are sensitive to spicier additions.


Rosemary is considered a common spice for lamb, whether it be grilled, pan seared, baked, or stewed. The herbaceous and woodsy flavor that rosemary imparts onto lamb is unlike any other spice, and rosemary also combines well with other common additions to spice rubs and marinades such as garlic and citrus. Rosemary can be added chopped or whole to grilled lamb, but always be sure to avoid exposing it to too much direct heat or it may alter its flavor.

Curry Powder

Curry powder is a great addition for grilled lamb because it includes spices that capture all the most important flavors to pair with it. The spices used to create curry powder can vary, but many will include a mix of cumin, turmeric, fenugreek, and others that are commonly included in Indian cuisine. There are also many different varieties of curry powder available such as Jamaican curry powder and vadouvan- a French variation. If you are interested in using curry powder for grilling lamb, consider making your own mix that takes your palate into account.

Superior Farms Discusses Selecting the Right Cut of Lamb

Superior Farm notes that 2021 marked an increase in lamb popularity in the US for a variety of reasons. Not only were American families more willing to try the protein as they experimented with home cooking – but they were also impressed with the variety of cuts and flavors that American lamb offers. Superior Farms recognizes that many people that have just started cooking lamb may not be aware of the differences between cuts and the best ways to prepare them. For this reason, Superior Farms provides a list of some of the most common cuts of lamb as well as tips for how they can be cooked to develop the best flavors possible.


Leg stands out as a popular cut because it has flavorful dark meat and an excellent meat-to-bone ratio. One of the reasons that it is a traditional choice for holiday meals is because it is one of the most versatile cuts, is often served whole, and can be purchased in several different varieties. It can come in forms such as shank end, sirloin end, short leg, frenched, and can be deboned as well. Lamb leg makes an excellent centerpiece protein, and many choose to roast the leg whole with a combination of herbs and spices to really accentuate the flavor of the lamb. Slow roasting ensures that the meat remains tender and juicy, developing a melt-in-your-mouth texture as it cooks through.


Lamb breast is a flavorful, inexpensive cut that is somewhere in the middle on a scale of tender to tough. The breast can have a lot of fat, which means that it can be tough if it is not treated correctly during the cooking process. The best way to fully take advantage of the cut’s flavor and fat content Is to cook the breast with a low and slow method, as this will give the fat time to render out and flavor the rest of the meat. Roasting and braising are common ways to cook this cut, as it helps break down the meat as it builds flavor.

Rack of Lamb

Rack of lamb is often served at restaurants and chosen by home cooks because it is a well-rounded cut that can be cooked quickly when compared to others. There are many preparations that suit rack of lamb as well, with several calling for a crust of herbs and coarse salt roasted on high heat. Rack of lamb also allows for fancy presentations such as a Frenched rack (where the layer of fat and thin strips of muscle and meat on the ends of the rib bones are trimmed) and crown roast. Rack of lamb is not one of the fattier cuts of protein, however, meaning that it should be treated delicately to play with its flavors rather than overpower them. The meat lends itself well to grilling or quick roasting, and it is often seared on each side before being finished in the oven.


Shoulder cuts are flavorful and have nicely marbled meat that has a sweetness in its flavor profile. It is important to remember that shoulder muscles do a lot of work, and therefore are less tender and take longer to cook that some of the other cuts if cooked too quickly. But the meat is very lean and juicy, and slow roasting or braising allows the meat to break down properly, developing a tender texture and great flavor.


Lamb shanks are from the latter part of the fore and hind leg. This cut is great for slow cooking, as the bone that runs through the center releases a lot of flavors as the meat cooks. Most common cooking methods for shanks involve low and slow preparations, giving the meat time to become tender and fall off the bone. The flavor profile of the meat is hard to overtake, which gives home cooks a chance to experiment with more bold seasonings. For example, lamb shank is a common meat featured in Moroccan tagine, where it is marinated with spices such as cumin, coriander, ginger, and paprika before it is stewed down in lemons, apricots, saffron, and passata.

Loin Chop

Loin chops are readily available cuts that are sought after because they are among the leanest and most tender. Because there is not an extra layer of fat protection like some other cuts, however, chefs should be careful not to overcook the meat and cause it to become tough. Loin chops can be cooked in a wide variety of ways but are often cooked quickly on a grill or in the broiler where they develop a caramelized crust.

Sirloin Chop

Sirloin chops are often large and meaty cuts that are great for making thick and rather inexpensive steaks. Commonly used as an alternative for cuts such as rib and loin chops, sirloin chops are an excellent choice for chefs that seek variety in their preparation methods. This is because they can be grilled or broiled and can be served with a variety of accompaniments that interact well with the flavor profile of the cut.

Pitfalls to Avoid When Barbecuing Lamb

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Earlier on in the pandemic, Superior Farms discussed how more Americans were purchasing lamb due to shortages of other proteins at stores. This development led to more households discovering that lamb has both a texture and flavor profile that perfectly lends itself to some of our favorite methods of cooking. Grilling, a favorite summer pastime for home cooks, is by far one of Superior Farms’ preferred methods for preparing lamb. Still, while the results of grilling lamb can be great, there are a few mistakes that one should be sure to avoid during preparation to end up with the best possible product. In this article, Superior Farms lists a few of the most common mistakes that home cooks make while preparing lamb as well as how to best avoid them.

Not Bringing Lamb to Room Temperature Before Grilling

Superior Farms acknowledges that novice home cooks often overlook the importance of bringing their lamb to room temperature before grilling. Lamb should never go directly from the cold temperatures of your refrigerator to a screaming hot grill for a couple reasons. For starters, forgetting this step could lengthen your cook time, which could cause annoyance or impatience if you were hoping to finish your task quickly. From a quality perspective, a cut of lamb that went directly to the grill from the fridge could cook unevenly as a result. To avoid these issues when barbequing lamb, aim to give the meat an hour or so to come to room temperature first.

Under Seasoning or Over Marinating

Lamb’s flavor profile is full of personality and can be a bit more intense than more mild meats such as pork or chicken. Because of this quality, Superior Farms suggests avoiding underseasoning your lamb and pairing its flavor with a seasoning profile that plays to its strengths. For example, a wide variety of herbs and spices go hand in hand with lamb, and you can certainly use creative license to pick seasonings that best suit your taste. Spices that exhibit a smokey flavor, such as cumin and paprika, work tremendously for grilled lamb as they are a great match for the charred flavor that the cooking method imparts. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Superior Farms notes that some home cooks tend to overmarinate lamb they are going to grill. Long periods of time submerged in acidic marinade can break down the proteins within the meat and make it take on a mushy texture. To avoid this mistake, marinate lamb well under the amount of time you would marinate a protein such as chicken or pork. Home cooks should also remember that they can skip marinating altogether if they like, because lamb is already plenty tender.

Overcooking or Undercooking

When many of us barbecue, we tend to eyeball the meat to assess its doneness. For lamb on a hot grill, Superior Farms notes that this approach can easily lead to either undercooked or overcooked and dried out product. This is especially the case when you consider that many home cooks do not have as much experience cooking lamb as other proteins. To take out the guesswork from the barbecue equation this summer, opt for an instant-read meat thermometer. For a bone in lamb leg, rib roast, or rack of lamb, cook until the reading from the thickest part is 145°F for medium-rare, 160°F for medium, or 170°F for well-done.

Mistreating Lamb After Cooking

After making it through hurdles that trip up many home cooks while barbequing, you are already at your goal of perfectly cooked lamb. Unfortunately, even a perfectly cooked cut can be imperfectly prepared. One of the biggest mistakes that Superior Farms notices home cooks make when barbecuing is not letting meat rest before slicing. Resting is a critical step because it allows the meat to reabsorb moisture from the cooking process and, if you cut before allowing time to rest properly, the all-important juices may spill out. To avoid making this mistake, Superior Farms recommends letting lamb rest for 10 to 15 minutes after removing it from the grill. Another common mistake made by home cooks is botching the slicing after letting the meat rest. Always remember to avoid slicing lamb with the grain, as this will result in overly chewy pieces of meat. Instead, slice your lamb against the grain, as it will cut across the muscle fibers within the meat and result in tender pieces.

Superior Farms is Thinking of You During the Covid-19 Pandemic

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Superior Farms would like to extend our sympathy and support to all of the families in America who are currently suffering emotionally, financially and physically on account of the Covid-19 pandemic. Superior Farms is committed to putting the health and safety of our employee-owners and customers above all else. We understand the entire food industry is deeply impacted right now. Superior Farms has reacted to the Covid-19 pandemic by putting our focus on three objectives.

The first objective of Superior Farms is to ensure that we can answer the call of providing unmatched lamb products. There has been an incredible spike in retail demand for lamb, so our team has done everything in their power to ensure that all families are able to enjoy the highest quality lamb products. The second objective correlates with the first as our team looks to process as many lambs as possible. Finally, we are committed to supporting the food service and its customers as much as we can as each region considers plans to re-open. It is easy to focus on the negative during a pandemic; it’s our goal to be as positive and as proactive as possible.

Being proactive has helped Superior Farms put our company in the best position possible throughout the pandemic. At the start of March, Superior Farms enacted plans and procedures focused on employee safety. Employees were encouraged to stay home when feeling sick or running a fever, certain positions shifted to work-from-home status, and all facilities increased cleanliness and sanitation efforts.

Tough times provide opportunities for Superior Farms to notice the efforts employee owners make to keep the company great. The whole team has stepped up during the pandemic to exhibit why Superior Farms is known for qualities like respect, integrity, quality, accountability, dedication and more In addition to internal measures, Superior Farms is giving back to the community in this time of great need. The team has donated 5,000 pounds of product, which is valued at 50k to the Family Meal Initiative. Local restaurants in the Sacramento area are utilizing lamb from Superior Farms to help feed families in need.

We encourage you to visit our website often for the latest news and updates as we continue to push forward and think positive during this extremely difficult time.

Superior Farms Shares a Great Recipe from Rustic Joyful Food

Superior Farms has been a leader in the lamb raising industry for decades. One of the passions of Superior Farms is bringing lamb awareness to a whole new generation of food enthusiasts. This is done through providing retail partners innovative products and mouthwatering recipes. That is the case today as Superior Farms is sharing an incredible recipe from Rustic Joyful Food. The recipe is for Wood Grilled Superior Farms Lamb and Asparagus.

One of the best parts of the wood grilled Superior Farms lamb and asparagus dish is that it can work great for a family of four or it can make an ordinary at-home date night an extraordinary at-home date night. Here are the main ingredients you’ll need for the recipe:

  • 2lbs of boneless leg of Superior Farms Lamb
  • 1 cup of plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 pinch of red chili flakes
  • 2 cloves of crushed garlic
  • ½ tablespoon of black pepper
  • Salt to your liking

Additional sauces of herbed yogurt and red pepper pesto should also be prepared for the meal. The herbed yogurt will require:

  • A cup of plain Greek yogurt
  • 3 green onions
  • ½ cup of cilantro
  • ½ flat leaf parsley
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove
  • Pepper and salt to taste

Red pepper pesto will require:

  • 1 large red bell pepper, which should be seeded and sliced
  • ½ cup of flat leaf parsley
  • ½ cup of olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove
  • ½ cup of cilantro
  • 1/3 cup of shredded Parmesan
  • Lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to your liking

The prep for this meal starts the night before serving, but it’s still only a 20-minute process. This process is sped up even more if the cook has the Superior Farms lamb  legs cut into uniform pieces. The only thing that needs to be done the night before is to place the lamb, yogurt, garlic, pepper and chili flakes in a large freezer bag. The bag can then be placed in the refrigerator until the next day.

When the time comes to grill, the chef should wait until the grill is heated to 350 ° Fahrenheit. How long the Superior Farms meat needs to be on the grill really depends on how the meat was cut. It usually is safe to say between seven and nine minutes on each side for those who enjoy their meat served medium.  When the meat is flipped, the asparagus can join it on the grill. The asparagus can come off at the same time as the Superior Farms Lamb and just needs to be finished with some salt and pesto. It’s simple and delicious.

While the chef is waiting for the Superior Farms lamb on the grill, they can work on the sauces as well. The easiest way to make both the herbed yogurt and the red pepper pesto is to utilize a food processor. All the ingredients can be added in a food processor and are finished when everything has smoothed out. For those who want to get even more flavor out of their sauces, they can be made 3-4 days ahead of time and placed in the refrigerator.

Superior Farms Explains Why Your Restaurant Should Add Lamb to The Menu

Superior Farms has been helping restaurants incorporate lamb onto their menu items since 1964. As people continue to look for lean alternatives to fattier meats, lamb consumption is on the rise. Lamb also helps a restaurant diversify its menu from their competitors. Superior Farms believes lamb should be more popular in America and the fact that it helps a business standout from their competition is just part of the reason.

As the world grows more aware of the impact human decisions make on our environment, patrons of restaurants want to know that the places where they eat are environmentally conscious. Those who work with Superior Farms can rest assured that the company providing their lamb products is taking every precaution to offer their lamb in a way that puts the environment first. What does that mean? It all starts with how the lamb is raised and treated. In order for a sheep rancher to be a producer partner of Superior Farms, they must make a commitment to also be stewards of the land where their flock grazes.  Additionally, the Superior Farms facility in California utilizes energy from wind and solar, reduces water consumption and uses food packaging that minimizes waste. Lamb product packed in airtight packaging ensures that the lamb remains fresh for as long as possible, which helps extend product life and lower unnecessary waste.

Superior Farms works with restaurants who have chefs who understand the countless combinations of dishes and entrees that are presented to them when they utilize lamb as their main protein. Superior Farms offers several value-added items that are pre-cooked and pre-seasoned, making it easy to serve American lamb.  The Superior Farms blog is regularly updated with new items and recipes so that restaurants can continue to find new ways to inspire the chefs who utilize their lamb.

Another great selling point for restaurants is that Superior Farms offers lamb product that is Halal Certified. This is a key selling point for both those who require this based on religious and dietary needs. Quite simply, lamb is the meat that provides restaurants with an alternative to chicken and beef that customers will want to come back and enjoy time after time.

Superior Farms Provides Delectable Dark Stout Lamb and Dumpling Stew Recipe

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Superior Farms has, since 1964, maintained a thoughtful approach to business that entails raising livestock with kindness and respect to produces better-tasting, superior quality lamb. Superior Farms acknowledges that some customers may be in regions that are experiencing extreme winter weather this time of the year and may want a warming dish fitting for the weather.

If you crave a hearty lamb recipe for this this winter season, look no further than this lamb and dumpling stew recipe provided by Superior Farms. Superior Farms suggests these ingredients to create a deep, rustic stew perfect for the cold and snow:


  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 lb American Lamb shoulder, diced
  • 2 tbsp Whole butter
  • 2 small Cipollini onions, peeled
  • 16 small garlic cloves, peeled and trimmed
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • 5 heirloom carrots, peeled and cut into a roll cut ½
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup dark stout
  • 2 stalks celery, peeled and medium diced
  • 1 cup lamb jus
  • ½ cup diced canned Italian plum tomatoes
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • 9 ounces self-rising flour
  • 4 ounces cold butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste

After gathering the ingredients for the dish, ready a rondo pan over medium heat and add oil. Sear the lamb shoulder in batches until the lamb appears both brown and caramelized, adding oil if necessary.

Remove lamb from pan, and add butter, onions, garlic, carrots, and bay leaves. Cook for about 10 minutes. Add the tomato paste and flour, allowing the mixture to cook for an additional 3-5 minutes. Deglaze the rondo pan with the stout. Add tomatoes and lamb jus, give it a stir, and allow it to simmer for another 3-5 minutes. Add the lamb reserved from earlier along with celery and bring the mixture to a simmer. Cover and cook the stew at 325°F for 1 ½ hours. Remove the lid from the pan and allow the stew to cook an additional thirty minutes. Season the sauce with salt and pepper and allow it to simmer for about 30 minutes.

For the dumplings, add flour to a mixing bowl. Use a course grater to grate the cold butter into the flour. Season the mixture with salt and pepper. Use your fingers to gently rub butter into flour until it starts to resemble breadcrumbs. A splash of cold water can help to bind the dough. Divide the dough into 12 pieces, gently rolling each of the pieces into a round shaped dumpling. Place the dumplings atop the stew and press down to slightly submerge the dumplings into the sauce. Put the stew back into the oven and bake at 325°F for a final 30 minutes.

Recipe Courtesy of American Lamb Board