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Lamb & Mutton Week: Week 12 of BigBarn’s food and drink weeks

Spring is definitely in the air! The mild weather has already heralded the arrival of all the daffodils, cherry blossom and magnolia. With lots of sheep and lambs now out in the fields we celebrate spring and what a delicious, and easy, meal, lamb makes!

With 30% of our lamb being exported, buying British lamb not only means you are supporting British farmers but you are also buying a local, high welfare, low carbon foot print product. But you don’t just have to buy lamb, mutton is also an excellent product that many people say tastes better.

Here is food hero Joanna Blythman on the difference between Lamb and Mutton.

mrs-jane-kallaway-and-lambs-one“People who think they know what lamb is all about may do a double take when they first eat hogget and mutton (that’s meat from sheep aged more than one and two years, respectively).”

These traditional meats offer all the reliable taste we expect from lamb, only more so. Most modern lamb comes from sheep four to six months old. But if the animal is given more time to range freely, all the while chomping away on tussocky bracken, heather, herbs and clovers, its meat develops an infinitely more interesting, fuller flavour that is delightful. The grain of the meat becomes finer too – even more pleasing to the tongue.

At this time of year, why buy anaemic and overpriced “spring” lamb from sheep fattened up indoors on compound feeds, or imported long-haul from the southern hemisphere, when hogget and mutton, patiently reared in the UK, is on offer?

Why is it good for me?

Joanna's brilliant book

Joanna’s brilliant book

The high-quality protein in hogget and mutton sates the appetite and repairs and maintains our bodies. These meats have every essential amino acid we need, along with high levels of valuable micronutrients, including easily absorbed iron to energise us, zinc to support the immune system, and B vitamins to help us think straight. Since sheep graze on green pastures, the fat in their meat is an excellent source of conjugated linoleic acid, which is heart-healthy and helps protect us against cancer.

To discover some fantastic lamb & Mutton producers online try our MarketPlace . Or search our local food map for a farm shop or deli in your area selling high quality meat where you can ask about how it was reared..

Or, if you have your own favourite lamb or mutton recipe, why not share it with us? For the chance to win a prize, please video your recipe and add it to KIS (Keep it Simple) Cookery. Please have a look at existing videos here and try and keep your video less than 2 minutes long.

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