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Everything You Ever Needed to Know About Lamb Cuts

Cuts of lamb


Both the fore and hind legs of the lamb carcass yield versatile cuts, including:

Leg on the bone: a tender and juicy hind leg with extra flavour delivered by a thin layer of superficial fat,
delicate marbling and a robust bone
Boneless leg: with the bone removed and the meat neatly tied, the joint cooks evenly and carving’s a doddle 
Butterflied leg: when fully boned and opened out, the leg can be stuffed and rolled or cooked flat in the oven or over coals
Shank: the lower joint of the hind leg becomes fall-of-the-bone tender when braised slowly in plenty of liquid
Mini shank: fore-leg shanks are smaller than hind shanks and make a perfect portion for one


Cuts from the lambs back end deliver well-worked muscle that has open-grained texture and full-on flavour. They include:

Lamb rump: where the leg meets the loin on the lamb carcass is known as the chump – it delivers a versatile roasting joint that’s
tender and tasty whether cooked fast or slow
Steaks: cut from the topside muscle that runs down to the top of the leg, these ruby-red steaks are kept
deliciously succulent by a marbling of fat


Running from the spine down the side towards the belly, lamb loin contains some of the tenderest cuts on the carcass, such as:

Loin: tender and smoothly grained, it comes boned, trimmed and tied, making it super-easy to cook to pink perfection
Noisettes: butter-soft meat comes wrapped in a modest layer of fat to deliver juicy and tender results when cooked rare or medium-rare.
Loin chops: richly-red meat is made tender by sweet connecting fat that sizzles away on cooking
Barnsley chops: double loin chops that include the meat from each side of the spine are hearty and substantial 


The fore-ribs are found between the loin and the shoulder, running from the spine to the belly. They yield:

Whole rack: 7-rib racks are cut from the ‘best end’ towards the neck and include superficial and internal fat to ensure succulence, while the bone boosts flavour
Half rack: 3 meaty ribs have all the tenderness and flavour of loin with plenty of intense flavour
Cutlets: refined chops are taken from the best end of the rack to deliver a delicate and elegant cut
Saddle fillet: long muscles from either side of the spine delivered as one joint to be seared, roasted and served pink and juicy
Lamb bacon: made from the belly (or ‘breast’) of lamb, a natural cure and lovely layers of meat and fat result in sizzling lamb streaky


The neck of the lamb carcass is surprisingly and offers robust texture with a really hearty and distinctive flavour. Try:

Neck fillet: the meat from either side of the spine comprises a complex collection of hard-working muscles interspersed with layers of fat and can be cooked either quickly or slowly
Mince: the meat-fat ratio on the neck makes it perfect for producing well-balanced mince when combined with shoulder


A hardworking set of muscles with complex bone structure and the right balance of superficial and internal fat makes the shoulder a classic slow-cooking joint. Cuts include:

Shoulder on the bone: leaving the bone in contributes bags of flavour to the shoulder and keeps the flaky meat succulent
Boneless shoulder: the collection of shoulder muscles are fully boned out, leaving the layers of meat, fat and connective tissues rolled, tied and ready to roast
Diced lamb: taken predominantly from trimmed shoulder cuts that are evenly cubed, this is perfect for stews and casseroles
Mince: combined with neck cuts, shoulder delivers the perfect balance of distinctively flavour meat and sweet fat when finely ground
Burgers: made from nothing but fine-minced meat, herbs and seasoning to deliver intense and juicy flavour
Kofta: richly flavoured mince and herbs combine to make a quick-cooking snack with Middle Eastern influences
Sausages: juicy mince and our special blend of herbs and spices combine to deliver a characterful banger


The organ meats of the lamb carcass are substantially flavoured and packed with nutritional benefits. They include:

: tangy and distinctive with melting texture – only very quick cooking and simple accompaniments are required
Heart: a hard-working muscle that yields dense but tender meat that can be sliced and fried like a steak or slow-cooked until meltingly soft
Kidneys: modestly sized and delicately flavoured, an ideal cut to cook quickly and enjoy on toast or throw into a stew to add a contrast of texture
Bones: bubbling bones – with all the goodness of the connective tissues – produces a stock that adds incredible depth of flavour to stews, sauces and gravies