At the farmers market, a couple digs through the coolers at the Jimenez Family Farm stall, unearthing plastic-encased cuts of goat, lamb, pork and rabbit. They're shopping for dinner, but looking a little less than confident. “What do you do with this again?” asks the lady, bespectacled, gray-bunned and wrapped in a sort of faux-Native American-looking shawl. She is holding up a lamb shank, a section of goat leg or a slab of pork belly. Eager yet unschooled and willing to learn, the lady might want to take a class — and not the sort UCLA Extension offers. Thankfully, on Friday, Feb. 17, from 8-9 p.m., Nick & Stef's Steakhouse in downtown Los Angeles continues its Meat 101 series with “Lamb: U.S. vs. New Zealand.”
The class is pretty clear-cut. Executive chef Megan Logan will lead a lucky group of attendees through a comparison of lamb racks from Sonoma County, Colorado and New Zealand where, if butcher cases are any indication, you can't walk to the bank without being trampled by sweet, free-ranging woolly hordes skipping down to the processing plant. For a cover charge of $35, an attendee will learn simple preparation techniques, taste the lamb itself in small yet surely satisfying portions and enjoy complementary wine pairings.
If lamb isn't your thing, try another class. On March 16, “Cheek to Cheek” will introduce you to lamb, veal and pork cheeks; on April 20, at “New York vs. Rib-eye,” you'll get to weigh the advantages of both wet- and dry-aged ribeye and New York steaks.