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Query about lamb stew meat


TdeV
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I'm going to a Burns Supper (Robert Burns) next weekend and my contribution is Scotch Broth (my favourite soup). My local agricultural college being lambless, I bought packets of boney "Lamb Stew" from a Middle Eastern grocery store. I've been cleaning the meat for hours and it occurs to me that some parts will dissolve during long cooking. But I don't know which parts though.

 

Do I need to cut away (i.e. what happens to):

  • skin? (does lamb stew meat ever come with skin attached?)
  • opaque white connective tissue (~1 mm)
  • nearly transparent, thin silvery layer (is this fascia?)
  • fat
  • cartilage
  • white things that look like veins but there's no blood in them
  • other connective tissue

 

I, personally, don't like messy, gristly stew.

 

I am taking most of the meat from the bones, then broiling the bones for about 30 minutes at 425F, then putting the bones into the stock pot water. I'll add the (somewhat cleaned) lamb meat later.

 

Also, how do these requirements for cleaning the meat change if I'm sous viding the meat at 133F?

 

P.S. Large fat deposits are removed because we feed them to the birds.

Edited by TdeV
Edited to clarify questions. (log)
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When sheep are slaughtered the hides (skin) is removed.

Connective tissues and silver skin will melt easily above 170F.  Cartilage is best removes as is thicker white layers (fascia), neither of which are delectable, even after cooking.  Soft fat can melt, hard fat less so.  Depends on whether or not you crave lamb the flavor of lamb fat (depends on the size and breed of the lamb too).

I prefer to cook "stew meat" in the conventional, analog simmer/braise method.  It allows you to prod and poke and test for flavor and doneness.  Stewing cuts cooked at 133F will take an eternity to soften the collagen, and you won't have a sauce thickened by the gelatin.

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I would remove the skin, trim off any gross fat and cut it into 2-3cm slices or cubes and braise it for about 3+ hrs in any liquid you like until it is really tender.  Remove the meat and let it cool.  Now take it apart by hand separating meat from remaining connective tissue and fat.  Chill the remaining braising liquid and remove the fat, heat it back up to dissolve the gelatin, strain to get rid of the extra bits. Now add 0.6% by weight locust bean gum (about 1t for two cups), blend it with an immersion blender and heat it up to 190°F/88°C to fully hydrate the LBG.  It should have the viscosity of a light cream sauce. Combine with the meat and adjust seasoning and you are good to go.

Edited by DocDougherty (log)
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1 hour ago, Baron d'Apcher said:

When sheep are slaughtered the hides (skin) is removed.

Connective tissues and silver skin will melt easily above 170F.  Cartilage is best removes as is thicker white layers (fascia), neither of which are delectable, even after cooking.  Soft fat can melt, hard fat less so.  Depends on whether or not you crave lamb the flavor of lamb fat (depends on the size and breed of the lamb too).

I prefer to cook "stew meat" in the conventional, analog simmer/braise method.  It allows you to prod and poke and test for flavor and doneness.  Stewing cuts cooked at 133F will take an eternity to soften the collagen, and you won't have a sauce thickened by the gelatin.

 

Asking, not arguing, but will silver skin really, really melt above 170 deg F?

 

 

Edit:  and for lamb stew my choice would be neck meat.

 

Edited by JoNorvelleWalker
afterthought (log)
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13 hours ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

 

Asking, not arguing, but will silver skin really, really melt above 170 deg F?

 

 

Edit:  and for lamb stew my choice would be neck meat.

 

 

For lamb, absolutely. The shank and neck muscles are lined with silver skin. Even the intramuscular silver skin in beef shank muscles gets tender after cooking. 

The fascia between the rib cage and deckle and outside the flank on lamb will get soft, however it will not dissolve. 

Above 160°F collagen will break down and melt nicely. 

 

*Aside from fish and poultry/fowl, the only common animals that will have skin after slaughter are pigs. 

Edited by Baron d'Apcher (log)
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9 hours ago, liuzhou said:

 

Maybe where you are. The lamb/mutton I buy comes complete with skin.

That is curious since the hide can be removed so easily, tanned and used/sold for another purpose.  Do they scald them to remove the wool or is the customer expected to dispatch the intact hide?  I have seen wild venison and boar sold in Europe with hides intact, but they are aged with the hides, which have little secondary value.

 

 

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6 minutes ago, Baron d'Apcher said:

That is curious since the hide can be removed so easily, tanned and used/sold for another purpose. 

My reaction was the same at first meaning that I was confusing the fell with skin. 

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I usually remove most of what fell there might be, and I'm a big fan of lamb neck for stew. Also, I remove any obvious weird veiny stuff, but cartilage, etc. all adds to the body of said stew, in my opinion.

 

In the absence of neck, shoulder is my next go-to cut, and there is nothing quite as delicious as a slow roasted lamb shoulder.

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15 hours ago, Baron d'Apcher said:

Do they scald them to remove the wool or is the customer expected to dispatch the intact hide?

 

I'm sorry. I don't know how they prepare it.  I only know how I buy it. With skin, but without wool.

 

And not only in China. I've seen/bought the same in the middle east and Mongolia.

Edited by liuzhou (log)

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