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Justme

This is how I butcher my lamb

BUTCHER YOUR LAMB (ALSO COVERS MUTTON)

First catch your lamb. This guide is just one way of cutting up a lamb to end up with the traditional cuts of:-

2 x legs 2 x shoulders 2 x neck fillets ? x loin chops ? x saddle chops
I will also cover how to tie a butcher’s slip knot

Necessary items
Lamb Cutting surface (butchers block, table, work surface, door ect ect)
1 x good sharp kitchen knife Hot soapy water & cloths

Desirable items
Meat saw Heavy chopper Boning knife


Hygiene is paramount. Ensure that the area you are working in is clean and free from clutter. All of your equipment should be clean and sharp. Keep meat chilled until you need to work on it. Return meat to the fridge as soon as possible. Try to work in a cool environment out of direct sunlight. Care at this stage will improve the taste and quality of your lamb.




Take a deep breath. The first cut is to remove both the back legs in one piece.
The exact position of this cut is not critical as you might require a long leg (or wish to cut the leg in to two as a later picture shows) or you may wish to have a short leg and more chops / loin. Make the cut all the way round the carcass. If you have a meat saw or cleaver cut through the bone with that. If you do not use a heavy kitchen knife and a wooden rolling pin.



Once you have this joint cut of you can cut them a part by following the natural join between them.
If you have a short leg you can do this with just the knife, on a long leg you will need the chopper / saw. Put the two legs to one side (in the fridge if you can).
Now separate the two halfs of the rib cage







At this point you can proceed to remove the shoulders. With the carcass on its back you can pull apart the front legs and insert a knife into the natural seam between it and the rib cage. Follow this all the way to the back bone. The front legs will come off surprisingly easily. Place with the back legs.
You can now trim the belly flaps following the line of the ribcage. As you get close to the saddle (loin with no ribs) to curve the cut to become parallel with the backbone.
Put to one side with any other trim for mincing later. Now look at the ribs and decided how long you want them to be on your chops. Mark each end with your knife and join the marks up. Then cut with saw of chopper cut ribs into BBQ sized bits.






You can then cut of the neck off at about the third rib. You then fillet the neck following the bones with your knife.





Put fillets with all the other bits.
You should now only have the long loin in front of you.






I prefer to now cut the saddle from the chops just after the last rib.
I then cut the saddle in to aprox 1” thick Barnsley chops.
Then take the loin and cut it lengthways into two loins.






This can then be cut into you chops by following the ribs
(on large lambs each rib on small lambs every other one).

You should now have some thing like this.








Or on a bigger lamb this






Butcher’s knots


First catch your string….
Ensure you are using proper butcher’s string.
Tie a simple knot in the end. Then loop it under the joint. Take the end with the knot in and pass it round the other end the cross over and round the back of its self.






Then down through the loop, you can now pull the long end tight around the joint.
Take the long end and make a loop round your finger, drop this loop over the short end with the knot in it. Pull tight and cut long end off.





Repeat as needed to firm up the joint.


Justme
bodger

A super useful post for the forum Richard and one that I'm sure that forum members will refer to time and time again in the future. Thanks very much.
NZPOME

Very good! My other half is going to be shown how to do that soon, and probably the killing too......eww! :pale:
wildgarlic

What a great and useful post! One assumes that the lamb was killed between being caught and that first incision :laughing8:
Justme

wildgarlic wrote:
What a great and useful post! One assumes that the lamb was killed between being caught and that first incision :laughing8:


Nah lol.

The best ever bit of liver I have ever had was from a home kill & it was in the pan whilst it was still warm. LOVELY


Justme
kaz

Great thread Richard
Den

NZPOME wrote:
probably the killing too......eww! :pale:


this is from a wee while ago on another forum, but I thought it might be relevant to anyone thinking of taking on the slaughter of their own beasts

DISCLAIMER: TSE regulations relating to the slaughter of ruminants for home consumption mean that ONLY the owner of the animal concerned can legally consume any of the resulting products, regardless of whether the animal is killed by a registered slaughterman, or the owner (using suitable humane and legal methods, of course)......to date, absolutely no tested Specified Risk Material has shown any instances of notifiable TSE traces in sheep, but it's just as well to be aware that if the meat is eaten by anyone other than the owner (even members of his/her household) then an offence has been committed. SRM material must also be disposed of in a manner complying with the regulations relating to the Disposal of Specified Risk Material under the regulations as posted by DEFRA

"Warning! This post contains graphic description of animal slaughter and butchery. No photographs though

Sorted out the lambs for the freezer yesterday. Got a call from my landlady to let me know I could pick them up when I was ready, so I traipsed up to the farm overalled up to the nines & butchering equipment at the ready.

The animals were held in a grass enclosure and had been for the last two weeks. We walked them from the enclosure into a holding pen in the main barn & left them to settle for half an hour while the final preparations were made. Buckets of water, the winch was made ready & the race was prepared.

Once everything was in place, they were walked into the race one at a time & held immobile. A .22 round through the back of the skull resulted in an immediate and humane end. The animals were dead before they’d even hear the muzzle report. The carcass was then bled by cutting the carotid arteries & allowed to bleed out. Not pleasant, but necessary and (in my view) a more humane procedure than many abattoirs. The animals weren’t subjected to the stresses of transporting them; they remained in familiar surroundings, and not subjected to possible overnight lairage and the smells and sounds that they would experience otherwise.

Once the animals had all been killed, they were hung from the back legs and the bleeding was allowed to finish for 5 minutes or so. A cut was made ventrally and the carcass was eviscerated taking extreme care not to contaminate the meat. The lights (heart & lungs) were put aside for the dogs (I considered keeping them for haggis, but they would've needed to be chilled immediately and I didn't have the space) and the liver & kidneys were left in the carcass. Further cuts were made on the inside of the front & back legs and the fleece removed (hard work as they were Blackfaces. The fleece is more firmly attached to the flesh and takes some pulling!!!) Finally, the liver and kidneys were removed and immediately chilled.

Once the carcass was skinned, it was split along the spine and the cord removed. Abattoirs do this as a matter of course since the BSE outbreak, and the only part of the head you're allowed to take is the tongue. I decided that processing two carcasses by myself meant that I couldn’t effectively utilise everything I would've liked to, so the heads were discarded along with the fleece. The carcasses were then hosed down with cool water to both clean them and bring the temperature down.

Once split, the carcasses were wrapped in muslin and placed in a chest freezer with the lid open as I wanted them to chill down quickly before further processing. I decided to keep one half lamb as a whole piece for the smoker, but the others would be butchered into the more well-known cuts of meat. The leg was first removed, and the chump and hock removed. The loin was taken off and the backbone removed. The lower ribs were split away and the ‘rack’ tied off. Various trimmings were separated and kept back for mincing throughout the process. The shoulder was removed whole and the shin taken off and placed with the hock, and the breast was boned out and rolled. The remainder of the carcass was trimmed of meat for mincing and casseroling, and the large bones kept back for stock.

The end result after about 3 hours of processing is a freezer full to the brim with prime lamb. I decided to dispense with hanging as the temperatures are a bit on the warm side and the meat had been above chilling temperature whilst the butchery was performed. I don’t think it’ll lose too much by it.

All in all? A satisfying and rewarding process that (to my mind anyway) epitomises humane slaughter and traceability. The animals were born and raised on the farm where they were slaughtered, no stress was placed on them, and every stage of the process was performed myself, so I know exactly how the meat that will end up on my table has been produced. The actual slaughter is an experience that I know I’ll never get fully used to, but I’m glad I have the opportunity to hold myself fully accountable for how a beast ends up being eaten"
fish

ive been in the trade for years ,and i can say that was very good!
bodger

Between Richards and now Dens articles I reckon that should just about cover it. Thanks boys
fish

what about goats? :: :: :: :: :: :: ::
bodger

Parlez vous Francais ?
Justme

fish wrote:
what about goats? :: :: :: :: :: :: ::


Same as a lamb but much less meat.

Justme
Den

And it's a ruminant, so the TSE reg's still apply
Justme

Den wrote:
And it's a ruminant, so the TSE reg's still apply


Yep
finnman

Hi,
We have been given a whole lamb that was slaughtered this morning.
We are unsure as to wether we should hang it for a period of time or if, as in the above post it should be butchered immediatly. If it should be hung could someone please tell us the correct way and for how long?
Justme

finnman wrote:
Hi,
We have been given a whole lamb that was slaughtered this morning.
We are unsure as to wether we should hang it for a period of time or if, as in the above post it should be butchered immediatly. If it should be hung could someone please tell us the correct way and for how long?


Have you the facility to hang at a controled tempreture of less than 3 deg c? If not dont hang. For lambs hanging is not needed anyway.

Justme
finnman

Hi,
Thanks for your reply, we have nowhere to hang it at a controlled temp. It has been cleaned and washed down in cold water and is now wrapped in the back of our car. We are in Scotland and the temp. is falling to 0 or below at nights, will it be ok over night?
Justme

yes just protect from pests (flies mice rats ect)

Justme
Bazzer

Thanks for "The Butchers Knot" just a Figure of Eight with a stopper.
Justme

Bazzer wrote:
Thanks for "The Butchers Knot" just a Figure of Eight with a stopper.


Your welcome.

Sliding figure 8 with stopper I think. Easy effective. There is even a little ryme you can say as you do it involving a rabit a hole & a tree but realy only make sence if you can watch at the same time.

Justme
nifti1

Hi Justme,
Thanks for your advice, after much careful scrutiny of your excellent post and a lot of 'in house' squabbling between Finnman and myself, the lamb is now bagged up and in the freezer!
Obviously it wasn't such a 'professional' job as your own.......but all in all for a first attempt I think we did quite well, at least all the cuts are recognizable for what they are! :q43:
Justme

nifti1 wrote:
Hi Justme,
at least all the cuts are recognizable for what they are! :q43:



Your welcome & sounds like your first attempt was loads better than mine.

Justme
Bramble

how do you dispose of any left overs that the dogs wont eat such as blood, heads, etc?
Justme

For a home kill I bag it up & use our local dead stock merchant to take it just like he does my butcher shop waste. Its the only legal way (unless you can get a raptor feeding station approved).


Justme
daz

butchering

very good post,im a butcher of 25 years and always enjoy seeing how others do it,very good...

                                    DAZ
Bazzer

Quote:
involving a rabit a hole & a tree


Christ that takes me back to my Gin Gan Gooley days.

Something about make a loop and the rabbit comes out of the hole, round the trunk and back down the hole.
Justme

Bazzer wrote:
Quote:
involving a rabit a hole & a tree


Christ that takes me back to my Gin Gan Gooley days.

Something about make a loop and the rabbit comes out of the hole, round the trunk and back down the hole.


Yeh thats the one.

daz wrote:
very good post,im a butcher of 25 years and always enjoy seeing how others do it,very good...

                                    DAZ


Thank you.
Bazzer

All I need now is a rabbit and some string.
Big Phil

Would you advice the same process for venison?
Justme

I think it should be very similar. In fact apart from the size you could also do similar for pigs as well. Just lots more of it & each bit is bigger & needs cutting down more.

Mainly its down to getting stuck in & making the first cuts. Remember it will taste the same no matter how you cut it up & if its a bit rough it dont matter unless you are trying to sell it.
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