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Description of cuts

Easy Carve Leg

This cut is perfect for either the traditional roast or as part of a more different dish. Either way because the main bone has been removed and the leg retied the stress of carving has been removed.

Roast it traditionally and serve with mint sauce or try the French version by cooking on a bed of either potatoes, onions and herbs or perhaps white beans. Roasted vegetables are the traditional accompaniment and left-overs are perfect for sandwiches or as part of a salad the following day. Another popular finish is to smear with a curry paste and then serve with a well flavoured pilaf and a cooling Raita.

Rumps and Rounds

What a perfect roast for two. Small, compact and perfect for that dinner for one or two-with perhaps some left over for a sandwich the next day. This cut is best left medium rare and most importantly left to rest in a warm place for at least ten minutes-otherwise the juices will run out when cut, leaving you with a disappointing result.


Once the lesser lights of gastronomy shanks now enjoy their own stardom. Braise them with the traditional tomato, herb and garlic mix and serve them with creamy mash and your favourite green. Alternatively prepare them as a glorious Moroccan tagine, redolent with a multitude of spices and heady with exotic aromas. Serve with couscous flavoured with dried fruit, pine nuts and herbs. Or luxuriate in the sheer comfort of a lamb shank soup, rich with barley and vegetables and finished with a final scatter of gremolata (garlic, lemon rind and parsley).

French Rack

This cut has become highly desirable because of its great presentation, reliable consistency and ease of preparation. For the rack allow three bones per serve. Score the fat and apply the flavourings. This can be as simple as rosemary and garlic, be a Moroccan spice mixture or even a curry paste. Another option is to remove the skin and fat and replace this with a well flavoured crumb crust. It is also very good to barbecue or roast this trimmed rack and then cut into cutlets after cooking. The cutlets are just perfect when a small choice meat course is needed to accompany a choice vegetable component, especially when teamed with spring vegetables. They also make perfect party food as the long bone is a natural handle. But our favourite way of serving them is to remove all of the fat, flatten them by gently beating out with a heavy object, or even the blade of a knife, and coating them with day old bread crumbs flavoured with lemon rind, garlic, parsley and finely grated parmesan cheese. Fry these in good olive oil and serve with a tomato salad. These also make great picnic or party food. The added bonus is also that they make what is quite an expensive cut of meat go a long way.

The Shoulder and the Forequarter Chops

The shoulder is the cook’s favourite cut; so full of flavour and succulence. It will come to you boned and rolled into a net. You may either roast it as is or untie it, fill with your favourite stuffing or flavourings and tie it back up again with kitchen string. It is better to roast the shoulder at a lower temperature than you would the leg and for slightly longer to achieve maximum succulence and tenderness. Alternatively untie it and cube and braise to a succulent excellence. When teamed with onions, anchovies, herbs and a little white wine the resulting flavour is exquisite. The shoulder is also the best cut for a curry and when minced makes the best lamb burgers, especially when teamed with tomatoes, cucumbers and feta cheese. The chops are such old favourites. Gently braised with onions, tomatoes and herbs they cook to a gentle succulence. When this is served with soft polenta it becomes a great dish. But they are also happy with the grill or barbecue. Marinate them for extra flavour and tenderness and gently grill or barbecue them for a delicious result. Because they can sometimes be quite large, it is a good idea to cut them in half for both a better presentation and for ease of sucking the rich and delicious meat from the bones.

From our west australian friends at dorper lamb

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