Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Jun 1, 2010 03:11 AM

save me....butcher/lamb question

so.....bought some butterflied leg of lamb for 9 bucks a pound this weekend. made my fave grilled and marinated lamb recipe. the issue is this: when i "trimmed the leg of excess fat and sinew" according to the directions, i ended up with HALF fat and HALF meat. 3ish lb. leg of lamb became 1.5lbs of lamb. and that's 13.5 bucks i paid for FAT!!!! just curious if that is normal....i saved all the fat in a ziploc to show my butcher, but before i make an ass of myself, i thought i would see if that fat to meat ratio is to be expected of leg of lamb. thnaks!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Thats a lot of fat for a butterflied leg of lamb. I don't know if there is a ratio but half seems a bit much.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Infomaniac

      Yes, that is quite a bit of fat, more than normal. I'd "mention" it to your butcher, in a nice way, of course. Maybe not bring the fat with you, but save it in case the discussion with the butcher goes anywhere. As a butterflied leg of lamb, it should have been trimmed up to some extent. A bone-in leg can have a an inch or thicker fat cap on it but I like to think a butterflied leg will be trimmed and ready to grill.

    2. To some extent, it sounds like you over-trimmed. I never get that much fat from a leg of lamb. But then again, I have no problem leaving some there for the flavor and the juices - otherwise, the meat will end up dry even when cooked rare to medium. The fat bastes the meat while cooking.

      At least, that's what your butcher will say!

      1. Well, assuming that $9 is the going price in your area and that you were not overly aggressive with the knife, yes, you were gipped by your butcher.
        Also, what you describe sounds wrong. When I worked at a meat counter, when a customer wanted a leg of lamb butterflied, it was assumed that it was also to be trimmed of fat and sinew, and that nasty scent gland was to be found and removed. I have seen a few of these things, but beats me how on earth you ended up with so much fat. Are you sure it was lamb and also the leg?
        Any event, it sounds like time to find a new place buy meat.

        1 Reply
        1. re: jerry i h

          Hi Jerry,
          Were you ever able to find Emil Villa's Original BBQ receipe?
          I was raised in WC and my parents took me there all the time. Went to Del Valle and have had a real "taste" for their sauce.

        2. The cheapie cryovac whole legs I buy for about $3.50 at the restaurant supply yield half waste when trimmed up (minus the bone, mind you; including the bone it's more than half). However, a dressed (butterflied) lamb leg from a butcher at $9 a pound shouldn't have had nearly the waste you experienced.

          Do use caution in trimming, because, as another poster said, you need that layer of fat for a juicy, flavorful lamb leg on the grill.

          1. Did you trim *every* drop of fat? You just want to trim the huge chunks. Fat is tasty, leave on the small bits. Sounds to me like you grossly over-trimmed.

            Alternatively, your lamb was fed entirely on French fries and doughnuts...