Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Ground Lamb At Nazar Market: The Easiest Way To Add A New Flavor To Your Grilling Routine

I went back to Nazar Market last weekend looking to solve the problem from my last visit.

Test driving Planet Barbecue by Steven Raichlen, I followed a recipe by buying lamb shoulder and then grinding the meat in our food processor.  The kebobs had delicious flavor, but they had chewy texture that we assumed came from gristle or other pieces attached to the meat.

So when I went back to Nazar in Columbia, I wanted to be careful about my purchase.  I talked slow.  I want to buy lamb, I said.  Lamb, the butcher agreed.  I want lamb for ground meant, I said.  Ground lamb, the butcher agreed.  I want to make kabobs, I said, and the butcher nodded and got busy.  He took meat from the cooler.  He started to chop and slice meat from the bones.  I walked away to shop, then returned to find that all those meat chunks had disappeared.

That was when I realized that I was talking to the butcher across a meat grinder.  A giant metal grinder the height of my chest.

I had come to Nazar looking to repeat my mistake -- buy lamb shoulder and grind my own meat at home.  But Nazar's butcher is a professional.  He was grinding the meat himself.  He cut exactly the meat that I needed, then ran it twice through the industrial grinder that I was too much of an amateur to even identify until it was spitting out perfect-looking ground meat.

This is so easy that everyone should try some lamb kabobs.  Nazar's butcher turned out ground lamb that developed a char on the outside while staying moist inside.  A little more fat that my normal ground beef (like a little fire from dripping fat).  But all the authenticity and safety of Laurel Meat Market's ground chuck -- plus a flavor that, if anything, is better than a hamburger.  Planet Barbecue has several kabob recipes, and you can find ideas from three continents if you look on the Internet.

This "order ground meat" option is so obvious that I assume it's available at Columbia Halal Meat on Rte 108 and Caezar International Market just off Rte 100 -- both officially in Elkridge.

Over the next few weeks, HowChow is going to look like Nazar Market's house blog.  I stopped several times and found great items on each visit, including a cherry nectar drink, a coffee-flavored sparking water, and jarred pickled cabbage that goes great with a burger.  I'll post those later.


HowICook said...

This has been my goto place for ground meat for the last few months. Additionally, you can specify no fat or more fat. I needed a low fat ground beef for hot dog chill for the 4th. I specified no fat and got a very lean fine ground beef that made perfect chili. I spooned the chili over a 1/4 pound kosher hot dogs (came out of a Hebrew National box)from the Laurel Amish market that I had wrapped with 2 slices of thick cut hickory smoked bacon from the same market and grilled until the bacon was done.

Every time, I go there, it's the same butcher. He doesn't really speak English. I assume I could ask the guys up front to translate for me but so far I haven't had any issues getting what I need. In addition to lamb and beef, the butcher will grind goat. I've tried them all and been happy.

Christine said...

The picture looks great - what did you put in the kabobs?

HowChow said...

Christine -- I have done two recipes from Planet Barbecue, but I don't remember the exact ingredients. Both were pretty simple. Onions and spices. Definitely check out the book, either borrowed from the library or checked out on Amazon from the links on my review.

HowChow said...

Christine -- This is the link to a kabob recipe:

Anonymous said...

Hello, it's a general question,but it's related. How do you tell the difference between lamb/goat meat and beef?
How do you know if the butcher is selling beef instead of
Goat meat? I read on the internet that they taste the same almost and that beef is much cheaper than goat meat.