Here is an exciting, yet macabre, new milestone in my culinary journey. I butchered a lamb today. It was my first time. I need some practice but I don't think I did too bad (considering I was a vegetarian for 3 years). The guys at my butcher shop accepted my offer to volunteer some time here and there so I could learn more about butchering and meat in general. I learned a lot about the anatomy of lamb today, which is similar to that of cow and goat. It was gruesome but very interesting. As you can see by the photo above, the lamb I had was only from the top of the ribs to its ankles.
On either side of the ribs are the long flank steak cuts. The rack of lamb is the ribcage. They are often seen "frenched" where the meat and fat surrounding the bones are cut away to expose them. After the ribs is the lower back of the lamb. This is made up of two tenderloin cuts along the spine which are each connected to a skirt steak cut along the side of its body. Which brings you to its two back legs. The legs are often roasted whole but you can get some great lamb chops out of the upper leg and use the bottom shank for a good braising technique. Also, in my lamb I found two kidneys, a liver and a lung. Below is the "after" shot. See which cuts you can identify. The photo shows the two lamb shanks as separate cuts. Out of the other two upper legs, one is left in tact while the other has had two chops cut from it.
Hope you found this post to be entertaining, informative and possibly horrifying. See you again soon!