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Oct 31, 2012 08:45 PM

sheep meat ??

I see lamb meat in recipes but never sheep meat.
Can you tell me why?
The visual of that cute little thing being killed prevents me from eating lamb meat.
Yes. Yes, I'm sure lamb meat is wonderful and people love it and it's indepensible in
many recipes.
Something must be done with old sheep after they're done shearing them for wool.
I'm sure they must used sheep meat for something since nothing should go to waste.

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  1. Sheep meat is usually labeled "mutton". The main reason you don't see it called for is because it has a... let's call it "distinctive" flavor. Rather gamey, very much an acquired taste. You may wish to poke around local Middle Eastern restaurants for it, I think they'd be your best bet to try it.

    1. If you are thinking of trying it I'd only buy a very small amount of the most expensive cut first. If you can't stomach that you'll never be able to deal with the cheaper cuts.

      1. LOL lamb are sheep. Mutton is also sheep.

        7 Replies
        1. re: rasputina

          I doubt you've ever eaten a sheep that's about two years old or more. I doubt you'd care to. HUGE difference between 'spring lamb' and an old ewe. HUGE! Yeah and a two month old Cornish X is a chicken and so is a White leghorn. LOL Try them each in the roasting pan.

          1. re: Puffin3

            By the by, last week I ate a casserole of hen, not chicken. Absolutely delicious with the dark meat being really, really dark. A revelation - we need to prize eating these older animals much more than we do.

            1. re: Harters

              indeed -- I bought a coq to make coq au vin a couple of weeks ago -- took longer to cook than with a "regular" bird, but oh, it was sooo tasty.

              I still don't like mutton, though.

              1. re: Harters

                Harters, where did you find it for cooking?
                lSomehow restaurants find ingredients commoners like me find difficult to find.

                1. re: sylvan

                  Ah, sorry, sylvan, for not explaining fully. The hen dish was in a restaurant in Madrid. I can't recall coming across one in recent years for sale in the UK.

              2. re: Puffin3

                I like buffalo, venison and grass fed beef so how much difference could mutton be. The last 2 times I have had lamb I was very disappointed because it might as well have been pork because it was utterly tasteless.

                I grew up eating chickens that has lived a life of bugs, worms and other insects and whose diet had only been supplemented by grain when there wasn't enough food outside so modern cage raised birds are completely tasteless to me. I seldom eat anything but thighs because its the only part of the bird with any flavor at all.

                1. re: Kelli2006

                  How different? VERY. I eat buffalo, venison, grass-fed beef, duck, goose, and goat -- and won't eat mutton. It is *very* strongly flavored.

            2. you might want to read this Wikipedia article:

              In New Zealand they also distinguish between Hogget which is an older Lamb.

              Mutton has really fallen out of favour in most westernised countries but does seem to be making a comeback with the resurgence of interest in more "challenging" meats like offal. I've noticed there are a few butchers in London these days that stock Mutton regularly.

              2 Replies
              1. re: echoclerk

                We also distinguish hogget in the UK, although you rarely see it. It's defined as meat from an animal 1 - 2 years old (younger it's lamb; older it's mutton). Mutton is regaining its popularlity and I can usually find it in farmers markets or from online farms (such as Mansergh Hall which sells three year old products -

                I usually have little time for our royal family but the Prince of Wales has done a lot to promote mutton, founding the Mutton Renaissance Campaign -

                1. re: Harters

                  One of my retirement projects is going to be raising a few sheep and/or goats.

                  I have read that hair sheep have a milder flavor than regular wooly sheep and I'm hoping that they will be nice and flavorful between the ages of 1 and 2. They will have the added advantage for me of not needing to be sheared.

              2. You do know that the sheep are not butchered for their wool, right? It's shaved off in the spring (somewhat like getting a haircut) and it grows back in time to keep them warm over the next winter....