Butcher's Guide: Lamb

Butcher's Guide: Lamb

We’ve pulled together this guide to help you understand more about the different cuts of Northumbrian Lamb available and what cooking method each cut is best suited to. 




This part of the animal works hard, so the meat from a lamb’s shoulder is full of flavour. It takes a while to become tender, but this means it’s a great choice for stewing and slow-roasting.

To maximise the flavour, cook lamb shoulder on the bone so the meat simply falls apart when pulled with a fork. Shoulder is for a perfect Sunday traditional lunch or roast in fragrant spices for a more feisty dish. 



Lamb chops or cutlets are the most tender cuts of lamb, but are incredibly delicious. They are taken from the ribs of the lamb and cooked individually, normally over a grill or a barbecue.

When a number of them are left together and cooked as a whole, they’re called a rack of lamb. Chops and racks can be French trimmed for you by one of our Butchers, where the meat is scraped from the ends of the rib bones, which looks super-impressive on a plate. 


These are mini 'T-bone steaks' cut from the waist of the lamb. On one side of the chop is the lamb loin and on the other side is the fillet. Just like chops, they’re great for grilling or barbecuing. 

A few loin chops kept together in one piece, then boned and rolled, make a lovely little roasting joint - just ask our team! 


The rump comes from the back of the lamb. This cut is lean, tender and full of flavour – just be careful not to overcook as it will become tough if left to dry out. 

It is delicious pan-fried whole, finished in the oven for a few minutes, then sliced to reveal its blushing pink centre. Or, it can be cut into chops on the bone then grilled or pan-fried.


Like the shoulders, the legs of a lamb work hard, which means that this cut has a good, strong flavour. Leg of lamb is great roasted whole on the bone, or boned and barbecued. It’s a fairly lean muscle, so take care not to overcook it, or else it could end up quite dry.

 Rub it all over with a herb oil, some garlic and even a little mustard, if you like, roast in the oven, then finish off on the barbecue to get a great gnarly smoked flavour. This is a great one for a weekend spent with family, or when entertaining a big group at Easter! 


Lamb shank is a super-simple, cheaper cut that goes a long way. Taken from the lower part of the back legs, there is a lot of collagen in the shank, which, when cooked slowly, gives the meat a lovely soft, melting texture, making this another cut that’s perfect for stews and slow-cooking. 


Lamb neck can be cooked slowly on a low heat, yet unlike the shoulder, it can also be treated like a steak and cooked quickly over a high heat until pink. It goes well with a whole load of flavours and is delicious served with a great mash when cooked low and slow. It works really well as a stewing meat for a curry and is a great cut of meat to make Kebabs with, too.