A Simple Guide to Cuts of Lamb
Shoulder: This can be bought with two bones (blade and knuckle) still intact which really add to the flavour. It is not one of the most tender pieces of lamb but it is an ideal piece for slow roasting. It can also be diced into pieces to cook slowly to serve in curries or casseroles.
Neck Fillet: This prime cut of boneless shoulder lamb is extremely flavoursome. Either cut it open, then split and grill or roast it whole and slice. It can also be cut it into pieces and used for a casserole.
Rack of Lamb: Usually sold with the full 7 ribs but can be cut into 3 or 4 mini rib pieces. One of the more tender cuts and can be roasted in less than 30 mins or it can be cut through into cutlets, perfect for the grill or barbecue. Two or more of these can be brought together to form a “guard of honour” or a “crown roast”.
Loin: Also known as the double loin in Scotland. Again another tender cut taken from a “saddle of lamb”, which is the two loins together in one. They can be rolled and filled with a complimentary stuffing, or of course it can be cut through the bone and served as loin / double loin chops.
Whole Leg of Lamb: Also known as the gigot in Scotland. When left whole it makes a superb table roast and is easier to carve if you ask your butcher to prepare it carvery-style. Nutritious and extremely flavoursome and can be broken down into a range of cuts including the shank, chump, leg ex chump, topside and silverside to form steaks or mini roasts. Another great idea if having a barbecue is to have the leg “butterflied”, which is opened out in order to cook more quickly.
Shank: Comes from the bottom part of the leg and is probably the least tender part from the full leg cut, however it is superb for pot roasting as the flavours slowly infuse the other ingredients and can help create a rich sauce.
Breast and flank of Lamb: These cheap cuts are from the belly and need slow cooking, ideal for making soups. Or trimmed and cut into lamb spareribs or riblets. It can also be boned and rolled for slow cooking.