Cut out the confusion when choosing your lamb
Nothing satisfies like your favourite meat dish. No matter your meat preference, knowing your cuts will help you to choose the right piece of meat for every meal every time.
Cut out the confusion and get a real taste for beef, lamb, and pork cuts with our comprehensive guides.
Lamb refers to a young sheep, not older than one year in age. It’s known for year-round availability and tenderness. Take a look at our guide to lamb cuts, and then get inspired with our lamb recipes.
Your guide to lamb cuts
- Neck: Lamb neck is inexpensive and full of flavour. It’s typically sold in thick, bone-in slices. Neck meat contains plenty of collagen – a natural compound in red meat that lends a silky richness to stews, braises, ragus, and other slow-cooked dishes.
- Blade: Also known as shoulder chop and arm chops, blade requires a shorter amount of cooking time than other cuts. This makes it an economical and flavourful choice for quick and easy meals.
- Shoulder: The shoulder of the lamb, derived from the forequarter, is the most economical cut, most suitable for long, slow, moist cooking to tenderise it. Lamb shoulder is used for stews and casseroles, and often cut into tasty chops.
- Shank: Lamb shanks come from the latter part of the fore or hind leg, and are best roasted or braised to elicit the juices from the bone. Shanks are almost always cooked in liquid until the meat starts separating from the bone. Slow cooking is a must – the flavour is worth the wait.
- Rib chop: Rack of lamb, sold whole or cut into rib chops, is the most prized and most expensive lamb cut. The meat on the rack is exceptionally tender and fine flavoured. Rib chops, either single (one bone) or double (two bones), are excellent grilled, broiled, and sautéed. Rack of lamb and rib chops are best cooked rare to medium-rare.
- Rib & flank: Unlike other cuts from the loin, the flank is tough and is usually ground into lamb burger.
- Loin: The loin of lamb is a tender and prized part of the animal. It is an ideal cut for roasting, but be careful not to overcook it as it doesn’t have a layer of fat for protection. Always remove the meat from the fridge an hour before cooking.
- Chump: These firm chops are taken from the rump of the lamb at the point where the top of the leg meets the loin. These chops are plump and generally lean. Cook these chops on the grill, griddle, or pan them for best results.
- Leg: The legs of a lamb work hard, giving this cut a good strong flavour. Leg is great roasted whole on the bone, or boned and cooked on an open flame. It’s a fairly lean muscle, so take care not to overcook it.
Take a look at our seasoning guide to find inspiration for your next batch of biltong, droëwors and boerewors.