Searching for Lamb in Boquete Panama
Almost three months ago I took guests to the Oasis restaurant in Boquete Panama to try a rack of lamb, it was not to their liking. Although I really enjoy eating at Oasis and recommend it, their lamb was not the best. This past weekend a group of dedicated lamb consumers and culinary taste testers decided to try again.
After considerable cogitation Terry and I decided that we needed to find a lamb and someone with the proper qualifications to prepare it.
Panama is not known for it’s lamb but hidden in Poterillos Arriba is Hacienda Rancho Arco Iris. We discovered it is a cornucopia of lamb and sheep. Roger and Susan the owners have pastures a plenty, filled with the raw materials for a lamb dinner.
We called them and arranged for a lamb pickup, one complete lamb butchered and ready for the kitchen. Before going I scoured about for ice chests not having much of an idea how big a dressed lamb would be. It turns out that our lamb once butchered, weighed 22 pounds and fit neatly into one cooler.
With the lamb on ice they next step was to find a qualified culinary expert. After careful research we discovered that the minimum requirement to cook lamb is an Australian passport. With that knowledge we turned to Geoff and Caroline our hosts in Montanas de Caldera. After turning the lamb over to them Terry and I were instructed to go consume some cold beer and leave the rest the experts. It was easy to relax in the garden and watch two professionals at work.
After a short time discussing the weather, it has been beautiful, we found the lamb was reduced to two legs, two shoulders, ribs and lovely racks. For Sunday dinner for eight our hosts they decided to use the Barbie, not the doll from Mattel, the primary cooking implement from down under. Lamb legs, potatoes, and onions were doused with a fragrant mixture of extra virgin olive oil, mint and salt and massaged gently.
After several hours of slow cooking, dinner emerged and it was fabulous. Our taste testers confirm that you can have great lamb in Panama if it grown with love, harvested with love, aged at least 24 hours and cooked by Australians.
Our hosts have a perfect venue for entertaining both indoor and out and the combination of good food, good company and surroundings made Sunday dinner a treat.
If you want a lamb for your barbie contact roger or Susan at firstname.lastname@example.org the lamb is $3.50 a pound dressed out or $2.25 a pound on the hoof and still walking. For an Australian you can contact Geoff or check at immigration in David.