To this day, Lamb still remains a menu favourite with UK diners. With its excellent flavour and tender meat, it’s no surprise that (according to the AHDB) we ate around 70,000 tonnes of this delicious meat in the last year. Many see lamb as a luxury purchase, but there is great variety in the prices of different cuts of lamb. Understanding these lamb cuts and how they can be cooked can help you to use lamb in different and maybe more economical ways. We have 10 popular cuts of lamb in the UK for you below.
Rack of lamb
The rack of lamb is taken from the neck of the lamb and is one of the most tender lamb cuts; as such it can take quick cooking. A rack of lamb is traditionally comprised of 7 ribs, a guard of honour is 2 of these racks trimmed and facing each other, a crown roast is 2 racks tied into a circle and often stuffed.
Leg of Lamb (traditional and tasty)
The leg of lamb is taken from the back legs of the animal. Bought either as bone-in or boned and easy to carve, this is one of the most flavoursome and tender cuts of lamb. Roast in the oven and finish on the barbeque for a wholesome, smoky flavour.
Lamb Shank (slow cooked heaven)
Popular with restaurant guests, the lamb shank is taken from the bottom section of the back legs and is a cheaper cut that is still full of flavour. Once cooked slowly, maybe in a local ale, this lamb cut takes on a melting tenderness that will have your customers coming back for more. Best served, for this reason, in individual portions.
Barnsley Chop (meat and satisfying)
The Barnsley Chop is a meaty, double sided chop that is a slice through the lamb saddle. This cut of lamb is perfect for a filling and tasty lamb dinner and makes a great individual roast with trimmings. Barnsley chops are larger and thicker than loin chops and are perfect for barbecuing or pan-frying in butter.
Saddle of Lamb (roast in the tenderness)
If you are looking for a cut of lamb for a special catering occasion, the saddle of lamb might be just the thing. Cut from the back and sides of the animal, this joint can be boneless or bone in. Both cuts offer a delicious combination of taste and tenderness and can be rolled and roasted with stuffing for additional flavour.
The noisette is a small, circular cut of lamb surrounded by fat, which is taken from the loin or saddle. This is a particularly tasty, extremely tender cut of lamb, which is ideal for an intimate meal for 2. Because of their tenderness, lamb noisettes can take a quick pan fry and are delicious served with a lemon and rosemary jus.
Neck of lamb
Unsurprisingly this cut is taken from the neck area and is one of the cuts of lamb that offers really great value. It is also versatile and can be either cooked slowly or fried like a steak. Neck of lamb is a great option for a curry such as rogan josh and can also be used for kebabs.
Shoulder of Lamb
The shoulder of lamb is taken from the front leg and shoulder area and is very tasty. Usually available as either a half-shoulder or whole-shoulder, this is one of the most popular cuts of lamb for roasting and can also be bought as diced shoulder for casseroles. Shoulder of lamb requires slow cooking before it becomes tender.
Fillet of lamb
Fillet of lamb, just like beef fillet is one of the prime lamb cuts and comes from the loin area. Lower in fat than some other cuts, a fillet of lamb offers a mild flavour and is very tender. A fillet of lamb is ideal for pan-frying with sweet, cherry tomatoes and black pepper.
Cushion of lamb
The cushion of lamb is perhaps one of the least known cuts of lamb but it should not be ignored. To make it a butcher will remove the bones from a whole shoulder joint, fold it into a circular shape and fasten it with string. A cushion of lamb makes an attractive and delicious roast with a tasty apricot stuffing.
At IMS of Smithfield we have been butchering a comprehensive range of lamb and other meat cuts for many years. Our business began in the heart of London’s Smithfield Market and we still offer competitive pricing on a full range of meats to restaurant, hotel and catering customers across the UK. For more information about how we can help you with your meat procurement requirements please get in touch here or call 020 73833080