Bacon wrapped lamb using locally sourced meat and herbs

A good portion of our food purchases have been made from local or regional vendors the past few years. Many people have started to make the change to eating food produced closer to home.

Yesterday I took some of these local and regionally produced food products and tried my best to make an appetizing meal.

The lamb chops came from Canterbury Grass-Fed Meat ( formerly Tallgrass Prairie Farms ) – they now offer lamb and pork. In the past we purchased our lamb at the Springfield Downtown Farmers Market from Knob Hill Livestock Company. Knob Hill hasn’t been at the Springfield farmers market this year.

Bacon was purchased at the local farmers market from Jones Meat and Locker. Most of the time we buy bacon from Live Springs Farm. Live Springs offers really good all natural hot dogs – limited availability.

I only used basil, sea salt and olive oil with the meats. Fresh basil came from Sally’s Fields. The olive oil is an imported product sold by a local company – Spartan Valley Olive Oil.

All these vendors are selling at the Springfield Downtown Farmers Market – some only sell every other week. The market will be shutting down for the season at the end of this month. Although each year a holiday market is held at the Illinois State Fairgrounds.

It had been awhile since I had cooked lamb – so I took a quick look at a few websites for detailed cooking instructions.

I decided to bake the bacon wrapped lamb. Most sites suggested doing so at 325 degrees. For close to well done at this temperature – cook for 30 minutes. Anyone who has watched a cooking show will know that chefs normally give the lamb a slight pan sear before putting the chops in the oven.

Unfortunately I ended up doing this backwards. I had figured I could get away with just cooking the lamb chops in the oven. But after 30 minutes I wasn’t seeing my desired temperature. Since I was paranoid about over cooking the meat – I finished the chops in a skillet. Only then was I able to get the lamb cooked to my liking. This was more work than just setting them in the oven and the reverse way of how most cooks do things.

In the end I must have done something right – the lamb chops were tender and the flavors infused nicely.

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