Lamb Cuts & Portioning
Our recommendations for serving sized reflect those of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the Food Guide Pyramid. For example, these familiar servings will provide approximately three ounces of cooked, lean lamb:
- 1 Loin Chop
- 2 Rib Chops
- 1 Sirloin Steak
- 1 Shoulder Chop
- 4 Spareribs or Riblets
- 1 Patty
With boneless roasts, one pound of uncooked meat will yield 3 to 4 servings. Examples include the boned, rolled and tied leg of lamb; sirloin; top round; the inside-out leg and the boned, rolled and tied shoulder. Bone-in roasts - square-cut shoulder, whole or steamship leg of lamb - will provide 2 to 3 servings per pound. Economical shanks yield about 2 servings per pound.
Ask Your Meat Manager About the Lamb Cut
Just because you don’t see the lamb cut that you are looking for doesn’t mean that the store can’t special order it or cut it for you in the back. They might even be able to direct you to another shop that can help. Often times, meat managers will work with you to make sure that you have the lamb cut what you want. Plus, the more people that start asking for lamb, the more variety of lamb a store will carry!
Selecting Lamb Cuts
While leg of lamb and lamb chops are popular cuts, other cuts are equally delicious and economical.
Leg of Lamb
The leg of lamb is classic and available bone-in, boneless, rolled and tied or butterflied. The leg can be cut into smaller leg roasts, leg steaks, or remove the sirloin portion and roast or cut into thick steaks that are excellent for grilling. Leg meat is a lean choice for stew or kabob cubes.
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The loin is an extremely tender and high-quality cut. It can be boned and served as a boneless loin roast or cut into chops (like t-bone steaks). Loins are versatile, flavorful and tender and can be roasted, broiled or grilled.
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The rib section is also popular, and lends itself to a variety of cuts and preparations. The rib can be served as rack of lamb, or sliced and served as individual rib chops.
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The lamb shoulder is a delicious cut and less expensive than rib or loin chops. Serve as a square cut roast, pre-sliced and tied, or boned, rolled and tied. Round bone and blade chops come from the shoulder. Meat from the shoulder is also delicious cubed and can be used for kabobs or stews.
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Additional economical cuts include neck slices, breast of lamb, Denver Ribs, and shanks. These cuts cook best using moist heat and cooked to well done. Neck slices add excellent flavor to soups and stews and lamb breast is delicious boned and stuffed. The Denver Rib consists of eight ribs from the breast and can be marinated and barbecued. The shanks, both foreshanks and hindshanks, slow cook for mouthwatering, fork-tender quality.
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Ground lamb is lean and can be used in any dish that calls for ground meat.
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