Lamb Chop Marinade featuring Charlotte Schwanke

Lamb Chop Marinade featuring Charlotte Schwanke

Being that I am from California, I ate a lot of lamb growing up. Fast forward to North Dakota, finding lamb in a grocery store is few and far between. So when Charlotte messaged me about lamb for Thirty Days of Food series, of course I couldn’t resist! Charlotte and her husband raise a commercial flock of sheep in Saskatchewan, Canada. She has some great things to share with us as well as pretty beautiful photos! Later for this recipe, I adapted one my FAVORITE lamb marinade recipes that has been made at our house for years. 

Charlotte Schwanke
Wadena, Saskatchewan, Canada

Charlotte Schwanke - 2014 - Char, Dale & Cookie

Personal History

  • When did you start farming? What brought you into farming?

 I grew up on an acreage next to my grandparents grain farm. My parents were teachers, but we helped during busy times. I married “the only guy I was allowed to go out with” according to my protective big brother… his best friend from (ag) college. I went from Interior Design college in the big city to life on the farm in the middle of nowhere. I always wanted to marry a farmer, though. We are the sole owner/operators of our 1500 acres. My husband, Dale, has farmed since he was 16 (as soon as he was able after his father died when he was 13). 

Charlotte Schwanke - 2014 - spring ewes


  • What has been the hardest part of farming for you?

The hardest part of farming has been weather challenges. We have had years where we could not seed a single seed, get access to any field because of too-wet conditions – we have seeded fall rye, winter wheat, canola by plane – just to get something in the field and find a way to deal with some really wet springs! This is what caused us to get into sheep. We raise a growing commercial flock of Katahdin/Dorper sheep. They are known for their ability to shed (thus, no shearing) and for their mild taste. We grow cereal grains (wheat, barley, canary seed, and oats), oilseeds (flax and canola), and legumes (yellow and green peas). The most satisfying part is new lambs in the spring – the miracle of birth never gets old and there isn’t anything cuter than! I love how our four kids (ages 5-11… we homeschool) are totally into whatever we are doing – riding on the combine, assisting with animal chores (we also have chickens and horses).

Charlotte Schwanke - 2014 - combining barley


  • What is your favorite thing to do with a food crop you grow?

My favorite thing to do with lamb… I like to marinate a leg of lamb in a blend of spices, braise it, put it in the slow cooker – and then smell its deliciousness all day long. I serve it with a blend of garden vegetables, potatoes, and mint sauce. Mmm…

Charlotte Schwanke - 2014 - May lambs (Tulip twins & Dottie)

Future of Farming

  • What is one message you’d like to get across to the general public about what you do?

Farmers care. We believe in what we do. We love sharing what we do with others. We are intentional in the decisions we make for our farm, and like most any professional in their field, we have deep knowledge about our craft and are always learning and striving to make our lifestyle and our products better.

 Advice? Talk to farmers, know your market, be willing to learn, be resourceful, be open-minded, be prepared to try anything, deal honestly with everyone, enjoy what you do.

 Lamb Chop Marinade (1)

I’ve adapted this recipe as I couldn’t find ALL the ingredients. If you can make it in its’ original state, DO IT! Otherwise, this adaption is fantastic too! I’ve had people who weren’t big on lamb who have loved this marinade. Typically I just grill these chops, but you can certainly also pan fry them if you don’t grill in the freezing cold! 

Lamb Chop Marinade
  1. 4-6 lamb chops
  2. 1/2 cup cottonseed oil (I used olive)
  3. 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  4. 2 tablespoons steak seasoning
  5. 1 tablespoon Pappy's seasoning
  6. 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  7. 1 tablespoon granulated garlic
  1. Mix all marinade ingredients in a small bowl. Put chops into a shallow dish or ziploc bag to marinate. Pour marinade over lamb chops. Marinate for at least 24 hours.
Prairie Californian

This post is part of my Thirty Days of Food series where I am writing about food and farming for the entire month of November, to find out more about it all or how to follow along, visit my Thirty Days of Food page or click the photo below to find more great recipes with farmer features! 



  1. November 20, 2014 / 4:50 pm

    So excited to see a lamb recipe! Charlotte you are going to have to hook me up with some lamb chops, it looks great.
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