Spring is a time of rebirth, renewal, and refreshment. The flavors of spring are a vibrant reminder of the harvests to come and the reward for a long winter’s wait. In California, spring is very special to our Butcher Department as the harbinger of one of our favorite products, spring lamb. This year in particularly, El Nino rains have given way to lush grasses, meaning the lambs will be at their tastiest – this is the season to think spring lamb!
If you celebrate spring holidays like Easter or Passover with lamb as your centerpiece, or you enjoy eating with the seasons, now is the peak season for the highest quality, best tasting lamb available:
For the traditionalists, our BN Ranch Pasture-Raised, Grass-Fed Lamb have the bolder, fuller flavor and larger legs typically associated with lamb. Raised by a fourth generation sheep herder, John Cubiburu, in the Sacramento Delta, the BN Ranch lambs are weaned then graze on pasture in order to reach their larger weight. These special lambs will be available in the Markets and on Instacart where you can order from our online Market for convenient delivery.
For those seeking something excitingly off-beat and extremely limited, we are thrilled to announce that Don Watson Milk-Fed Spring Lamb is now available at our butcher counters. Born in the winter and harvested right before they’re weaned, Don Watson’s lambs are much smaller than your typical lambs, with an incredibly mild flavor and tender texture. Don Watson’s Milk-Fed Spring Lambs grace the tables of restaurants like Chez Panisse and The French Laundry, and due their limited availability (typically only for the four weeks of April), are available for pre-order at the Markets. These lambs arrive whole, and our butchers will be cutting to order for you. Fun fact: Don Watson’s Napa Valley-based herd lives on the grounds of the Infineon Raceway, and from there are hired by many neighboring wineries to help keep their vineyards free of weeds without doing the damage to the terroir that mechanical weeders would do!
If you’re considering a lamb roast for beautiful spring meals, our butchers are turning tradition on its head with their Spring Lamb Roast recipe. Using the butcher’s cut front leg of Don Watson’s Milk-Fed Spring Lamb achieves an incredibly tender, mildly-flavored roast that pairs perfectly with an array of spring side dishes, from asparagus salads to artichokes to strawberry desserts and spring Rosés.
So whether you prefer the longstanding tradition of exceptional quality BN Ranch Pasture-Raised, Grass-Fed Lamb, or are looking to elevate your spring celebrations with a rare twist on the classic with Don Watson Milk-Fed Spring Lamb, now is the time to think spring lamb and enjoy it at its seasonal best.