It’s been 30 years since Niman Ranch, the pioneering leader in humanely raised meats, launched its lamb program through a partnership with McCormack Ranch in Northern California. In the intervening years, Niman Ranch has worked with more than two dozen select family ranchers in California, the Pacific Northwest, Utah and Idaho. Niman Ranch lamb has become renowned for its high quality and sweet and subtle flavor, with top restaurants across the country proudly featuring the brand’s lamb on their menus. As with the company’s beef and pork programs, the animals are Certified Humane and raised sustainably by independent family farmers and ranchers with no hormones or antibiotics ever.
To celebrate the three-decade milestone, the company has introduced its first value-added lamb products with Gyros and Merguez sausage. These two new offerings tap into American eaters’ craving for global spices and new flavors to wake up their tastebuds.
According to research from the American Lamb Board, gyros are America’s second favorite lamb dish behind only lamb chops and the amount of merguez sausage found on restaurant menus has increased 10 percent in just the past year. This lamb sausage appears in diverse dishes—from flatbreads to Scotch eggs to shakshuka.
The gyros are a blend of Niman Ranch lamb, beef and spices including seasoned pepper, oregano, marjoram and thyme—no gluten, no fillers. The merguez sausage, stuffed in natural lamb casings, has a North African flavor profile with a custom blend of three different paprikas, harissa and cumin. It’s flavorful but not spicy hot.
“We’re excited to add these two unique items to Niman Ranch’s outstanding selection of prepared products,” shared Cody Hiemke, Niman Ranch’s lamb program manager and a lamb rancher himself. He added that feedback from everyone who has sampled the gyros and sausage has been exceedingly positive.
The new lamb offerings were designed to be sold from the frozen specialty case. The gyros and merguez are currently available in select specialty grocers across the country including:
- Plum Market serving Detroit and Miami
- Dorothy Lane Markets, Buehler’s Fresh Foods and Acme Fresh Markets in Ohio
- Marczyk Fine Foods in Denver
- Berkeley Bowl, Cal Mart, North Coast Co-Op, Falletti Foods and Magnani Poultry in Northern California
- Island Naturals in Hilo, Hawaii
- Cartwright’s Market in Medford, Oregon