All you need to know about lamb … our guide
We Aussies sure do love our lamb. It’s a national staple and for good reason; lamb is a tasty and versatile meat. There’s a huge variety of lamb cuts available so we’ve put together this handy guide to the different cuts so that you can choose with confidence.
Neck cuts are ideal for low and slow cooking. They have a rich flavour and when cooked correctly will yield melt-in-your mouth tender meat.
The shoulder cuts are best cooked with slow, moist cooking methods to develop their flavour and make them tender. Lamb shoulder can be purchased either as bone-in or boneless. Bone-in shoulder is delicious when slow roasted. Forequarter chops are another popular cut from the forequarter and they are the largest lamb chops available.
The rack contains ribs, backbone and the rib eye muscle. Lamb racks are perfect for roasting, and lamb cutlets which also come from this section are best pan-fried or grilled at a high temperature.
Lamb ribs come from either the belly or the breast and feature a portion of rib bone. They are best cooked low and slow.
The short loin is home to lamb loin chops, boned and rolled loin roast and eye of loin. These cuts are best cooked with high heat, roasted or grilled. Lamb loin chops are tender and great on the barbecue, while a boned and rolled loin roast and eye of loin both are great roasted.
The tenderloin can be roasted whole or cut into medallions. The area that the tenderloin comes from does very little work resulting in a very tender cut. It is best cooked quickly to retain juiciness.
The top sirloin, also known as the chump is cut into different cuts including roasts, steaks and chops. Chump chops are left on the bone and are bigger than loin chops. Cook them on the barbecue or pan-fry for the best results. Lamb rump is known for its flavour and tender texture and is ideal for roasting.
Everyone knows how great a roasted leg of lamb is and it can be cut down to create smaller roasts, steaks and chops. Bone-in legs of lamb usually have a thin layer of fat that keeps it moist and juicy during cooking. Easy-carve lamb legs are from the hindquarter and have the bone removed and the shank trimmed. Sear in a hot pan before putting in the oven to finish cooking. Butterflied legs cook more quickly than a full leg and are great on the barbecue. Lamb mini-roasts are perfect for when you only have a couple of people to feed. It is a lean cut so it is important not to over-cook it.
The shank is the area above the knee and below the leg. Lamb shanks are delicious when slow cooked in liquid to develop the flavour and achieve that melt-in-your mouth tenderness.