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Lamb and Hogget from Llandinabo Farm Shop Butchers

     

 

LSpiced Lamb Grafton (jpg, 7.5k)amb from Britain’s rare breeds kept on grass and matured at their own pace is truly something to savour. But the breeds vary in flavour and texture in much the same way as different varieties of wine or cheese do. Tender and flavoursome, you will enjoy trying the meat from different breeds as it becomes available at different times of the year. Watch out too for our Hogget Lamb, mainly from rare Primitive breeds, a different experience again.

Meat from the following breeds is generally available between June and February although this may vary due to seasonal and meteorological circumstances.

Meat from different breeds varies as do the eating qualities of different varieties of apples or potatoes. Here are some notes on the breeds we offer from time to time. We've also prepared a guide to the different cuts available: click here.

Black Welsh Mountain
No longer considered a rare breed, this is one of a few breeds that made lamb from the Welsh hills such a famous gastronomic experience.

Cotswolds (jpg, 10.9k)Cotswold
Claimed to be descended from sheep introduced by the Romans, the Cotswold is a large framed, longwool breed producing high quality, sweet lamb.

Dorset Down
This breed is renowned for its ability to produce early lambs and the meat is tender and succulent with a delicate flavour.

Galway
Originally from Ireland, the Galway is quite large and produces good quality, succulent lamb from grass.

Greyface Dartmoor (jpg, 8.7k)Greyface Dartmoor
A west country breed which can thrive on poor grazing. Developed primarily for wool for the carpet industry, it produces high quality meat with the ability to have larger joints for family and catering needs.

Hill Radnor
A breed from mid-Wales with a tan coloured face indicating ancient lineage. Lamb from the Hill Radnor is well flavoured and tender and worth looking out for.

Jacob
No longer considered a rare breed, Jacobs with their distinctive ‘coat of many colours’, produce sweet, rich meat.

Kerry Hill
A strikingly marked black and white sheep from Wales, the Kerry Hill produces high quality lean meat which is widely sought after.

Leicester Longwool
A large, polled breed developed primarily for wool production. The meat is well-flavoured and marbled with fine eating qualities.

Lincoln Longwool
Another large wool producer, meat from the Lincoln is robust and succulent.

Llanwenog
A breed from south-west Wales providing a good quality carcase of well-flavoured meat.

Norfolk Horn
Originally developed for the brecklands of East Anglia, the Norfolk Horn can prosper on poor grazing. They produce a lean carcase of darker meat which is well flavoured and succulent.

Oxford Down
A larger framed breed from Oxfordshire, developed from crossing the Cotswold breed with Hampshire sheep, the Oxford Down produces sweet, succulent meat.

Portland
Originating in Dorset, the Portland is an old breed producing some of the very finest meat available. Sweet, succulent and tender with good flavour, Portland is well worth looking out for.

Ryeland
The Ryeland is a small breed from the rolling hills of Herefordshire. Once it was famed for its fine wool but with selective breeding it has evolved into a down-like breed producing fine quality meat with smaller-sized joints.

Shropshire
A down breed well suited to the harsher climate along the Welsh borders, the Shropshire matures early to produce good quality, lean lamb.

Southdown
Once, one of the most popular British breeds developed on the Sussex Downs for the London market, changing fashions saw its decline to rare breed status. The Southdown produces top quality meat which is sweet and succulent.
“Our saddles of lamb are all Southdown and have been for many years. Our customers demand only the best” – Brian Clivaz, MD, Simpson’s-in-the-Strand, London

Teeswater
A large-framed breed from north east England producing large joints which are juicy and well flavoured.

Wensleydale
A famous breed from the North Yorkshire Dales, the Wensleydale produces high quality, succulent lamb.

Whiteface Dartmoor
From the moors of Devon, this breed produces well flavoured, sweet lamb from natural herbage.

Whitefaced Woodland
The alternative name, the Penistone, gives a clue to their origin in the area where the borders of Yorkshire, Lancashire and Derbyshire meet. Originally popular for mutton they now produce good quality lean lamb with medium to large joints.

Wiltshire Horn
A Down breed best known for the fact that it does not grow wool and thus does not need shearing. The carcase quality is good with lean meat which is well flavoured and very popular.

Hogget Lamb

Some of Britian’s rarest breeds are sheep which mature very slowly on poor pasture. Most of these are termed ‘Primitive’ breeds which are small in size, usually brown or black on colour and often with large or unusal horns. Because of their slow development, they are not usually ready for the table in the same year as they are born but in the following year which makes them ‘hoggets’. This is very different from mutton which was traditionally meat from animals of at least two or three years old.

Primitive lamb is quite different from other lamb in its texture and struture. The meat is very lean and dense, almost more like venison in appearance than lamb. The bones are fine but very, very hard. Studies at the Scottish Agricultural College have shown that the meat is low in saturated fats which have been associated with rasied levels of cholestrol in our bodies. Such meat needs longer cooking in a slightly cooler oven. Primitive lamb is flavoursome and delicious and well worth trying for a special occasion.

Meat from different breeds varies as do the eating qualities of different varieties of apples or potatoes. Here are some notes on the breeds we offer from time to time.

Balwen
A Welsh mountain breed which is quite small in size. The meat is lean and tender with good flavour.

Boreray
One of our rarest breeds from the distant St Kilda Islands. One of the larger Primitive breeds, the meat is dark, lean and full flavoured.

Castlemilk Moorit
One of the Primitive breeds from the Borders region of Scotland. Small in stature, select a leg or a shoulder for a family joint of rich, dark meat.

Hebridean
One of the larger Primitive breeds originating in the Western Isles, Hebridean sheep are now found throughout Britain. A good flavoured lean meat with the qualities expected in a lamb of this type. Ideal for a special meal.

Manx Loghtan (jpg, 9.2k)Manx Loghtan
A Primitive breed from the Isle of Man, this breed is justly renowned for the quality of its meat which is lean and well-flavoured.

North Ronaldsay
From the Orkney Islands this small Primitive breed is unique in eating seaweed from the foreshore as its preferred diet. North Ronaldsay (jpg, 10.7k)There are now small numbers eating herbage on mainland Britian so you may find this well-flavoured meat on offer occasionally.

Shetland
The Shetland is the link between Primitive and more conventional breeds and whilst lean and quite densely textured, the meat is not as dark and fully flavoured as the other Primitive breeds.

Soay
A small bodied, Primitive breed, the Soay provides delicious, full-flavoured meat. Try boned and rolled shoulder stuffed with a fruit-based stuffing such as apricot.

For something quite different, watch out for smoked lamb from some of these breeds. A Scandinavian speciality, light smoking adds piquancy and flavour.

 

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