Winter and spring are the ideal seasons for grilled or smoked lamb. This delightfully rich meat is fantastic at any time of year, but winter has long been the traditional season for lamb. And Australia is the home of lamb. We always tell our travellers when they visit Australia or New Zealand that they need to try a delicious cut of Aussie Lamb. So you’re off to the butcher store to acquire some meat to cook, but what cuts of lamb should you get? What are the finest cuts of lamb?
There are several lamb cuts available, all of which may be quite tasty when cooked properly. Each cut has its own set of peculiarities and qualities. Some are best grilled, while others may be smoked low and slow for a flavourful finish. To genuinely extend your outdoor cooking skills and grill lamb flawlessly, you must first learn the many sorts of lamb chops.
In this post, we’ll go through the various cuts of lamb and what to look for when purchasing lamb. Consider the following:
Lamb Cuts Available in Australia
There are several different lamb chops available, as seen below. Depending on how much the muscle from which they are sliced is massaged, they will have varying degrees of leanness or marbling, softness, flavour, and so forth. This also influences the ideal cooking procedure for each cut.
Here are nine of the most popular lamb cuts:
The shoulder is one of the largest cuts of lamb (and one of the five lamb primal cuts), and it originates from the top of the front legs. The meat from the shoulder is especially lean since it is a muscle that is often exercised more than in other areas. It does, however, contain some nice marbling and is really tasty.
Because the shoulder takes time to tenderise, it is ideal for smoking and slow-roasting. Cooking lamb shoulder on the bone maximises the flavour and softness of the meat, allowing you to simply pick apart the flesh with a fork when it’s done.
Lamb chops are available in a variety of forms and sizes, depending on the section of the lamb from which they are sliced. A shoulder chop is one example. A shoulder chop (also known as an arm chop or a blade chop) is a smaller cross-section cut from the bigger shoulder cut discussed above.
Shoulder chops require less cooking time than other lamb cuts, making them an excellent choice for a quick, easy, and tasty supper.
The leg will be the leanest cut of lamb. The legs, like the shoulders, have hard-working muscles that give this cut a great, robust flavour. A bone-in leg of lamb is another huge cut compared to other sorts, generally weighing 7-8 pounds, and is perfect for any special occasion or holiday get-together not just because of its wonderful presentation but also because it feeds a lot.
This is another cut that is excellent for low-roasting and smoking whole to achieve a lovely outside bark and a soft sensitive inside. Furthermore, the bone enhances the flavour of the meat.
When it comes to cookery, a BRT, or boneless leg roast, is one of the most flexible cuts of lamb. You may slow roast or smoke it whole, cut it into smaller pieces and grill it on kebabs, cut it into smaller roasts or individual chops for a two-zone grill setup, or even butterfly it and grill it.
Sirloin chops, another form of chop, are huge, meaty pieces cut from the leg of lamb. The crosscut chunk of round leg bone in the centre of the flesh clearly distinguishes them. When cooked properly, sirloin chops may be just as soft and tasty as the more costly rack and loin chops.
Lamb shanks are taken from the lower portion of the leg and are available in both hind and fore shanks. Lamb shanks are a popular menu item in many restaurants around the country, and when slow-cooked, they virtually slide off the bone. Another lean yet flavorful cut, the meaty lamb shank includes a significant level of collagen, making it ideal for cooking low and long or even gently braising in a boiling broth.
The rack is a symbol of fine dining menus across the country, cut from the top ribs, and is generally the most costly cut of lamb, with exceptionally soft and tasty flesh. The rack of lamb is made up of the first 8 ribs and weighs roughly 2 pounds in total.
Surprisingly simple to make at home, a rack will provide you with a restaurant-quality supper that is adaptable for entertaining. You may either slow roast the rack whole or cut it up into lamb chops (called cutlets) and grill them separately over high heat. Individual bone-in lamb chops are known colloquially as lamb lollipops.
A rack of lamb can come in two variations as well:
Frenched Rack: A few centimetres of meat have been removed from the end of the bones.
Crown Roast: Two frenched racks are tied together resembling a crown.
Loin chops, another favoured cut, are taken from the lamb’s waist and are lean, soft, and exquisitely aromatic. Because of their popularity, they are frequently one of the most easily accessible cuts at your local butcher shop and, in some cases, even at the grocery store.
Loin chops are typically 3 to 4 ounces in size and have a noticeable “T” shaped bone that runs through the top of the meat. They are simple to prepare and cook on the grill. As a result, they are sometimes referred to as T-bone chops. Marinating them for 4 to 6 hours before grilling can enhance the flavour and tenderness of the meat’s surface.
A small roast can also be made by keeping a few loin chops together in one piece.
The neck is an underappreciated cut of lamb that may be slow-cooked whole or broken into smaller bits for kebabs or stews. Slow roasting lamb neck brings out all of the meat’s flavours. While sprinkling smaller bits with salt, pepper, and paprika and cooking gently over indirect heat on your grill, you’ll have an easy and tasty supper.
Selecting Good Quality Lamb
When it comes to delicious lamb, the quality of the meat is equally as crucial as the sort of lamb chops you pick and the cooking technique you employ.
Good quality lamb may be found from your local butcher, smaller specialist food stores, or even top internet meat suppliers. To guarantee you acquire excellent lamb meat, there are a few things to check for and keep in mind. These are some examples:
- When possible, purchase free-range or organic.
- Seek out better welfare and care certifications, such as Certified Humane or RSPCA Approved.
- Purchase pale pink lamb meat with crimson streaks flowing through the bone and equally distributed silky white fat. (Keep in mind that marbling isn’t as important in lamb as it is in beef, so look for fat that’s evenly distributed.)
- American lamb, which is often grain-fed, has a milder flavour than pasture-raised and grass-fed lamb from New Zealand or Australia. If you’re unfamiliar to the flavour of lamb, start with Australian, but don’t be afraid to try lamb from more strong kinds.
Try Out Different Types Of Lamb Cuts Today
You should now have a better idea of what distinguishes different cuts of lamb and what to look for when purchasing the meat. Lamb is something that everyone should eat at least once because of its softness and powerful flavour. Combine it with your favourite stout or porter beer for a delectable taste combination. Experiment with different cuts of lamb on a two-zone grill to determine your favourites.
If you’re looking for some delicious lamb then you can’t go past Australian Lamb Co. With their premium lamb meat, Australian Lamb Co are the leaders in delicious Australian Lamb and provide cuts to all their various brands. You’ve probably heard of Sovereign Lamb, the delicious five star lamb that’s from the Goldfields region of Victoria, Australia. Well they are actually a Australian Lamb Co brand. So when you’re looking for delicious cuts of lamb, make sure you check if it’s a Australian Lamb Co brand.