Mutton is meat from a sheep over two years old, and has less tender flesh. In general, the darker the colour, the older the animal. Baby lamb meat will be pale pink, while regular lamb is pinkish-red.
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The terms "mutton" and "hogget" are uncommon in the United States. The term "mutton" is applied to goat meat in most of these countries, and the goat population has been rising. For example, mutton-curry is always made from goat meat. It is estimated that over one-third of the goat population is slaughtered every year and sold as mutton.
The husbanded sheep population in India and South Asian countries has been in decline for over 40 years and has survived at marginal levels in mountainous regions, based on wild-sheep breeds, and mainly for wool production. The meat of a lamb is taken from the animal between one month and one year old, with a carcase carcass in American English weight of between 5. This meat generally is more tender than that from older sheep and appears more often on tables in some Western countries. Hogget and mutton have a stronger flavour than lamb because they contain a higher concentration of species-characteristic fatty acids and are preferred by some.
Lamb is often sorted into three kinds of meat: The forequarter includes the neck, shoulder, front legs, and the ribs up to the shoulder blade. The hindquarter includes the rear legs and hip. The loin includes the ribs between the two.
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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 chops are usually grilled.
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Breast of lamb baby chops can be cooked in an oven. Leg of lamb is a whole leg; saddle of lamb is the two loins with the hip. Leg and saddle are usually roasted , though the leg is sometimes boiled. Forequarter meat of sheep, as of other mammals, includes more connective tissue than some other cuts , and, if not from a young lamb, is best cooked slowly using either a moist method, such as braising or stewing , or by slow roasting or American barbecuing. It is, in some countries, sold already chopped or diced. Mutton barbeque is a tradition in Western Kentucky.
The area was strong in the wool trade, which gave them plenty of older sheep that needed to be put to use. Thin strips of fatty mutton can be cut into a substitute for bacon called macon. Lamb tongue is popular in Middle Eastern cuisine both as a cold cut and in preparations like stews.
Approximate zones of the usual UK cuts of lamb: Among EU nations, Greece is the per capita leader in consumption at The table below gives a sample of producing nations, but many other significant producers in the KT range are not given. Meat from sheep features prominently in several cuisines of the Mediterranean , for example in Greece , where it is an integral component of many meals, including religious feasts such as Easter see avgolemono , magiritsa ; Turkey , in North Africa , the Middle East , in Jordan , Pakistan and Afghanistan ; in the Basque culture, both in the Basque country of Europe and in the shepherding areas of the Western United States.
In Northern Europe , mutton and lamb feature in many traditional dishes, including those of Iceland and of the United Kingdom , particularly in the western and northern uplands , Scotland and Wales. Mutton used to be an important part of Hungarian cuisine due to strong pastoral traditions but began to be increasingly looked down on with the spread of urbanisation. It is also very popular in Australia. Lamb and mutton are very popular in Central Asia and in certain parts of China , where other red meats may be eschewed for religious or economic reasons. Barbecued mutton is also a specialty in some areas of the United States chiefly Owensboro, Kentucky and Canada.
In Australia , the leg of lamb roast is considered to be the national dish. Typical preparation involves covering the leg of lamb with butter and rosemary sprigs pushed inside incisions cut in the leg, and rosemary leaves sprinkled on top. In Indonesia , lamb is popularly served as lamb satay  and lamb curry. Organic lamb, and lamb from rare breeds, is the most expensive, as the highest farming standards should have been adhered to at all stages of the animal's life.
The length of time that a lamb has been hung for will also determine how flavoursome and tender it is, about 8 days is best. Read more about animal welfare in general at Sustain , the alliance for better food and farming. Many different cuts of lamb are available - which you buy depends on how you want to cook it.
For roasts, the best cuts include leg, breast, best end of neck also known as rack of lamb , shoulder, saddle, rump and loin. For quick cooking, choose fillet, chump chops, loin chops, leg steaks, best end cutlets and butterflied leg. For slow cooking, leg, shoulder, shank, neck and chump chops are among the best options. Lamb is also available minced good for pies and burgers and you can also buy lamb offal mainly the kidneys and liver but also, less commonly, the heart and the sweetbreads , which is quick to cook, cheap and nutritious.
When choosing any cut of lamb, look for firm, fine-grained meat with a velvety texture; it should be moist, rather than dry or slimy. Any fat on the outside of the lamb should be white fat that is yellow might well be rancid. Properly hung lamb should have a deep red, rather than bright red colour, although very young lamb will be paler than older lamb.
If desired, certain cuts of lamb can be marinaded, to add flavour and moisture and to tenderise a little further. Before it goes in the oven, lamb should be at room temperature, so take it out of the fridge minutes before cooking. Keep it covered, in a cool place. Unless the lamb is vacuum-packed, take off the packaging or wrapping making a note of any use-by dates beforehand and put the lamb at the bottom of the fridge on a dish that is large enough to contain any drips vacuum-packed lamb should be kept in its packaging.
Make sure the lamb doesn't touch any cooked foods or anything that will be eaten raw. Any cuts that are bought loose will keep for up to days. Larger cuts for roasting will keep up to 5 days.
Minced lamb or lamb offal should be eaten within a day of purchase. For vacuum-packed meat, follow the use-by date on the packaging. Cuisines American Chinese Greek Mexican see more