Do you want to know the difference between a shank and a flank? Need some cooking tips for your succulent lamb roast? No problem! All you ever needed to know about lamb meat cuts is right here in uptown mirdif restaurants ultimate guide to types of lamb meat. Go beyond the rack of lamb and learn about this delicious meat.
A bit about lamb bits: the lamb, like most animals, is divided into primals, the main muscles where the most popular lamb cuts are cut from. The meat that comes from each primal has its own particular texture, flavor profile, and should be cooked accordingly. Read on and find out how to cook with different lamb cuts.
Shoulder of lamb
This large muscle is packed with rich, sweet meat. The lamb shoulder can be presented whole, roasted, in steak-sized cutlets, or diced for pot roasting. The meat of the lamb shoulder is quite marbling, which gives it flavor, but also toughness and chewiness, making it a part that requires long cooking times.
Cooking: roast, stew, stew.
Rack of lamb
The main part of the rack of lamb, the rack, consists of 16 ribs, known as chops. Although it comes in two parts, each with 8 ribs, it is usually sold cut in half. When sold whole, it is called a double rack of lamb. A rack of lamb consists of tender, lean, flavorful meat and the ribs. When the bones are exposed by about 5 cm, the shelf is called “French style”.
Cooking: roast, grill, pan fry.
Lamb Loin (also Lamb Loin)
The center of the animal contains the most tender cuts of the lamb and is often cut into chops or served whole as a roast loin. Full of tender meat.
Cooking: roasting, grilling, pan-frying, braising.
Leg of lamb
The loin of lamb, presented with or without the bone, the leg of lamb is a delicious classic cut. Sold whole or cut in half (the top leg), this is a large, flavorful cut that is very versatile. A bone-in leg of lamb is usually tastier. In butterfly, it can be stuffed and rolled again.
Cooking: roast, stew, barbecue, grill. Cook medium.
Front leg of lamb and hind leg of lamb
From the bottom of the leg, the leg is usually a hard-working muscle, requiring long cooking times to break down the tough meat into tender morsels. The most used is the front axle.
Cooking: stew, fry.
From the bottom of the lamb, the belly, comes the cut breast. It has a lot of fat and therefore a lot of chewiness, so lamb brisket needs to be cooked slowly and for a long time to break down the toughness. It usually comes as a rolled joint, perfect for grilling.
Cooking: stew, stew, fry.
Flank of lamb
This is the belly of the animal, a tough, fatty, flat cut that is usually reserved for stews and ground lamb, but is also sometimes seen as flank steaks of lamb. Lamb brisket requires long cooking times.
Cooking: stew, stew.
A very tough part of the animal, the neck does a lot of work, making it a cut that needs long, slow cooking. Usually available as thick neck slices, bone-in or bone-in, it produces a decent amount of rich, marbled meat.
Popular Lamb Meat Cuts
Chops are portions of lamb meat that are cut different parts of the lamb, like shoulder chop, loin chop and blade chop. The texture, flavor and fat content will be different depending on the muscle that is comes from.
From the most tender (and leanest) section of the lamb, loin chops have a nice portion of tenderloin and loin meat in them. They usually have a bone left in, which makes this cut look a bit like a t-bone steak.
Cook: grill, pan fry, roast. Best cooking point for loin chops is medium-rare.
Cut from the rack section of the lamb, rib chops are very tender and also very flavorful, thanks to a big swath of fat. Usually come with the bone. Not as meaty as loin chops, but with a smooth flavor.
Cook: Grill, braise, pan fry. Best to medium-rare.
Cut from the back end of the lamb, these chops are not as tender as the loin or rib chops, but with less chew than shoulder chops.
Cook: grill, broil, braise, pan-fry.
Arm Shoulder Chop:
Larger than rib and loin chops, and with a bit more fat and chew, shoulder chops have a robust flavor. Good for marinating and then quick cooking.
Cook: marinade, pan fry, broil, braise. Use lower heat than rib or loin chops.
Ss their name implies, they’re cut from the shoulder blade area, but have a more fat than the arm shoulder chops.
Cook: grill, broil, pan fry, braise, roast.
Cut from the large top muscle of the leg, this is a tender cut that can be cut into steaks, or served whole as a top round lamb roast.
Cook: grill, pan fry, roast.
Although not technically a cut since it can come from any part of the animal, lamb stew meat is best when it comes from the flavorful shoulder. Long cooking times render it tender and mouthwatering.
Between the loin and the leg, the lamb sirloin is usually presented with the whole lamb leg, but can also be sold separate, boneless as a sirloin roast, or cut into sirloin chops. Tender and flavorful.
Cook: roast, braise, bbq, grill (chops).