This Easter is particularly early and with the wet winter and spring, new season’s lamb is extremely hard to come by and has a price to match.  However, we do have plenty of hogget and mutton available.

It’s worth explaining the difference between the three – simply the name of sheep at different ages.

Lamb: Up to one-year-old, mild and delicate in flavour, tender and generally has less fat.  Spring lamb is up to 5 months old.

Hogget: One to Two years old, more flavour than lamb, and better cooked slightly more slowly at a lower temperature.

Mutton: Mutton has a deep red colour and flavour to match. It requires slow cooking, but this process breaks down the meat into a tender, fully flavoured delicacy.  It can hold its own against robust spices and herbs making it ideal for tagines and curries.  The last meal on the Titanic served mutton chops, and we should celebrate this luxury food again.

In the past, sheep were bred primarily for their wool, with milk making cheese and yoghurt, while their dung was used for fuel. The meat was a by-product at the end of their life.  As the wood trade declined, shepherds started to concentrate on raising sheep for the table and the preference for lamb over mutton increased.  It’s worth cooking with lamb, hogget and mutton depending on the dish, and each should be cherished.

Our Lamb, hogget and mutton are reared locally on pasture all year round and is one of the most naturally farmed meats available.  Supermarket lamb tends to be from New Zealand and fed a cereal diet, and has impressive food miles.

So, if you are going to enjoy lamb, hogget or mutton this Easter, make sure it is local.  We have all cuts available, from leg to shoulder, Barnsley chop to lamb merguez sausages.