(Note to readership: large pictures of meat follow if this is likely to offend, please click elsewhere.)
Another big week for us. Last week we took our first big babies off to the abattoirs. This week I visited the butcher to ask them to cut up the lambs for me.
The butcher had collected my lambs from the abattoir on our behalf and it was time to make them into the cuts we wanted.
These first two lambs didn't hang for very long - ideally they would have hung for a few more days but being the week before Christmas the butcher's fridge was stuffed full of hams and turkeys!
It was great to watch the butchers at work and witness their skill with the blade. Thank you Joseph!
I would have taken more photos but I didn't want to disturb them at their work. I was delighted to see that the cuts I had chosen resulted in very little wastage.
On getting the lambs home I decided to take photos of some of the cuts, dressing them with home-grown garlic and rosemary.
I was really pleased with the cuts and also the colour and quality of the meat. I tried to assess it as if I were at the butchers shop selecting my own meat. "Would I buy this?", the answer was, "yes"! Especially the shanks - can't wait for shank-worthy cold weather...
We have already started sampling the cuts. I was worried that they may not be very tender given they had
not hung for long, but they were tender. A rack of lamb shared with The Lad was juicy and sweet as racks should be. It was especially delicious seeing the lamb accompanied by roasted roots from the garden (potatoes, French onions and garlic).
We tried the loin chops sprinkled with sumac and eaten with a watermelon and haloumi salad (my home-made haloumi too). It too was also delicious, sweet and tender. I didn't photograph the meals - my history with meal shots is pretty pathetic.
Lamb gifts have been given to friends for their Christmas cheer and we will be having a lamb-focused meal for our Christmas table. It seems the right fare for the feast.
Now that we have trialled the abattoirs, the butcher and the lamb, we are ready to go. Our next big challenge will be selling our lamb from paddock to plate - direct to lamb lovers in Sydney and Canberra (and points in between).
I wanted this post to document this last part of the journey of my lambs and to demonstrate our excitement at providing for ourselves. This post is not intended as a promotion to my blog readers. (But, if you'd like some lamb delivered to your door, get in touch or visit the farm website: http://www.highfieldfarmwoodland.com/). Take a look at the Produce menu.