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Butterbean

The Wonders of Fresh Lamb

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Was recently asked if I'd butcher some lambs on halves with a local producer. Lambs had been eating clover and grass with no supplemental feed. Sounded like a good deal to me and interesting to boot so I agreed. Lamb is so expensive in the store and what I normally find is the lamb is mutton rather than lamb.

The guests arrive.

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Quartered them up then made the cuts. They had a beautiful fat layer.

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From the and trim I made loukaniko which will be used in some pasta dishes.

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Took the odd pieces of bone and other scrap and boiled this down and hand picked the meat from the bones and saved the broth and took the meat and made some basque stew.

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Took some of the lesser cuts and made an emulsion and turned out some gyro meat. Unfortunately, not enough cause this didn't last very long.

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Then with the help of one of my scottish friends I smoked a leg of lamb bathed in pecan smoke.

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And of course there was the merguez for the couscous.

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In all, I have to say lamb has been an overlooked meat in my diet. After these dishes I feel this will change.

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That all looks wonderful. By coincidence I was thinking this morning that I might, after a couple of years' lapse, order a lamb (or half) from one of the local farmers. I think this post pushed me from "might" to "will".

Care to share your recipes for merguez, loukaniko and perhaps even gyro?


Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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I glad I nudged you to a decision. I think it will be a good one. Everything so far has been delicious but the top of the list is the loukaniko and the gyro so I'll give you those recipes and if you want the others later I'll post them as well.

The loukaniko recipe is one of Len Poli's recipe's that I tweeked a little. Here are my notes.

5 lbs Lean Lamb

5 lbs Pork Trimmings

1/2 cup Blueberry Wine (Recipe calls for Syrah but I don't buy wine)

10 tsp salt

2 TBS of orange zest

1 TBS of minced garlic

2 tsp ground anise

2 tsp ground black pepper

2 tsp marjoram

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp allspice

Measure off about 2 feet per pound of 32mm hog casings and clean, flush then soak in orange juice for 30 minutes.

Cut the meat up into small cubes and combine all ingredients and mix well by hand. I put in cooler for a spell to let the flavors meld. Then placed in freezer till it got just shy of freezing.

Grind using 3/8" plate. (I put mine in a chopper and ground it a tad finer than this). Mix more by hand if need be till you get some peaks..

Stuff in casings and tie off with twine in 6" links.

Hang at room temperature till they dry and get tacky. Refrigerate or freeze for later use.

For the gyro meat I basically followed Alton Brown's recipe at this link.

http://www.foodnetwo...cipe/index.html

What I did differently was after making ithe emulsion I stuffed the mix into a synthetic casing like you'd use for bologna and then put it in the smoker and smoked in pecan. Unfortunately I got distracted by the bottle of blueberry wine and took them out of the smoker at 160F rather than 145F. It didn't harm the flavor much but I think the texture suffered a little. I then gave them an ice bath then hung in the cooler for a day. I then sliced them on the slicer length wise.

I think you will be well pleased with either of these.


Edited by Butterbean (log)

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Beautiful.


The Philip Mahl Community teaching kitchen is now open. Check it out. "Philip Mahl Memorial Kitchen" on Facebook. Website coming soon.

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Yes, this is fantastic. Now did you act as the actual man that did the dirty deed and sent bo-peep to sheep heaven? How old were these beauties? They look as though they would technically qualify as mutton over lamb, but the two terms are more loose today than in past decades when my Grandfather ate mutton that was from a very old ram.

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Inspiring, thanks. Where did the offal go?


Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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Yes, I dispatched them using a .22 short at the cross between the eyes and the ears and they didn't know what hit them. Like a pig, I bled them by knicking the heart with a sticker.

I don't know squat about sheep so this was all new to me but I figured they couldn't be much different than a pig or a cow with the exception that rather than splitting halves lengthwise it is suggested to quarter them down the length like the photo shows. I am not sure how old they were but they looked to be about half the size of the others he had so I'm callint them lamb which may be incorrect.. The guy that raised them said they were hair sheep which I have since been told do not have a strong flavor like other types of sheep. I was also told - unfortunately to late - that I could do a tooth count to determine their age. I think I was told if they had two teeth then they would be considered lamb. Either way, I was very pleased with the flavor of the meat because I first expected that strong taste I've had with lamb before and I just don't care for that. In fact, being a somewhat impatient person, I tossed a few chops in the frying pan with some olive oil and garlic as I was cutting and packaging the meat and was tickled with the tenderness and flavor. The only thing I did not like was the waste but this would explain why lamb is so expensive. I have some large buckets that I put the waste in and when I clean a 140 lb pig the bucket will be 1/3 full. These lambs, I'm guessing 100 lbs filled the bucket nearly half full. I'd estimate that you only get a 30% cutout.

The guy that raised them was selling all the breeding age sheep and is planning on purchasing some sheep from a strain which was brought over by the spaniards. I hope he has been happy with our arrangement so far as I have also been giving he and his wife half of the results of my little experiments in hopes that we can continue to do something on this line cause I have grown fond of lamb (or hairless sheep mutton). :smile:

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Peter, I messed up with the offal. This was a first for me and I half expected the strong taste of mutton so I didn't spend much time with the offal and for that I kick myself. I do have some sheep casings but that is all. There was the most beautiful caul fat that I just threw away. I did have the heart, kidneys and lungs seperated but I was scared of that flavor and changed my mind. I regret it. Hopefully there will be a next time.

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Yes, I dispatched them using a .22 short at the cross between the eyes and the ears and they didn't know what hit them. Like a pig, I bled them by knicking the heart with a sticker.

I don't know squat about sheep so this was all new to me but I figured they couldn't be much different than a pig or a cow with the exception that rather than splitting halves lengthwise it is suggested to quarter them down the length like the photo shows. I am not sure how old they were but they looked to be about half the size of the others he had so I'm callint them lamb which may be incorrect.. The guy that raised them said they were hair sheep which I have since been told do not have a strong flavor like other types of sheep. I was also told - unfortunately to late - that I could do a tooth count to determine their age. I think I was told if they had two teeth then they would be considered lamb. Either way, I was very pleased with the flavor of the meat because I first expected that strong taste I've had with lamb before and I just don't care for that. In fact, being a somewhat impatient person, I tossed a few chops in the frying pan with some olive oil and garlic as I was cutting and packaging the meat and was tickled with the tenderness and flavor. The only thing I did not like was the waste but this would explain why lamb is so expensive. I have some large buckets that I put the waste in and when I clean a 140 lb pig the bucket will be 1/3 full. These lambs, I'm guessing 100 lbs filled the bucket nearly half full. I'd estimate that you only get a 30% cutout.

The guy that raised them was selling all the breeding age sheep and is planning on purchasing some sheep from a strain which was brought over by the spaniards. I hope he has been happy with our arrangement so far as I have also been giving he and his wife half of the results of my little experiments in hopes that we can continue to do something on this line cause I have grown fond of lamb (or hairless sheep mutton). I :smile:

I don't understand where the waste is coming from. When I broke down my own lamb a few months ago, pretty much every part of the lamb was useable. I ended up with barely enough trim to make a few sausages and just enough bones to make 2 quarts of stock. For the fat, I cut them into chunks and made them into Xinjiang Yang Rou Chuanr which are skewers of alternating fat and lean meat, heavily spiced with cumin, chilli and other flavorings.


PS: I am a guy.

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I'm not talking about trim but the difference between live weight and dressed weight. Didn't have much trim at all. Did have enough to make some soup and broth but when you include the hide, head, feet and entrails the dressout from live weight to packaged weight isn't going to be but about 30% whereas with a pig its much much higher than that.

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I've been purchasing lamb directly from a local farmer for years now. All-in-all I pay $6/lb regardless of cut. Obviously, from a 50lb lamb I don't get 50lb of meat, bones and offal, but the price is still fantastic. Plus I'm supporting the local economy.

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I've been purchasing lamb directly from a local farmer for years now. All-in-all I pay $6/lb regardless of cut. Obviously, from a 50lb lamb I don't get 50lb of meat, bones and offal, but the price is still fantastic. Plus I'm supporting the local economy.

That's the best way to buy lamb. $13/kg is the price here in Nova Scotia.


Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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Great write up. I buy my lamb from a local friend who is a retired master butcher and ex Scottish lamb farmer. Price is usually around $14.00/kg for a half lamb & $12.50/ kg for a whole lamb.

Rob will cut it up any way I ask him to.

Couple of years ago I decided that I should witness the whole process so I went over, watched him kill the lamb ( used a knife to slit it throat & it died very quickly) then dress it out. After letting it hang for a day I helped him cut it up and package it. Then all but that evening's chops went straight into the freezer.

Interestingly, here in France most of our local farmer raise their lambs in large barns & they rarely go outside. Additionally Rob doesn't do the killing anymore, it's become illegal and must now be done in a certified abattoir.

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Very interesting. Butchered 3 hoggets yesterday - I think those fellas, well the one on the right looks like a fella :-), are at least a year old, but maybe that's all. The gyro meat is a new one on me but I shall be giving that a go with some belly, which i generally mince but not for something as interesting looking as that. Offal the day you slaughter is never strong tasting in my experience, but you sound like you have a lot more experience than me :-). Hearts will certainly not be strong. Got some lungs simmering as we speak. Only find kidney or liver getting a bit ripe, but then only after a week or so.

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Sheepish, you are right. All three were castarated males which he called wethers. That was a new term for me as is your hoggets - which I had to google. So experienced - not in the least. Sheep are uncommon in my area due to the high heat and humidity which presents a heavy worm load for the animals like sheep and goats. Goats are more common since they are browsers and when left with plenty of browse the worms don't bother them as bad. If my terms or phrasing is incorrect its due to my ignorance of sheep. This is sortof the basis of this thread since I have learned that not all sheep meat has to be washed down with copious amounts of fluids followed by spoonfuls of mint jelly. In fact, this meat is wonderful and tastes nothing like that which I can buy in the store which I'm beginning to believe might just be mutton and not lamb. Up until now, I have only had "lamb" three times and it only tasted good to me once in a stew. This, however, is wonderful stuff which I hope to enjoy more in the future. I am told there is a strain of sheep brought over by the spainards which have been bred for our conditions. I have hopes of learning more about these and I hope I might even get a few for a future source of this wonderful meat.

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Nice. I was luck enough to have some space and keep a couple of sheep one year. It was a great experience, although cutting the animals throat was awful. Sounds like the lamb you’ve been eaten has been of terrible quality. The real stuff is delicious. Next time, don’t toss the liver, sheep liver, mashed potato and bacon is a great dinner.

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