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Cuts, Cooking, Hints & Tips

Cuts and suitable cooking methods

There are many different cuts of lamb available. Have a look at our table below for a summary of the best cooking methods for each cut as well as some cooking tips to help you make the most of your lamb. Whatever cooking method is used, remember that lamb is best served medium rare.


RoastingRoasticon : FryFryingicon : stewStewing / Braising
icon :: grillGrillingicon :: BBQSuitable for BBQicon StuffingSuitable for stuffing


Butterflied leg of lamb:
A leg, completely de-boned, well trimmed and flattened out into a butterfly shape for an even thickness
icon :: BBQ
icon Stuffing
Suitable for rolling, tying and roasting, either stuffed or unstuffed. Can also be marinated on the inside before rolling.
Carvery leg of lamb:
The leg is part-boned, rolled and tied for easy carving. Shank bone is left intact to retain joint shape.
RoastingBaste with pan juices during roasting. Ideal for carvery stations. Rest for 15-20 mins under foil before carving to relax meat fibres.
Carvery shoulder of lamb:
The shoulder is part-boned, rolled and tied. The blade bone is removed to facilitate carving. Shank bone is left intact.
RoastingAdd value with savoury farces, marinades and studs. Sear in a hot to moderate oven and slow roast to tenderise and prevent excess weight loss.
Centre loin chops:
Tender chops with a small T-bone (part of the backbone from which they are cut). French term - côte d'agneau.
icon : Fryicon :: grillBaste with olive oil, season with salt after searing. Best served medium rare.
Meat from the forequarter which has been cut into small chunks.
icon : stew icon :: BBQSuitable for use in stews and pies or for barbequing.
A boneless, lean and tender cut of lamb from the loin.
icon : FryPan sear rare and rest well in foil in a warm oven. Avoid over cooking. Slice thinly for salads.
A small joint cut from the end of the leg (hind shank) or the end of the shoulder (foreshank). Also known as a knuckle joint.  
icon : stewEconomical and full of flavour. Ideal for slow cooking (braising or stewing) with quality vegetables. Good for stocks and soups.
Gigot chops:
Chops (bone-in) cut from the forequarter.
icon : stew Roasting icon :: BBQFull of flavour and ideal for slow cooking. Marinate well for added tenderness. Rest well before serving.
Leg steaks:
Boneless leg steaks are cut straight across the leg.
icon : Fry icon :: grillicon :: BBQLightly bat or marinate. Baste during cooking. Best served medium rare.
Loin canon:
The eye muscle from a boneless saddle, trimmed of all fat. Specify trim and cut requirements as this is the full eye muscle complex from the loin, rack and forequarter.
icon :: grill icon : FryPan sear rare and rest well in foil in a warm oven. Avoid over cooking. Slice thinly for salads.
Loin saddle (bone in):
The portion of the lamb which includes the rack and centre loin. 
RoastingTrim and cut to your requirements. Baste during cooking and serve medium.
Loin saddle (boneless):  
The de-boned portion of the lamb which includes the rack and centre loin. 
Roastingicon StuffingFirmly truss and baste during cooking. Suitable for carvery stations. Rest for 15-20 minutes under foil before carving.
A single loin chop that has been boned and rolled.
icon : Fry Roastingicon StuffingMarinate for extra tenderness. Sear on a hot pan then roast until medium rare and allow to rest before serving.
Rack of lamb:
Also known as best end of loin, this is a whole roasting joint consisting of 8 cutlets.
Roastingicon StuffingSear in a hot pan or oven and slow roast until medium rare. Baste during cooking to keep moist. Coat with crust if required and rest well under foil to allow meat fibres to relax before serving.
Rump (boneless):
A small, tender cut from between the leg and the loin, renowned for its flavour. The small round bone is removed, providing a natural space for stuffing.
icon : Fry Roasting icon :: BBQ icon StuffingA tasty tender cut to pot roast, sear on a grill or slow roast until medium. Baste with herb infused olive oil during cooking. Truss to keep an even shape.
Shoulder rack:
Derived from the forequarter, it contains five finger bones from which the intercostal meat has been removed.
Roasting icon :: grillMarinate for added tenderness. Coat with crust if desired. Best slow roasted and basted during cooking. Rest well before carving.
Ade-boned and trimmed lamb centre loin. A premium tender cut, fully prepared to avoid wastage.
icon : Fry icon :: grill Roasting icon :: BBQA versatile cut that cooks quickly. Marinate with olive oil. Best served medium rare.


Roasting - leg of lamb is the favorite cut of lamb to roast as it's very tender and has enough fat to keep the meat from drying out when cooking. Rack of lamb is also a popular cut for roasting and an excellent choice for special occasions.

Slow cooking - pot roasting, braising and stewing are suitable for cuts such as shanks and diced lamb. A whole shoulder, boned and rolled, is perfect for braising or as a pot roast. These types of cuts are best cooked gently until the meat almost falls from the bone. Stewed and braised lamb can be cooked gently in wine, stock, tomato juice or similar liquid until the meat is tender. These cooking methods also work well for mutton.

Pan frying – pan frying works well with cuts such as fillet, leg steaks and loin chops. It is ideal for creating a brown crust on the outside, while still leaving the inside tender when cooked.


Mint and rosemary are popular and traditional accompaniments; however the delicate flavour of lamb is also complimented by French mustard, tarragon, tomatoes, olive oil, aubergine, yoghurt, couscous, apricots, coriander and cumin. Although lamb doesn't often feature in oriental cookery, it's delicious with soy sauce, ginger or honey. Because of its seasonality and mild flavour, new season lamb goes well with spring vegetables.

Wines to accompany lamb dishes

Red Wine: Cabernet Sauvignon; Merlot; Pinot Noir; Barolo; Brunello; Chianti; Syrah; Petite Sirah; Charbono; Zinfandel; Shiraz or Cru Beaujolais, Barbera.

If you prefer white wine then you could try Chardonnnay or Viogner.


Irish Country Meats, Bayland, Camolin, Co Wexford, Ireland. Reg No: 318074