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Weight of lamb neck?

Bada Bing Jul 1, 2013 09:44 AM

The 4-H/County Fair is back and that means I can ask my butcher to bring in some less common cuts--in this case, lamb.

This time, I'd like to try lamb neck. How much does a whole one typically weigh? I think I might get two, one to braise or roast whole, another the crosscut into osso bucco-type cuts.

In the past I've tried lamb breast--delicious, but very little meat there.

Any other suggested goodie, uncommon cuts?

  1. Bada Bing Jul 15, 2013 08:08 AM

    Got my lamb neck and can answer my own first questions: this one weighs 3.55 lbs.

    But having recently attended the county fair lamb auction (as spectator), it's clear that the lambs vary considerably in size--from 75lbs on the hoof to 160lbs or so.

    1. e
      emmee Jul 12, 2013 01:02 PM

      I've mentioned this before, but had to add this recipe to the lamb neck discussion:

      http://www.gourmet.com/recipes/advent...

      I find I don't have to cook it that long, I use water not stock, and I don't reduce the wine. It is delicious, with intense,meaty flavor and very little fat.

      1. o
        OElder Jul 12, 2013 06:31 AM

        Well I am so glad to see this. We raise sheep and often these cuts are so overlooked. Alot of folks avoid the neck because many farms/farmers give injections in the neck. Ask/know your farmer! We don't give injection in the neck and rarely give injections, things to watch out for :) We also always have the neck but we bring it to the market as neck steaks. There is quite a bit of meat. Long and slow with a bunch of garlic, yummo!

        6 Replies
        1. re: OElder
          Bada Bing Jul 12, 2013 08:36 AM

          The issue of injections never even crossed my mind. I'm not sure it will be possible for me to know the history of a particualr next in my market context. I do know that the supermarket chain went to the country fair and bought up ALL the carcasses at the general sale and was still there later buying some lambs at the 4-H Fair Auction (where people pay extra in support of kids learning to raise livestock).

          So, worst-case-scenrio: what gets injected in lamb necks, and what concerns might one have?

          I'm not a freak about organic production, but I try to know what I'm eating at all times and make my judgments about what's acceptable and what's not.

          1. re: Bada Bing
            o
            OElder Jul 12, 2013 09:12 AM

            Based on what I hear from you I wouldn't worry too much. The only reason I brought it up is because we have customers not buying neck for this reason. The only time we administer anything on our farm is if the animal is sick. When we do it's usually an antibiotic or something for inflammation or pain. I think the residuals of the meds would have long run their course by the time it reaches you. In fact, the USDA inspectors watch for this stuff.

            We don't give injections in the neck muscle, we do it SubQ (under the skin). Often you will see scar tissue if injected in the neck.

            The only full proof resolve is to seek out a farmer and ask the questions or at the very least be familiar with the source of your product and know their practices. Like, I would NEVER buy anything from Smithfield Farms. All that decision took was a quick look see at their practices.
            Enjoy your lamb! We have so many things to consider today with our food purchases. At least you know this wasn't a large commodity farm operation and it was local and I'll bet it will taste great!

            1. re: OElder
              Cheese Boy Jul 12, 2013 12:43 PM

              Smithfield center-cut pork chops and Smithfield smoked sausages both taste very good. Now, I just hope that they are not guilty of neck injections. Are they ??

              1. re: Cheese Boy
                o
                OElder Jul 12, 2013 02:46 PM

                Oops, didn't mean to get a lamb thread going on pork especially as a sheep farmer!
                I have made my own choices and decisions based on the information I've gathered. As a farmer I've learned more then maybe I wanted to. I don't want to excite anyone here. If you want to know, google Smithfield Farms gestation crates under Huffington Post or Humane Society. I would just say I would rather appreciate the flavor and quality of an animal raised in natural surroundings, not concrete floors and cages. I have no idea their method(s) for medication though.

                1. re: Cheese Boy
                  j
                  JudiAU Jul 12, 2013 09:28 PM

                  Why bother when you can pump the feed full of feed and breed antibiotic-resistant bacteria that transfer from the pigs to the humans.

                  http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/11/bus...

                  The Chinese are welcome to our fine agribusinesses.

              2. re: Bada Bing
                m
                mdzehnder Jul 16, 2013 01:23 AM

                I've not raised sheep, but I've had other sorts of animals and given lots of injections and I can't see how it could possibly matter where the injection is given. When it's injected it enters the bloodstream and dissipates throughout all muscle and tissue (which is what allows it to work). I don't see how the site of the injection could matter--if you're concerned with the residual effects of injections you should avoid animals that have been injected at all.

            2. emglow101 Jul 1, 2013 09:48 PM

              I'm not sure on the weight. What I have discovered is that I won't be using anything other than neck meat for my tomato gravy.Delicious. And I used a lamb neck. You can have the breasts, but I'll take the neck. It's one of my secrets.Leave it whole, then pull out the bones when finished cooking. Around three hours.

              1. j
                JudiAU Jul 1, 2013 09:17 PM

                No idea actually. But at the whole animal butchery we go to they usually have three or four pieces.

                I do love this recipe and it is a great cut
                http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/nec...

                1 Reply
                1. re: JudiAU
                  Bada Bing Jul 15, 2013 08:05 AM

                  Thanks! Just got the lamb neck today (whole) and am setting down to cooking decisions...

                2. Cheese Boy Jul 1, 2013 01:00 PM

                  Here's a link you might find useful ... http://www.clovegarden.com/ingred/as_...

                  Lamb head is very tasty if you like that sort of thing. If not, try the shanks.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Cheese Boy
                    Bada Bing Jul 1, 2013 02:05 PM

                    I've heard of lamb head as food, too, but am not sure about its preparation. Have you tried it? Is it a brains and glands kind of thing, or much ado about cheeks or whatever?

                    edit: p.s., very nice link! Thanks.

                    1. re: Bada Bing
                      Cheese Boy Jul 1, 2013 09:10 PM

                      I've eaten an entire lamb head only twice -- both times oven
                      roasted. The head is all about enjoying the flavor of the brains, the eyeballs, the cheeks, and the tongue. Your gag reflexes will likely be challenged when you eat the brains and the eyeballs, but you'll be able to relax them when it comes to the cheeks and the tongue because those are just so delicious (and no problem texturally).

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