Sunday, November 23, 2014


Before we set off to our tropical paradise, we arranged to pick up the meat from the lambs from the butcher. We spent an evening next to the chest freezer doing inventory, counting the cuts and pounds that we were fortunate enough to have from each lamb and marking it down in a notebook and then a spreadsheet for later use.

Before the lambs were slaughtered, we specified our cuts. This means that we explained which parts of the lamb we either wanted kept whole for a roast, cut into steaks or chops, or chopped for stew meat or ground. I'll mention it again (and swear I'm not getting paid for this!), Adam Danforth's book on butchering poultry and small livestock proved incredibly useful. The book has a two-page, beautifully detailed spread of the different ways each part of a lamb could be cut. For example, if you ask for rack of lamb, this means you won't be getting individual chops from this cut. This seems like sort of a no-brainer, but it is a little overwhelming your first time around!

We stuck with your typical grocery store cuts - rack of lamb, leg of lamb, lamb shank, loin, lamb chop, etc. Other parts of the lamb, such as the breast or neck, that may be more tough we asked to have ground or chopped into stew meat. We also asked for all of the bones, organs, tongue, and even the cheek meat. Additionally, we asked for the pelts. We want to use as much as the animal as possible, "waste not, want not".

A somewhat morbid part of the lamb-ventory, but a sort of comforting element to me was thinking about which animal each cut came from. We knew who our biggest girl was, so when we saw the two 5 pound legs, we thought "that's got to be her!" I bet it's different with a larger flock or herd of livestock, but this really brought it back to why we started this whole process to begin with. We don't want 1 pound of ground beef from 20 different cows, for example. We want to know where our food is coming from and this is one of our first big steps toward that.

Get ready for some lamb recipes! Today we are having sliders with ground lamb on pretzel roll buns.

1 comment:

  1. So excited for lamb recipes, I really want to try raising them too! I'm sure it can be quite overwhelming on your first go and thanks for the book recommendation! Do you think you will give it another go?