Lamb, the meat of young sheep under 12 months of age.


Other names: mutton, spring lamb
Translations: Jēra gaļa, Ėriena, Carne de miel, Janjetina, Ngây thơ, Baranek, Lam, भेड़ का बच्चा, Cordeiro, Ягненок, Αρνί, خروف, 양고기, Jehněčí, Јагње, Tupa, 羊肉, Xai, Jahňacie, Agnello, טלה, Lamm, Daging domba, ラム, Agneau, Lamm, Lam, Lam, Cordero, Ягня, Karitsa, Агне

Physical Description

The younger the lamb is, the smaller the lamb will be; however, the meat will be more tender. Sheep mutton is meat from a sheep over two years old, and has a less tender flesh. In general, the darker the color, the older the animal. Baby lamb meat will be pale pink, while regular lamb is pinkish-red.

Colors: Dark pink to red when raw, and caramel brown when cooked.

Tasting Notes

Mouthfeel: Tender, Moist, Delicate
Food complements: Mint, Garlic, Ginger, Rosemary, Cumin, Nutmeg
Wine complements: Red wine, Cabernet savignon, Merlot, Zinfandel, White wine, Pinot noir, Malbec, Bordeaux, Hermitage, Barolo, Shiraz, Chateauneuf-du-pape, Barabaresco, Syrah, Red burgundy, Supertuscan, Brunello di montalcino, Dolcetto, Chianti riserva, Petite sirah, Cotes du rhone, Chianti, Red rhone, Ribera del duero, Beaujolais, Barbera, Australian shiraz, Sangiovese nw, Rioja, Red bordeaux, Bordeaux pomerol, Zin
Beverage complements: Tea
Substitutes: Thin strips of fatty mutton can be cut into a substitute for bacon called macon

Selecting and Buying

Choosing: Lamb is usually tender because it is from animals less than 1 year old. However, look for good marbling (white flecks of fat within the meat muscle), and meat that is fine textured and firm. In color, the meat should be pink and the fat should be firm, white, and not too thick.
Buying: Fine restaurants are starting to serve cuts of lamb they never dared offering for fear of alienating their guests. Lamb shanks and stews have become popular because of their superior and intriguing taste.Lamb is a very versatile meat and readily available at local markets.
Procuring: During weaning, lambs gradually begin feeding on pasture or coarsely ground grain. They are raised on hay and feed consisting of corn, barley, milo and wheat supplemented with vitamins and minerals. Lambs are usually "finished" (grown to maturity) in feedlots where they are fed specially formulated feed.

Preparation and Use

Lamb chops are cut from the rib, loin, and shoulder areas. The rib chops include a rib bone; the loin chops include only a chine bone. Shoulder chops are usually considered inferior to loin chops; both kinds of chop are usually grilled. Breast of lamb (baby chops) can be cooked in an oven.

Cleaning: There is no need to rinse raw packaged lamb prior to cooking. The heat from the cooking should destroy any bacteria.

Conserving and Storing

After slaughter, the meat should be aged (two to three weeks) for optimal taste and texture and get rid of rigor mortis.


Lamb has always been the least popular of red meats in North America. People here prefer beef, pork and veal over lamb, mainly because availability and tradition.While North Americans eat the rack, leg and shanks, elsewhere people consume every part of the carcass including the whole roasted head, the brains, kidneys, heart, and even lungs. No part of the animal is wasted mostly because of the high cost of meat.

History: In the early 1900s, the federal government actually sanctioned the killing of certain varieties of sheep in a purported attempt to upgrade the quality of certain breeds. The Cotswold, one of the oldest breeds, was introduced to England over 2000 years ago by the Romans. Brought to the United States in 1832, the Cotswold was also the first purebred breed to be registered in the United States in 1878. This breed is now currently classified as a rare breed and is prized for its wool.



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