Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Roasted leg of lamb

I traded two piglets for two lambs earlier this year, and had a customer want to buy one of the two lambs. I think that every animal should have a buddy, I couldn't leave the other lamb alone.
I've had this lamb since...august? and have been feeding it at the same time I feed my steers and goats. Sheep are pretty easy to care for.

I've talked about having a routine that is the same on the day they animal is slaughtered as any other day, so today was an example of that.

The daily feeding routine for the ruminants is to bring out 4 or 5 bales of hay with the tractor, throw it on the ground and cut the ties, reserving the string. String in the pasture is a pain in the ass if you have implements, like brush hogs, that spin. So I've learned not to leave it out there.

So today I brought out the usual hay bales, and two hog panels. Bend one of the hog panels into a C, put the hay there, and then bend the other one to complete a circle. All the sheep run in, close the circle, and then let the sheep that aren't going today out. No running around, no drama. Just a puzzled sheep looking out of the hog panel.

A quick shot from the .22, to stun him, and then you cut the throat. I used the front loader from the tractor to hold the singletree.

I skinned and gutted it using the singletree. I salted the hide, and I'll take it to the tannery to have it tanned tomorrow.

Here I've removed the front shoulders, the flank, and have cut the ribs off one side, but left them on the other. The side with the longer ribs I'll make into a rack of lamb. The side without ribs will be smaller lamb chops. The rear legs I'll just detach from the pelvis and keep as whole bone-in roasts. I'll cut the shanks off and use them later.
As I break down the carcass my pile of cuts grows larger. Here's a rear leg stacked on a pile of cuts. I haven't removed the tail yet, that's what's at the top center of the picture.
Here's the leg of lamb I'll be roasting tonight, and the rack of lamb I'll save for later. I still have to do some cleanup on the exposed bone of the rack of lamb, but you get the idea.
Here's the leg in the glass roasting pan. I rub it with garlic, rosemary and olive oil. It's on a bed of carrots and potatoes that will fry in the olive oil and drippings from the roast. YUM!!

Yield from this small lamb:
2 6lb leg of lamb roasts, bone-in
8 2" thick lambchops (about 3lbs)
4 lbs stew meat
4 lamb shanks
2 lbs lamb ribs
5 lbs ground lamb
Lamb liver
Lamb heart
Lamb kidneys
Lamb caul fat
very happy dogs (neck, various trimmings)

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