How to Cook Different Cuts of Lamb


Looking to serve up some lamb? Why not? Lamb is a healthy choice of meat, being lower in fat than other red meats. It’s best to know about the various lamb cuts in order to know which cut to use for different recipes and cooking methods.

There are five primary cuts of lamb – shoulder, foreshank/breast, rib, loin/flank, and leg. You should also become familiar with the following terms – dry heat (roasting, broiling and sautéing) and moist heat (braising, steaming or poaching).

Shoulder is one of the tougher lamb cuts because it is a highly muscular area, however this also means that the shoulder is full of flavour. For this reason moist heat is the best cooking method, allowing the shoulder to soften and become more flavoursome.

Although they vary slightly, foreshanks and breasts can be classified under the same cuts of lamb. Foreshanks are the front legs and are the leanest cut. We find moist heat methods such as braising the best way to heighten their flavour. Similarly, the breasts are already very tender and can become even more so when they are braised or poached.

Ribs are probably the most expensive cuts of lamb, and dry heat methods such as grilling are the best way to cook them.

Loin is located from the back to the hip of the lamb and is very lean and tender. Dry heat methods, in particular grilling, are the most common way of cooking loins, however making kebabs is also popular. Flank is also included in this cut of lamb, but is located near the stomach making it much tougher. This section works well for cooking burgers on the grill.

Leg is an extremely tender cut of lamb and can be divided into many sub cuts. Dry heat is the best way to cook most of these cuts.

So there you have it. With this knowledge, it’s easy to know which cooking methods to use for the various lamb cuts. Now it’s time to get cooking!

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