All joints except those from the neck can be roasted, and the individual cuts from them are suitable for grilling and frying. Our helpful guide below gives you some ideas about the choice of lamb cuts for a variety of cooking methods.
This is usually sold as neck rings or chops on the bone, and used for stewing or braising. The traditional cuts can be used for cawl or hot pot..
A very succulent, tender roasting joint, this is available either on the bone or more commonly boned and rolled and possibly stuffed. It is also available whole or halved into the blade and knuckle sections - both of which are ideal for roasting or braising. Shoulder chops and steaks are also available, which are suitable for frying, grilling, and braising.
This can be purchased as a roasting joint comprised of six or seven rib bones (ask your butcher to remove the back bone to provide for easier carving) or more frequently available as individual lamb cutlets suitable for frying and grilling. Two best-end necks facing each other fat side outwards makes a guard of honour. The best end cut is also available as three or six-bone racks suitable for frying or cut into French-style cutlets that are best fried or grilled.
The loin is usually divided into the loin end and chump end, and cut into chops for grilling and frying. The loin can also be boned completely, stuffed, and rolled to produce a roasting joint or cut into individual noisettes.
This is a low-cost cut of lamb, which is excellent for slow-cooking. However, more commonly, it is stripped of its lean mince to create mouth-watering dishes.
The chump can be purchased as chump chops yet is more commonly sold as a boneless lamb rump steak that is very tender and ideal for frying and grilling. The boneless rump is also suitable as a mini-roasting joint.
The leg is an excellent roasting joint either on the bone or boned and rolled. It is often divided into fillet end and shank end and more commonly, into a range of leg steaks and stir-fry strips.
Cut from the leg or shoulder, diced lamb is great for kebabs, curries, and stews. The leg produces a leaner diced meat, however using a shoulder trimmed of excess fat provides more flavour.
This is typically prepared from a variety of lean cuts.
You are able to obtain quality Welsh lamb at any time of year and spring lamb is available from March, with supplies at their peak between July and November. The earlier age that lambs are processed means that the connective tissue in lamb cuts is more soluble within the natural moisture of the meat itself during cooking. The fat should be crisp and white and the lean fine-grained, firm, and pinky-brown in colour. Freshly cut surfaces should look lightly moist and the bones should represent a pinkish blue.