Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Sheep Know thy Lamb,Hogget or Mutton

Sheep Know thy Lamb,Hogget or Mutton

Lamb ; up to one year old
Hogget ; meat from sheep aged more than one year
Mutton ; two years and older
These traditional meats offer all the reliable taste we expect from lamb, only more so.

Most 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
The grain of the meat becomes finer too – even more pleasing to the tongue.

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?
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

Pure bred native Shetland sheep (my personal favourite and Fernhill Farm - Event Venue/Eco-Accommodation/Camping)
are smaller and hardier than many other sheep varieties.
They have evolved to withstand and thrive in the often harsh Shetland climate. They may be half the size as other lamb but the distinct flavour of its naturally lean, succulent meat make Shetland lamb well sought after for the lamb connoisseur.

Shetland sheep are one of the smallest British breeds.
The face, nose and legs are free of wool with ears being small and erect.
The legs are of medium length and are finely boned.
A distinguishing feature of northern short-tailed sheep is the short, fluke-shaped tail which is broad at the base, tapering to a point and covered towards the tip in hair, not wool.
Shetlands occur in many different colours and patterns, most of which have particular names.

The breed produces naturally lean meat as the animals forage over large areas. Shetland lamb has a sweet flavour and is very tender.
The texture and flavour of Shetland lamb is distinctive due to the topography, geology and climate of the Shetland Islands.

The best flavour comes from animals that exclusively graze Shetland’s natural plants and grasses. Native Shetland lamb is mainly available in the autumn.

What is my history?
Originally, the title ‘Native Shetland Lamb’ was coined to differentiate pure-bred from cross-bred Shetland lambs in the Islands’ butcher shops.

Now that Native Shetland Lamb is more widely available the name is also used to clarify the origin of the meat in a number of countries where flocks of pure bred Shetland sheep can be found.

Meat was traditionally a cold weather feast in Shetland as the older sheep would be slaughtered and prepared for the winter months.

Due to the distinctiveness created by the terroir of Shetland Lamb, PDO status was awarded to both pure-bred lambs and the bigger cross-bred lambs derived from the Shetland breed.

Why am I forgotten?
The pure Shetland lamb breed is almost half the size of commercial lambs and consequently the number of producers on Shetland who are breeding pure Shetland sheep has been in decline for a number of years.

Shetland's hardiness; thriving in our increasingly frequent poor summers.

A good example of farming Shetland sheep can be found on the Mendips,Somersetshire on Fernhill Farm - Event Venue/Eco-Accommodation/Camping were they have 600 plus dondering around the fields
#Sheep #Lamp #Shetland

Don’t lose me… cook me!

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