I haven't seen Australian lamb shoulder chops at my usual source, ShopRite, for many months, but there they were in glorious color as a weekly special in the Stop & Shop circular. At $3.69 a pound with the store card, they are a cheaper alternative to Australian lamb chops at $8.99 or more per pound, and they're grass-fed and raised without antibiotics.
When I visited the Super Stop & Shop in Teaneck on Saturday, I couldn't find them on the shelf, but the butcher brought out a large cardboard box from the freezer and then a second box. I asked if the boxes had anything on the outside about antibiotics, and he said no, only that the contents were from Australia.
The box also had a seal from Mountain States/Rosen Company and an address at the Hunts Point Cooperative Market, the huge food-distribution center in the Bronx. An Internet search showed Mountain States/Rosen represents three brands of naturally raised American lamb and veal, none of which I have ever seen in North Jersey markets.
Inside the boxes were four Australian lamb shoulder chops, looking a lot bonier than the ones in the Stop & Shop circular, arranged on a foam tray and shrink-wrapped. The butcher hit some buttons on a machine and slapped a label on the package before handing two of them to me.
When seasoned with salt and pepper and cooked rare, the lollipop-like Australian lamb chops melt in your mouth. These shoulder chops probably aren't as tender, but they have a distinctive taste and will make terrific fall meals. Here is a link to the Web site that describes how the animals are raised and lambs' nutritional value.