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Everything You Ever Needed to Know About Lamb Cuts


Cuts of lamb


Leg

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

Rump 

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


Loin  

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 

RIBS

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

Neck 

The neck of the lamb carcass is surprisingly and offers robust texture with 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

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

Offal

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

Liver
: 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