need advice on home butchering lambs

Discussion in 'Sheep' started by doodles, Jan 20, 2004.

  1. doodles

    doodles Well-Known Member

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    We just killed 2 -8 month old ram lambs last saturday. We shot them and slit the throat to bleed them. We dressed them and aged them in a cooler with ice for 4 days before cooking. They are tough!! What might I have done wrong. They had been dry lotted for about 4 months prior to slaughter.
     
  2. mawalla

    mawalla Well-Known Member

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    I don't know nutten about butcheren babies, Miz Doodles, but I do know sumpen 'bout cooken. (I know, I know, but I just couldn't help it!)

    All kidding aside, it could be that you merely over cooked your meat. Lamb is best, in my opinion, medium rare. I prefer using a slow roasting method for larger cuts, basting often. For smaller cuts, I would quickly brown both sides of the meat over a hot fire then lower the flame and let the meat simmer, covered, until done.

    Also, it may be that your lambs were very lean. Good for the heart but not for the juicieness of the meat. How was the flavor? Mild or strong? What breed were they? What were they fed while dry lotted? Inquirering minds want to know.
     

  3. doodles

    doodles Well-Known Member

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    They are Romanovs and have been feed hay and lamb pellets. They are lean. I always cook lamb med or even a little rare but this is the texture of deer meat. I have been reading and it says that if they are spooked and get excited before the slaughter that this can make them tough also. The flavor is very mild and wonderful but the texture is like venison. I don't know if it is the breed or my technique. Should I feed the others a lot of grain -will this make them tender or just fatten them?
     
  4. brosil

    brosil Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I've found a lot of variation of flavor by breed. For that reason, we won't let a Columbia on the farm anymore. I've never eaten a Romanov so I can't compare. Usually, a frightened animal will have a poor flavor more than a change of texture. I will say that I don't age my Shetlands, just cool them down to make it easier to cut up. We've taken a leg from the hot carcuss and cooked fine flavored tender meat with it.
    Be careful graining them. I feed no grain to my Shetlands anymore after nearly loosing the whole flock doing that. Some sheep don't seem to tolerate it well .
     
  5. Part of the answer is Hang Time, I let mine hang at least 7-10 days but a full 14 days is preferable, this makes for a tender and tasty lamb. Sounds like you got the cooking down right. It can be hard on the farm to find the "right" 14 days usually in the fall is the right time.
    Kind regards,
    Calvin