What In Heck Is Wrong With Lamb Meat Distribution?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by NWSneaky, Jun 17, 2005.

  1. NWSneaky

    NWSneaky Well-Known Member

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    I love to barbecue and cook gourmet (sort of). For three-years I have been craving rack of lamb and leg of lamb --- can't find it at retail ANYWHERE. Today I called my two favorite country store guys --- they can't even order it. I tried to work with a farm guy out-of-state for one of his butchers but he wasn't allowed to age it and freight would have been $100 for just the carcass. Geeeeeeeeeeeeez.

    TIA.
     
  2. moonwolf

    moonwolf Well-Known Member

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    I used to order a spring lamb often from a local farmer. He would then have it butchered at the abbatoir and I would pick it up. It only weighed about 35 lbs. dressed and easy to fit in a small freezer. The legs and racks were excellent, but so was the rest such as the excellent stewing meat.
    Other than that a place that is a couple hours drive raises sheep that sells lamb in various combinations or if you want just the rack or leg. This is in Canada, so unfortunately I don't think they sell it to the U.S. since the regulations changed. It is hard to find good lamb, I agree. The new zealand frozen in the store is not bad which I am sure you can find in the large grocery chain stores.
     

  3. 65284

    65284 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Supply/demand. You are among the overwhelming minority of folks that enjoy mutton/lamb. With the exception of the East coast the demand just isn't there, it doesn't pay stores to stock it.
     
  4. Gary in ohio

    Gary in ohio Well-Known Member Supporter

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    In central ohio Lamb an Goat production for meat is up. We have a big Hispanic and Samali population in Columbus. They have put a big demand in for goats.
     
  5. oz in SC

    oz in SC Well-Known Member

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    Find a restaurant that serves it.

    Talk to whoever does the ordering and see if you can buy part of the case.

    Racks come packed either two or four to the cryovac and about 8 cryovacs to the case.

    Just called our foodservice guy and lamb rack is(this was either NZ or Australian) around $11/pound....US lamb is much more expensive and much bigger than imported.Price is supposedly going through the roof...but it always is..

    Being from Australia,we ate a LOT of mutton/lamb....LOL
     
  6. mtman

    mtman Well-Known Member

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    here in va. we but it at the store no prob.
     
  7. Meg Z

    Meg Z winding down

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    They carry lamb here. I haven't eaten it in years, since I can't justify paying $10-12 per pound for it! I want to find a lamb to raise with the goat kids....

    Meg
     
  8. YuccaFlatsRanch

    YuccaFlatsRanch Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Price and availability is why I raise my own lambs.
     
  9. Lisa in WA

    Lisa in WA Well-Known Member Supporter

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    We raise a small flock of Suffolk sheep here in N. Idaho, and it amazes me that all of the other folks I know that raise sheep up here, eat it because they have to, not because they love it. They make good lamb into smokies, and hamburger so they can disguise the taste. Our lamb is wonderful, so delicately flavored and tender. Anyway, I'd go to the county fair sale at the end of the summer. Buy a whole lamb and have it sent right on to the processor.
     
  10. Lisa in WA

    Lisa in WA Well-Known Member Supporter

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    According to Cooks Illustrated magazine, American lamb is the best. Australian and New Zealand has a much stronger sheepier flavor, and is a bit tougher. Icelandic is the most tender but is too mild in flavor. We've found the same, and most good restaurants now serve American.
     
  11. Caitedid

    Caitedid The Prairie Plate Supporter

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    Check out nzlamb.com They are starting to ship directly from the website. In the interest of full disclosure, my cousin is a plant manager for them in California, but the meat has gotten good reviews from our family.
     
  12. fin29

    fin29 Well-Known Member

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    If you like to cook gourmet, and want the absolute best, call Lobel's, right on Madison Ave. in Manhattan. A carnivore's orgasmic delight, I say.

    Sometimes, you just have to do what you have to do...

    www.lobels.com
     
  13. oz in SC

    oz in SC Well-Known Member

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    American lamb is SO high...it was almost double the price of imported.

    Also they were some BIG 'lambs'....might have been bordering on being sheep...LOL

    We use Australian beef in the rest. I work at-it is(of course the MAIN reason...) cheaper and it at least used to be NOT grain fed like US beef....this is only for tenderloin by the way.
     
  14. mama2littleman

    mama2littleman El Paso

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    If there is a Halaal butcher somewhere in your area they will most likely be able to help you out.

    I was suprised to find Halaal butcher in Nashville's farmer's market when I lived there.

    Nikki
     
  15. moopups

    moopups In Remembrance

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    Check your nearest Spanish grocery store, I pay $2.59 per pound here for shoulder chops.
     
  16. kabri

    kabri Almst livin the good life

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    We raise our own lamb here in WA, DH butchers the one we keep for ourselves, the rest are sold to a Muslim customer who comes out and butchers on-site. I'm sure he must be re-selling. He buys all we have, which is not very much, and we could easily sell more, but with only 3 acres of pasture, we don't have the land to raise more than about 10 lambs each year. Everyone we've sold or given cuts of our lamb to can't believe the difference in taste from what you pay a premium for in the store!
     
  17. cathyharrell

    cathyharrell Well-Known Member

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    There is a goat and lamb processing plant just out of San Angelo, Tx. I think HEB sells it. I don't know if there are HEB's in other states or not.
     
  18. Lisa in WA

    Lisa in WA Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Some breeds (like our Suffolks) just have very large lambs, I was worried our first year that they were too big when they went to the butcher. They were the right age, but they were just larger than I thought they should be. The meat was superb though. Our Southdowns are munchkins in comparison. Our 4-H leader did tell us though that for market lambs it is better to have them a bit smaller because although the meat is just as good on the bigger lambs, consumers don't want to pay the difference for the proportionally larger cuts from bigger lambs.

    Oz: What kind of restaurant do you have ?..are you in the Charleston area? My husband's family is from there. A LONG way from Idaho!
     
  19. Elizabeth

    Elizabeth Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I have been looking for lamb around here (NW Minnesota), found one package of pricey lamb meat on the bone, can't remember what cut it was. Paid $18.20 for it. Got it home and de-boned it for the crock pot and it yielded barely 2 pounds of meat.- yikes!!!!! I probably wasted it by putting it in the crockpot, lol.

    But, I made the absolute best lamb and potato stew I have ever tasted. DH loved it and asked me to fix it again- tried every store in the area with no luck. Finally went back to the store where we found the first package (50 miles away from home) and asked the meat dept. Turns out they have a leg of lamb in the freezer but since it was frozen they could not cut any for us that day. They told us to call 2-3 days ahead the next time we go up that way and they will cut it for us. They said there isn't enough demand for them to keep it on the shelf except for holidays.

    Next year we will raise a couple of lambs ourselves.
     
  20. Alice In TX/MO

    Alice In TX/MO More dharma, less drama. Supporter

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    HEB grocery stores are Texas only. It started in San Antonio.

    If you live near a major metropolitan area, go to the ethnic grocery stores.

    In much of Texas, it's beef, chicken or pork only. No woolies.