As we continue into the venture of country life we slowly become more ‘Yassified’, that for me is the knowing of how things here in this town work, and I would say probably work in a lot of country towns. The latest is knowing who has lambs to slaughter. Friends of ours here have some sheep running on a few acres, mostly they are on the pasture and a little bit of top up grain. So Lee Ann got the offer “do you want one?” The answer a hesitant yes and the price “$50″, basically for the butchering. We also gave them a dozen of eggs in the spirit of bartering (yes cash did change hands but really IMHO not enough).
These people make no money off it, they do it for their own meat supply. And a qualified butcher does everything else. They reduce cost by giving a lamb to the person that supplies the grain etc.
So really not sure what we would get, we basically said, give us the legs, shanks, shoulders (boned), scrag (neck) and the other main cuts, which has basically become various chops. When the lamb was delivered in a big tub we needed to separate the meat, this is where Hugh Fearnley-Whittinstall (http://www.rivercottage.net/) and his book ‘River Cottage Meat Book’ comes into its own. And I do recommend this book. it goes thru all the cuts of different meats. We basically bagged and labeled each and placed them in the freezer (and we have a bag of liver, kidneys and heart).
The other thing about this lamb is that it is spring lamb. That night we made crumbed french cutlets which the kids devoured. Lynsey was gnawing the last bits of the flesh from the bone. mmmm meat. That should do us for a while anyway.