With the holiday season at an end, it can be easy to fall into a bit of a rut while we wait for Spring to come. But while we may be in the depths of winter right now, there is something glorious on the horizon to look forward to, and that something is LAMB.
Sheep were among the first animals to be domesticated by humans and have been a source of food, clothing, and shelter for thousands of years. Milk, mutton, and lamb provided nourishment. Wool provided clothing and currency for trading. And skins provided warm shelter and safety from the elements.
Along with the domestication of sheep came the need for a shepherd. Large flocks of sheep needed to be rotated amongst different pastures and protected from predators. This was too much of a hardship for the average farmer to manage in addition to all their other duties, so shepherding, one of the world’s oldest occupations, was born. In some societies (or for smaller flocks), each family would designate a family member as shepherd. This person was often a child or teenager.
This tradition continues today through organizations such as 4-H, and the Southeastern Youth Fair in Ocala, Florida showcases this through their Lamb Project. Local 4-H kids have the opportunity to enter their market lamb into competition, demonstrating the care and skill with which they’ve raised their lamb to the judges. Unlike larger livestock projects that require additional adult supervision and guidance, these future farmers are able to completely manage the project themselves. It’s a wonderful demonstration of their skills and dedication. If you’re interested in seeing this for yourself, this year’s fair and competition will be held February 15-23.
We’ll definitely be there! Pasture Prime is committed to providing you with the highest quality, sustainably-sourced, locally grown food. Our lamb is no exception. 4-H Club kids raise all of the lambs we purchase, making sure they are well-fed, groomed, and exercised until they are sold. Not only do we get to purchase a lamb that we know has been ethically raised, but we are also able to support and encourage these kids’ efforts to learn by doing. They are gaining valuable hands-on experience, being provided with youth leadership opportunities, and will be a part of the next generation of agricultural innovators. We love everything about this.
Once the lambs are purchased by Pasture Prime, they are processed locally and can be cut and prepared to your exact specifications. We offer both half and whole lamb options, so you’ll end up with a beautiful variety of cuts. Lambs must be ordered in advance (by the end of February, which will be here quicker than you think!), so click here to reserve yours now.
Not sure what cuts you should request? Here’s a quick list of possibilities, but feel free to contact us with any questions! We’re happy to help you figure out how to enjoy your lamb to the fullest!
Okay, let’s do this by sections:
- Rack of lamb is both impressive and delicious, and surprisingly easy to prepare at home. Check out this video to learn how. Consider a trimmed rack, a crown of lamb, or a guard of honor for this cut.
- Lamb spareribs are a delicious alternative to pork, and you can roast them, grill them, or toss them in your slow cooker.
- Loin chops are usually 3-4 ounces and are a lean and tender choice. This is the option you probably see most commonly in the supermarket.
- Tenderloin (also known as lamb filet—like filet mignon, but with lamb instead of beef) is incredibly tender. Great for a special occasion!
- One option here is to go for the whole leg. This makes a great roast! You can request this either bone-in or boneless, and bone-in makes for a beautiful table presentation if you’re thinking ahead to the Easter holiday menu.
- Sirloin chops also come from the leg region, which means they tend to be a larger chop option and there’s a small crosscut section of leg bone within each one.
- Lamb shanks are the lower part of either the fore or hind leg and are perfect for slow cooking.
- Kebabs are another great option for leg meat.
- Our shoulders work hard and a sheep’s shoulders are no exception! A lamb shoulder can really benefit from long, slow cooking to tenderize the meat and bring out its flavor.
- That doesn’t mean slow cooking is your only option, though! Shoulder chops (these can also be referred to as arm or blade chops) require less cooking time than other cuts. Overall, the best flavor from the shoulder will come from being cooked on the bone so you’re good either way!
We’re so excited to bring you market lambs again this year. These lambs are of the highest quality and have been cared for by the kids who will be our country’s future farmers. Reserve your lamb today —your meals will be seasoned with the satisfaction of knowing you are eating both ethically and sustainably, as well as supporting youth development in agriculture. And what could be sweeter tasting than that?