Understanding what pieces of meat that you can get back from the butcher is very important. Especially if you are trying to decide between buying whole, half, or individual cuts of (in this case) a lamb. Keep in mind that buying in "bulk" when it comes to meat will always save you money. One of the great things about lamb is that even a whole lamb can usually fit in your freezer no problem.
Once you've decided on how much meat you want, next you need to decide what cuts. Unless you are buying individual cuts of meat you will have to let the butcher know exactly how you want your meat cut. Below I included a poster of some common lamb cuts. If you are not sure what you want, or how to use a specific cut drop me an email! We are happy to help work through your first cut sheet, or the butcher can help as well.
Some questions that the butcher will want to know are:
- How thick to make steaks or chops. 1-1.5 inches are usually a good place to start. Remember - the thicker the piece of meat the less of that cut the butcher will be able to make since each single cut will be thicker (just as an example - these numbers are not exact - say you might get 6 - 1 inch loin chops, or 4 - 1.5 inch chops). This is an important thing to remember.
- Don't forget to ask for soup bones if you like making stock!
- How many pounds of something in a package? You might want all your ground meat in 1 lb packages so they are easier for you to use.
- Bone in, or bone out? You will want to specify. Bone in meat can take a little longer to cook, but it also can add flavor. Bone out is also easier to cut since there is no bone to work around. This is a big decision when it comes to the "leg of lamb".
I hope this has made things more clear, and a little less daunting. One thing to keep in mind - unfortunately some butchers will keep/"steal" meat. It is just something that any meat buyer should keep in mind. If you ever receive meat back from a butcher that seems a lot less than what we told you it should be, please make sure to let us know! While we can't control the butcher, we will change butchers if this becomes an issue - and we can definitely work to reimburse you.
These are just some basics - if this was helpful leave us a comment!