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Back to Nature:: Lamb

Shabden Park Farm has been the home of naturally reared lamb since Farmer Mark Banham arrived with his flock in 1995.

Our lambs are bred from Suffolk cross ewes using a Charollais ram, and from North Country Mules using a Suffolk ram. This makes them naturally lean and with a full conformation (shape). They are reared on grasses, herbs and wildflowers managed under the Countryside Stewardship Scheme; free from chemical fertilisers, herbicides and fungicides.
We employ traditional, extensive sheep farming methods at Shabden Park Farm. Read more about our farming methods.

Sheep grazing at Shabden Park Farm

Back to Nature lamb is available in a variety of cuts providing a versatile basis for an abundance of meals, not least the traditional Sunday roast.
Our lambs are hung in the traditional method for up to ten days in monitored temperature conditions before our experienced butchers then prepare the meat into seasonal cuts, so that you can buy lamb for a light summer meal, or a traditional Sunday roast. Our system of selection, transport and the abattoir we work with ensures traceability back to Shabden Park Farm.

Lambs are up to one year old. New season lamb, born early in the year, is young and very tender, carries a little more fat and does not have the depth of flavour of older lamb or hogget. Traditional spring-born lambs are available from July to the following March, and become larger in frame, with a richer taste. Once the lamb has gone through an autumn, they are termed 'hogget'.


Mutton (by definition, sheep over two years old, although ours is more like 4-5 years old) is available in season. A traditional meat, ever popular on the continent, is now coming back into fashion partly thanks to Mutton Renaissance, a campaign backed by Prince Charles and celebrity chefs. Mutton weighs heavier than lamb because it comes from mature sheep, so each cut is proportionally bigger. Mutton is often fattier than lamb but the fat creates the flavour of the dish and can be drained or seived off.
Mutton has a mature taste and when cooked long and slow, keeping in the juices by braising, basting or wrapping in foil, it will produce a tender and succulent meat with a deep, richer taste.
The mutton season is from approximately September to April, but please enquire before visiting as we often tailor supply to demand.

Back to Nature Lamb Cuts

List of cuts available and a description of their best cooking techniques. Please do enquire if you would like to buy a special cut, not in this list; we pride ourselves on providing good customer service.

Leg: whole or half joints        

The classic Sunday roast; tender, lean and tasty.
Whole leg serves 8 or more and is ideal for the family get-together.

Shoulder: whole or half joints        

Juicy and sweet, delicious meat.
Roast or braise, or dice for casseroles.
Whole shoulder serves a larger family of 6 or more.

Both leg and shoulder can also be boned and rolled for ease of carving.

Best end: rack  or cutlets   

The upper ribs from the best end, a rack can form the perfect two to three-person roast, tender and easy to carve between ribs into cutlets or off the bone.
Cutlets are ideal for marinades or glazes and perfect for a quick grilling on a weeknight.

Loin: chops and chump chops

Classic lamb chops cut from the loin. Allow two per person, grill or roast with herbs or spices.
Chump chops and chump end make excellent stewing lamb. Chump chops are perfect for the barbeque, first wrapped in foil then charred each side.
We often sell double (or Barnsley) chops, which suit grilling, oven-cook or braising equally well.

Neck (scrag): fillet, stewing

Boneless neck fillet is tender and delicious in casseroles, tagines and curries.
Stewing neck, on the bone, is a traditional cut for flavour in long cooked soups and stews such as Lancashire hot pot.

Breast: rolled, minced or whole

Rolled breast makes a succulent roast for a couple or young family, stuff with herbs and breadcrumbs and re-roll for an all-in-one roast, on a rack to drain away any extra fat for potatoes and gravy.
Minced breast can be used for a variety of dishes including shepherd's pie and moussaka, or for home-made burgers.
Whole breast on the bone can be roasted or cut into pieces and barbequed.

Kidneys, liver and heart

Kidneys are included in lamb boxes; 2 with a whole lamb.
Liver and heart are available on request.

Lamb burgers    

100% lamb burgers, homemade, with no artificial flavourings or preservatives. Minty and spicy kofta varieties in season.

Lamb sausages   

100% lamb sausages, homemade, with no artificial flavourings or preservatives. Seasonal flavours currently;
lamb, leek & apricot,
provencal lamb,
spicy merguez lamb sausage.





Defra for information about the Countryside Stewardship Scheme
Meatmatters Meat and Livestock Commission's consumer site recipes, health information
Eat the View The Countryside Agency's campaign to promote local produce
Tuck-in recipes for lamb and beef from the English Beef and Lamb Executive (Eblex)
Mutton Renaissance the campaign to bring back mutton as one of Britain's favourite dishes

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