A Serenade To Lamb
From how to cook it, to the best recipes to choose, join us in serenading lamb, a meat that’s perfect for any season. Whether you have your favourite way to cook it and are looking to up your game, or are simply after inspiration, we’ve got everything you need to create your best lamb dish yet.
Explore our full range of delicious lamb recipes here or read on for our 101 guide on how to cook with lamb.
What is lamb?
Lamb is from a young sheep that is less than 1 year old, so is naturally tender and has less fat. The meat from a fully grown sheep is called mutton and can be tougher with a more gamey flavour.
How to cook cuts of lamb
When cooking with any meat, it’s important to know what the different cuts are and how to approach cooking them in the kitchen. The amount of fat on a cut of meat, for example, can dramatically alter which recipe you choose and which ingredients you pair it with, as well as cooking times.
Often underrated, lamb neck is a tough cut that requires cooking slowly but the results are certainly worth it. It can be great slow-roasted or in a lamb stew such as this one with pickled cabbage.
Perfect for a lamb stew or for slow-roasting, this is a cut that’s full of flavour. It’s great cooked until it’s falling off the bone. This recipe with lemon, garlic and rosemary makes a dreamy Sunday lunch.
One of the fattier cuts of lamb, the breast needs to be cooked slowly so that the fat melts, which concentrates flavour. It’s also one of the less expensive cuts of lamb.
A less expensive cut from the lower end of the lamb leg, this is another option that’s great for slow-roasting or braising on the bone for lots of flavour. You can also ramp-up the taste by adding ingredients such as chorizo in this hearty recipe. It’s also a good choice for curries.
Loin or Tenderloin
A prized cut of lamb, the loin is from just behind the ribs. It’s tender and needs careful attention when cooking. Grilling or pan-searing works well for this cut. Or try it paired with quinoa and peas in this wonderfully light recipe.
The ultimate lamb cut for a Sunday roast. A large, tender cut, it’s fantastic cooked as one piece for the whole family to share. This is one of the leanest cuts of lamb so take care not to overcook. It’s great in this Greek-style slow roasted recipe with tomatoes, lemons and kalamata olives.
The end of a leg of lamb, top sirloin is a cut that’s ideal gently fried, grilled or roasted with your favourite herbs such as rosemary or thyme. Tender and juicy with just the right amount of fat, lamb sirloin is also a wonderful alternative to beef for a steak.
Taken from between the leg and rack, this is a cut that’s tender as well as versatile. It’s also a great one for grilling and roasting at high heats.
The ribs, also known as a lamb rack, chop or cutlets, are one of the most flavourful cuts of lamb. Fatty enough for slow cooking, they make perfect lamb chops and are also great on a barbecue. This recipe with red pesto and cucumber salad lifts lamb chops to new heights.
What pairs with lamb?
Herbs and spices
Rosemary and lamb is a classic combination as this is a herb that complements the flavours of the meat perfectly. Thyme can also be a great choice as it’s aromatic but still subtle enough to not be overwhelming. Or for something refreshing, try a mint sauce or jelly made with fresh mint or redcurrants. Fresh mint added to yoghurt is also a great addition as a dipping sauce if you’re making lamb kebabs. If you’re making a curry, make sure to pick a recipe that’s suitable for lamb so that the spices work in harmony with the lamb rather than masking the meat’s flavour such as this lamb biryani.
Whether it’s for cooking with or for drinking, red wine is your number one choice when it comes to lamb. Think of it this way: the lighter the meat, the lighter the style of wine you should go for. And vice versa. So just as you would pick a white wine or refreshing pinot noir for chicken, you can pick a wine with a little more power and spiciness when it comes to lamb. A bordeaux, a chianti or a rioja are all great choices to pair with this delicious meat. For the white wine fans, pick an oaked chardonnay for roast or grilled lamb. Or for a spicy lamb curry, try an off-dry riesling or a gewürztraminer.
How to cook lamb shoulder
|Cut||Oven||Fan Oven||Gas Mark||Time per 500g|
|Whole/half/ boneless shoulder||170||150||3||40 minutes per 500g + 40 minutes|
|Part-boned shoulder||180||160||4||60 minutes per 500g + plus 30 minutes|
How do you tell if lamb is cooked?
It’s best to opt for a cooking thermometer, also called a meat thermometer, and try pressing the lamb with your fingers. For smaller cuts of lamb, generally the softer it is then the rarer the meat will be, whereas firmer to the touch will be more well-done. For larger cuts of lamb, once you’ve cut into the meat, always make sure it’s only slightly pink, and never red. For diced or minced lamb, you should never eat it pink as this can have harmful bacteria on the surface, so always make sure this is browned and cooked through. For slow-cooked lamb, such as lamb shank, the meat should be cooked through until it is falling off the bone.
How long should you rest lamb for?
Resting is important with lamb as it allows the juices to redistribute and settle throughout the meat. After taking the lamb out of the oven, cover with foil and rest for half the cooking time – up to 30 minutes – at room temperature before carving with a sharp knife to make sure you don’t lose any flavour.
Our favourite lamb recipes
A dish that’s full of flavour and a wonderful choice all year round, pickled cabbage brings a tangy element to this dish.
Slow-cooked Greek lamb
Roast lamb, Greek-style. Bursting with the fresh flavours of tomatoes, lemons, olives and rosemary, it’s a fantastic alternative to your classic Sunday roast. Delicious with roast potatoes.
Harissa Lamb Leg
Full of delicious Middle Eastern flavours, this is a dish the whole family is sure to love, so exactly how much leg of lamb per person is up to you!
Join the flock and head on over to our meat aisle for a range of fantastic lamb cuts that are perfect for creating recipes you’ll love making again and again.