A whole lotta lamb

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Abstract 21st Century Impressionist lamb decoupage.  ca. 2017

Hello cherished reader.  A fair amount of lamb has been coming in. They are between 9-12 months, the proper age to qualify for the “lamb” distinction.  Anything else is deemed “mutton” after the slaughterhouse dentist takes a peek at their grill.  They are broken down into primals and sub-primals by hand with nothing more than a boning knife and a cleaver in the old world “seam butchery” manner.  Muscle by muscle, tied up all nice. I do use the band saw to trim the ends of the shanks.  The band saw also makes quick work of pumpkins. And fingers when showing off for the camera.

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Stubby paring knife was made at prison camp.

The shoulders become “melons”, or pumpkins.  Shank is cut off, humerus and scapula removed.  It is stuffed with a bit of merguez, bound with some strips of ventrèche (French answer to pancetta), wrapped in caul fat, then some cat’s cradle string work to cinch it all nice & tight.  A little disc of fatback covers the string intersection (and melts nicely) and a little sprig of parsley make just so faaaaaabulous.

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Knot’s landing.

The saddles are painstakingly, carefully and pleasantly dispatched of bone, gristle, sinew, fat, hair, fuzz, lead, and/or buckshot then sprinkled with magic seasoning (magic juniper berries in the fall/winter, dingleberries when in season, some rosemary, sand, dried chili) then rolled up all nice & straight like they taught me in the Paris, France at Hugo Desnoyer’s premier butcher shop.

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Bambi’s 7-point father picked off from 75 yds.

Then the leg is either broken down into individual muscles and kept whole (the bone is delicately, almost sexily carved and pulled out with the shank) and tied up, as in the venison (close enough) roast above.

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B-cup, breast stuffed with almonds and giblets.

Nothing really interesting about the lamb rack (no pictures) and when I’m feeling more whimsical than usual, the lamb breast is stuffed with trimmings, the heart, liver, tongue, gizzards, kidney, gills and olives.  Very old world Frenchy stuff.

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Lamb jam fans.

And then the trimmings get ground up and mixed with leftover bread turned into crumbs, grated Pecorino cheese, spices, some herbs, lemon zest, paprika, ground Trump flyers (for greatness) and then give a little lemon beanie and caul fat which will roast, toast and melt nicely.  “Meatballs”for the philistines, “crepinettes”for the rest who know how to use utensils and say hello/please/thank you.  Thank you.

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